Thursday, January 14, 2016

Knave of Broken Hearts by Tara Lain

Title: Knave of Broken Hearts
Author: Tara Lain
My Rating: A

Genre: Contemporary Romance (m/m)
Series: Love in Laguna #2
Main Characters: Jim and Ken
Release Date: August 2015
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
Jim Carney has a full time job—running from himself. Since he walked out on his wealthy family at sixteen because he’d wrecked his best friend’s life over some yaoi graphic novels, Jim has lived a macho, blue-collar existence of too much booze and too little responsibility. Then Billy Ballew, the man Jim most admires, gives Jim a chance to come through as his construction supervisor. For once, Jim is determined to make someone proud. Then Jim goes in for a physical for his new job and his yaoi dream comes to life in the form of cardiologist Ken Tanaka. Jim discovers he has two heart problems—a wonky mitral valve and a serious attraction to his doctor. But Ken is a major player, and Jim might be just a notch on the doc’s stethoscope. To Ken, Jim is unforgettable—but the living embodiment of his traditional family’s worst nightmares. 

How come the minute Jim decides to be responsible, he finds himself taking care of his kid brother, getting a proposal from a wealthy woman, making a deal with the devil, and winding up in the hospital—when all he really wants is the Knave of Broken Hearts?

My Review:

I think I liked this book even better than the first (but be warned, I may be in the minority here as some reviewers are really hating on this book pretty hard...and I can see their viewpoints, but that wasn't me as a reader.) For me, I like the angst that was added to the story by all those trigger points that other reviewers had. And across the board, people really had an issue with those things OR they loved the book. I was in the love category.

Like the first book in this series, this story features a construction worker who has never really faced up to the fact that he might be gay. For Jim, when his boss Billy came out of the closet, it became a question for him. When he was in high school, he messed around a little bit with another guy but that completely RUINED both their lives, so he's never dared again. He may not get the most fulfillment from women, but it's enough....until he meets Ken, his fantasy come to life. 

Ken is a cardiologist with his own relationship issues. He's Japanese and his family has high expectations for him as a son. He has a hard time saying no to his mother, which gets him into a real mess in this story...a mess that Jim has to save him from...several times over. I love how these two keep getting thrown together in highly unusual circumstances. For me, that made their unlikely relationship work. Because despite their attraction to one another, I couldn't see them hooking up otherwise. And like I said before, those aspects DID really work for me.

The whole Japanese culture side was interesting...both in Ken's family life and in Jim's fascination with yaoi graphic novels. That added an interesting twist to the whole story. I also LOVED the story line with Jim's health issues, especially with knowing his father's occupation. I LOVED Ken telling him off at the end about his ability in his job and as a father. 

For me, this book worked and I truly loved it. Even writing this review makes me want to pick the book right back up and do an immediate re-read. A definite sign of a really good book! I'm loving this series and can't wait for more from it. 

And...*sigh*...this entire series just has the most incredible covers. I bought them in print just for the pretties before I read them, and now I'm so glad that I did because they've earned a place of honor on my keeper shelf. Loved this and book #1. 


1 comment:

Tara Lain said...

Christi, thank you so much. I have to tell you that you completely nailed the reaction to this story. Many people -- my agent and some of my editors among them -- love this story even more than Knight of Ocean Avenue. But as you observed, some people really hate on it because of the angst. I'm so honored that you read it and delighted that you enjoyed it!! : )