When One Door Opens, JD Ruskin
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Gay Romance
Tags: Contemporary, Disability
Length: 210 Pages
Purchase At: Dreamspinner Press, amazon.com
Two men, each battling their own personal demons, work together to overcome them and to find their happily-ever-after.
Logan Sellers is an alcoholic. He has just been released from prison after serving a year for assault that resulted from a night of binge drinking and an obnoxious bar patron. His parole officer has made it clear that he is to remain sober, stay employed and stay out of trouble. He has a part time job he hates but it keeps a roof over his head. The roof being a small, run-down apartment on the bad side of town. All he has to do is keep his nose clean for a year and he can get on with his life. He has no family nor does he have any friends. He gave up everything the day that he allowed alcohol to control him. One thing he walked away from is his best friend, Michael. Michael was there when the assault happened and Logan knows that he can never expect his old friend to forgive him for not only hurting the obnoxious bar patron but Michael and others as well.
Caleb is an agoraphobic who has not left his apartment in three years. He has panic attacks that prevent him from doing any more than walking across the hall to his elderly neighbor’s apartment and even that causes extreme stress. He has a business that he runs from his apartment, never needing to meet with clients face-to-face.
Logan is summoned to his boss’s office and offered a position off the books. The job consists of delivering the mail and food to the boss’s nephew, Caleb. Caleb’s uncle, Harrison, does not pick Logan at random to replace the man who had the position prior. Logan is chosen because he is tall, handsome and sexy…….. Caleb’s type. It is Harrison’s hope that by hiring someone that Caleb is attracted to that it will encourage Caleb to finally leave the confines of his self-imposed prison. Needing the money, Logan accepts the position grudgingly knowing that an ‘off the books’ job could cause him to be sent back to prison if his parole officer is made aware of it. Thankfully, that is remedied not long into the story.
The minute that Logan sees Caleb, he is attracted. The minute Caleb sees Logan, he is terrified. Logan is 6’7″ tall, his head his shaved and he is intimidating. This does not, however, stop Caleb from wanting the man standing in front of him. As Logan’s visits increase, a relationship between the two men gradually begins, with each man living their own hell… Caleb and his debilitating panic attacks and Logan and his constant craving for alcohol. The two men work together to help the other, with Caleb slowly making progress in leaving the apartment.
A supervisor where Logan works, Foster, is constantly hitting on him. When she is not trying to get into Logan’s pants, she is doing things at the company that are illegal. She is an evil bitch who has also made Caleb’s life hell. Thankfully, the author did not dwell on this character too much and the resolution with Foster was satisfactory.
I liked all the characters, both main and secondary. The back story (with Foster) was interesting but not overly done. The angst levels were kept low and I am glad of that. There are a lot of serious moments but the author managed to throw in a few humorous ones as well.
This was a good read. It was, at times, difficult to watch Caleb as he suffered his panic attacks and battled the agoraphobia. The same applies to Logan as he constantly battled himself in regards to alcohol. Alone, there is little progress. Together, they fight the demons that plague them both and slowly, gradually try to overcome them. The sex, though infrequent, was nice. I enjoyed watching Logan and Caleb as they got closer… in all ways. I was not, however, all that enthused with the ending. The important matters had been resolved (and old relationships were reconciled) but I felt that there was still a long way to go for these two and I felt that there were a lot of questions left unanswered. I was expecting one thing toward the end but the author went in another direction. Maybe this leaves the door open for a sequel?
I love the cover….. a lot. One of the reasons I bought this book was for the cover. However, I do not feel that it shows one of the characters in the way he is written in the book. Without a spoiler, I can’t say why that is. Also, some of the things that Caleb managed to do, not long into his treatment, were a bit far-fetched as far as recovery time is concerned.
Overall, an enjoyable read. I hope to see more of Caleb and Logan.
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