Former Marine and lower-leg amputee Carey Everett keeps a grueling schedule of counseling fellow war veterans and their families. The injury he received in Afghanistan forces him to rely on a reserve of strength he didn't even know he had. A much deserved vacation will let him reconnect with his best friend, who saved his life and has been there for him through devastating injury and painful recovery.
Part-time EMT and aspiring singer Jase DeSantis has been in love with Carey for years, but he's come to accept that his straight friend will never be able to offer more. Jase fills his days with band rehearsals, ambulance shifts, and willing groupies, all while trying to cope with debilitating PTSD.
A week of sun, fun, and music in San Diego changes Jase and Carey's lives forever when their relationship takes an unexpected turn. Jase has been longing for that change, but it leaves Carey reeling with confusion. As Jase fights to hold things together, Carey deals with doubts, fears, and his own preconceived notions about labels and the true nature of love.
©2015 Melanie Hansen (P)2017 Dreamspinner Press
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This book was sweet and romantic. A nice progression from friends to lovers. And gotta love some hot between the sheets loving.
"4.5 stars- Raw emotion with a hopeful tone"
I love military romances, but because I’m a military wife, I’m also picky. Everything Changes is a fantastic romance that deals thoroughly and respectfully with combat veterans. This book addresses both the psychological and physical wounds left by war- one hero is an amputee and the other suffers from PTSD. After reading this book, Melanie Hansen solidified her place as my go to author when I want a military romance that is as honest as it is beautiful.
There is a lot of military information and scenes throughout this book- some narrated as flashbacks. Told in vivid detail, the author never shies away from the hard truth, yet keeps the overall tone uplifting and hopeful. The specifics occasionally slow and disrupt the pace of the romance, though excluding them may have taken away from the story’s raw quality. I think this may be a case of a lot of elements within too few pages, between the history, their individual pasts, and the friends to lovers romance a lot transpired. That said, there are plenty of moments the narrator couldn’t read fast enough because I just had to know how a scene played out. While the pace may have fluctuated, I never lost interest in the Jase and Carey’s story.
The dialogue and writing is solid and the sexy scenes certainly aren’t lacking in heat. The characters have depth and their emotions are as vivid and palpable as the combat scenes. The connection between Jase and Carey is well established throughout the book, and you can feel the unbreakable bond the men shared. The chemistry builds off that and is strong both in and out of the bedroom. Despite having a deep friendship that morphs into more, lust fuels the bulk of the romance, particularly for Carey. This aspect works well within the gay-for-you frame. However, I found myself wishing there was a bit more exploration of Carey’s hang-up in admitting his attraction to Jase and reluctance to form a relationship. The subject is broached a few times, but I think a bit more detail would have propelled this romance to a greater depth.
I listened to this as an audiobook and I have to comment on the narration. I had not heard anything narrated by Robert Nieman before, but going forward I’ll seek out audiobooks he does. He uses excellent intonation, even including breath support to match the scene and emotions. Everything Changes is told in the third person omniscient voice, but the way Mr. Nieman narrates, the characters and their thoughts always come through unmistakably. While he doesn’t use voices per say, he uses distinct inflections which make it easy to follow along with Jase and Carey’s viewpoints. It truly was a performance and one of the better audiobooks I’ve listened to.
Once again I am taken by this author’s raw storylines and intriguing characters. Everything Changes proves this is the type of book I can continually expect from Miss Hansen and guarantees I’ll read all her past and future works. If you enjoy the GFY trope, military romances, or even friends to lovers romances, I highly recommend this one.
*Reviewed for Alpha Book Club*
"Friends to Lovers Romance"
A military romance, a friends to lovers story... Jase and Carey’s friendship began in the military and survived tragedy, loss, PTSD and the adjustment to civilian life again. While Jase has always identified as bi-sexual, Carey is confused by his more-than-friendly feelings for his best friend. This is everything Jase ever wanted but it's everything Carey is fearful of. Neiman did a good job bringing across all the emotions the men grappled with. Watching this struggle, thier growth as a couple and the yummy sexual exploration is hot. I enjoyed indulging to this love story on audio.
I review for the Guilty Indulgence Review Site.
"I liked but didn't love this..."
After returning home from the military, Jase and Carey’s friendship shifts when PTSD and re-adjusting to civilian life forces them to lean on one another in ways they hadn’t before. Suddenly, they’re able to see each other as more than friends.
Jase has always identified as bi-sexual, so he is not surprised by his attraction to Carey. Carey, is a staunch “straight” guy, who is confused by the change in his feelings and his attraction to his best friend.
This is the first book I’d read by Melanie Hansen and I thought it was excellent. Her writing is clear and captivating. I was definitely hooked by the story line and though she did a great job with her character development and realism as regards her subject matter.
What worked: the hurt/comfort part of the story felt realistic as did the PTSD. It felt well-researched and felt authentic. The first part of the GFY relationship really felt like it was plausible and both guys seemed to be acting in a way that seemed consistent with their characters.
What didn’t work: The path of their relationship which waffled from friends to more to friends and then off in a direction I really didn’t care for. I really felt Carey treated Jase poorly and didn’t do much to earn back his trust. On listening to the audio it made me mad all over again!
The end was just too quick and didn’t feel solid enough for my tastes. I appreciated that no relationship runs smoothly, but after all the build-up, the quick apology and epilogue just felt rushed.
I liked this enough to read another by this author and truly liked, but didn’t love this story.
3.5 of 5 stars
I like Robert Nieman as a narrator. Some of his stories have been exceptional and all are always rock solid. He doesn’t do a lot of unique voices or do much to differentiate the speakers but he is always clear and does a nice job with the emotions and pacing in a story. I could always tell who was speaking and I like the quality of his voice, as well.
This is a good way to enjoy this story.
4.5 of 5 stars
Overall 4 of 5 stars
this was a very good look, I liked the perspective of ptsd and friends becoming lovers. all in all sweet book and I do recommend.
also the narrator did a good job 👍
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