Maggie Blackbird

Romancing Canada's Indigenous People

I’m doing my best to provide reviews at least once per month starting in the New Year.  To kick things off, here is my review of the Revolutionary Heart Series by Janice Jarrell.

Book-Reviews

About-the-Book

Loe's MagicTitle:  Love’s Magic
Author:  Janice Jarrell
Series:  Revolutionary Heart, #1
Publication Date:  May 8, 2018
Genres:  LGBT, m/m contemporary romance, adult.

Blurb: Four lives in turmoil fighting for the relationships they cherish, and at the heart of the struggle, a great university struggles to survive its most harrowing challenge.

 

 

 

My-Review

First, there are four main characters, which took me by surprise, because I’m used to reading about one couple instead of two.  And each is very interesting in their own right.

David, who teaches revolutionary war, is the most respected and admired professor on campus at the University of Virginia.  His lover, Nate, is seeking a tenure with the university after leaving his former job as an associate producer in documentary films in Los Angeles.  Colin is a spunky and independent—and very proud of his Irish roots—college campus police officer.  Last but not least is the newly-hired campus Title IX Coordinator, the studious and loner Joshua.

All four men are extremely different from one another, which I liked.  David is career-driven, keeping-up-appearances, confused man.  Nate is creative, out-spoken, and driven, who cares about the well-being of others.  They balance each other.  David can draw go-getter Nate in, while Nate prods David from his shell.

Colin is a passionate, in-your-face, daring, and shy-to-commit playboy.  Joshua is seeking a relationship, very empathetic, and shy.  Again, there is balance, because they possess what the other needs to overcome their flaws.

On campus, Nate is physically assaulted trying to help a woman who is in danger.  The plot starts rolling, and so do the character arcs, because each man has his inner-demons to battle that ties in with Nate’s determination to seek justice for the other assaults that were dismissed by the university, who desired not to have their prestigious reputation smeared by violence and sexual assaults being brought out from under the carpet.

Relationships are extremely tested during this contentious period for the heroes.  Without giving away the plot, all four have to face their inner-demons that none of them wish to deal with.

Since I’ve never been to Virginia, I hoped to capture a peek of this place by the setting, but I didn’t quite feel like I was there.  But Michigan was captured beautifully, giving me a sense of place and time.

The execution of the character arcs was well done.  I closed the novel feeling very satisfied that the four main men had reached a break-through within themselves and in their relationships.

The sexual scenes were well done.  Each one had meaning that drove the plot or arcs forward.

Lastly, having to juggle two romances was a bit difficult for me, but for this plot to work, four relationships were necessary.  So I give a high-five to the author.

There is a well-balanced mixture of joy, pain, loss, grief, and happiness.  A wonderful rollercoaster ride of emotions that never becomes overwhelming and keeps perfect pace with the plot.

I recommend this book.  Give this new author a try.

****

About-the-Book

Love's TrialsTitle:  Love’s Trials
Author:  Janice Jarrell
Series:  Revolutionary Heart, #2
Publication Date:  October 12, 2018
Genres:  LGBT, m/m contemporary romance, adult.

Blurb:  Colin and Joshua faced the most harrowing ordeal of their lives with love and courage. Believing they’d survived their trial, they looked forward to a future filled with happiness only to discover that the worst was yet to come. Sometimes surviving is the toughest trial of all.

 

My-Review

Love’s Trials picks up where Love’s Magic ended.  Colin Campbell, campus police Sargent, is tasked with heading a risky operation to catch a notorious drug dealer selling drugs to students at the university.  David Gardner, beloved professor, is also involved with assisting Colin.

When I read the blurb, I thought the book would be about undercover police work, but the author gave me a bigger surprise, so the book is aptly named.

I’ve never read a romance where the trials of an already established relationship are put to the test, and this is what makes the book a winner for me.  In the real world, there is no such thing as HEA.  Relationships go through many hardships, and love is greatly tested.  That is what happens in Love’s Trials.

The main characters are Colin and his lover Joshua, the psychologist Colin committed to in the last novel.  For something like this to happen while the two are establishing their relationships as partners showed how devoted they were to each other.

The reality of what each faces was well executed.  Joshua forgets about what he’s been educated to do and becomes a lover facing horrible odds, and his actions aren’t those of a psychologist but a man battling to save his relationship.  The author did a great job here.  Human beings aren’t robots who resort to their educational training in dire situations.  Instead, survival instinct kicks in, and they behave as such.  Joshua is a true example of this.

Colin also has massive challenges to face, and he behaved in character.  He’s snarly, withdrawn, and frightened.

I adore David as the voice of reason.  I must say he’s become my favourite character in the Revolutionary Heart series.  Nate, David’s spouse, has more of a background role in this novel, but he’s still there, helping David.

New character Trent is introduced.  At first I thought Trent might be…well, I won’t give away the plot.  Let’s say I adored Trent.  I do hope the author gives him a story because he deserves one.  It’d be nice, as a reader, to get a further glimpse into Trent’s life.  Heck, I’d like to see Trent become smitten with David, not as a villain but as temptation, hehe.

Anyway, not to digress…I highly recommend this book.  It’s not your usual romance.  It’s a look into a new relationship facing its first big hurdle.

 

Have you read the Revolutionary Heart series?  What are you thoughts on the two books?  Which one’s your favourite and why?  I’d love to hear your comments (without spoilers, of course).

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