Title: New Beginnings: Abel's Journey
Follow Up novel to No Regrets
Author: Nicky James
Word Length: 100K
Genre: Contemporary MM Romance 18+
Release: May 17, 2017
Life is beyond our control. It can bring joy, laughter, and happiness, then turn around and rip your heart out of your chest without warning.
Abel Matheson received a cold dose of life’s reality six months ago when the man he loved most lost his fight against cancer.
Free-spirited, easy-going Abel doesn’t know how to cope with the rotting, festering grief growing inside him. What was once an easy life has become a struggle to put one foot in front of the other.
His grades are slipping, his job is suffering, money is tight, and the nightmares plaguing his sleep are relentless. Something has to give. He can’t keep going like this.
Desperate to end his suffering, Abel falls back on old habits. Self-destructive habits he knows are wrong.
Every time he tries to stand, he ends up face-first in the mud.
On the advice of a counselor, Abel makes attempts to find a support system to help him handle his grief. Unexpectedly, during his quest toward healing, Abel makes a connection with the most unlikely of people.
His mind wants to rebel against the man who stands before him. Run far and fast in the other direction. But his heart forms a bond that annihilates his fear.
Why this man of all people?
Sometimes you find help and love where you least expect it.
I'll start by saying, I didn't read the first installment in this series, but my co-blogger read it, so from proofreading her review, which had me in tears, and chatting with her about the story, I knew the gist of what had occurred in book one. There is an author's note at the beginning of this book that in effect states for full emotional effect you should read No Regrets before you pick this book up. I totally agree with that, because while this book tore my heart to pieces, if I'd seen first hand the love that Abel had shared with Landon, what Abel goes through in the aftermath of his death may have broken me permanently.
It's been 6 months since Landon finally lost his battle with cancer. Abel has returned home and re-enrolled in college, but he isn't living. In fact, he's barely existing. Plagued with horrible nightmares of Landon's death, he is unable to sleep, so he's begun to self-medicate with alcohol. He's flunking out of school and also in danger of losing his job.
I don't want to give away any spoilers, so this review will be pretty short. This book tore me to pieces. Abel is so broken and my heart absolutely broke for him. He reaches rock bottom, but with the help of an unexpected ally, he finally finds his way out of the bleak darkness he's faced for most of the last year. He has to grieve the loss of Landon to be able to start the healing process and begin to move forward. He has to decide if he can finally open up his heart and let love in again. The chemistry between the main characters is electric. You could feel it coming off the pages of the book and I was so happy when Abel finally opened himself up to it. These two men help one another to heal from their past hurts and move on to their happy ending.
This was a heartbreaking story, but in the end it's filled with love and hope for the future. It's well-written and held me captive from the first sentence. It also left me wanting to read Abel and Landon's story to truly see how it all started. This was an excellent story I'd highly recommended, but a warning: If self-harm, suicidal thoughts or substance abuse are triggers for you, please proceed with caution.
* Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn't a requirement. *
New Beginnings: Abel’s Journey is book 2 in the series, although it can be read as a standalone, for the full emotional experience, I recommend reading No Regrets first. I’m well aware the theme might put some readers off, but truly, you’re missing out on a fantastic, if angsty read if you don’t read it.
I’ll be honest, No Regrets just about broke me and I imagined New Beginnings would be filled with angst as well and I wasn’t wrong. However, where with No Regrets we’re left with a HFN that has an expiration date, with New Beginnings we have the HEA Abel deserved and fans of the series have been waiting for.
I can’t rave enough of Nicky James’ prowess at writing highly-emotional scenes that will break your heart and will leave you sobbing your heart out. It’s a difficult read, yes, seeing Abel so broken after losing Landon and all he went through until he hit rock bottom just about killed me dead, but after everything is said and done, it’s also a story of love and hope for a future in which he could be happy again.
This series is definitely one of my top reads this year and I promise you, even though you’ll need to stock on the tissues, it’s worth the heartache.
*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn’t a requirement. ***
Nicky has always had two profound dreams in life; to fall back hundreds of years in time and live in a simpler world and to write novels. Since only one of those dreams was a possibility, she decided to make the other come alive on paper.
Nicky writes MM romance books in a variety of styles including contemporary, medieval, fantasy, and historical.