When something inside him is shattered by an act of violence, Caleb Tomas doesn’t think he can ever be whole again.
Police Officer Jesse Martin has lived in the small town of El Jardin, New Mexico, for a decade, but he’s never seen anything like the mysterious man who moves in in the middle of the night. The house across the street from Jesse’s trailer is no longer empty. There’s a puzzle waiting to be solved there, in the form of one sexy, but decidedly different, man.
Bruised and battered inside and out, Caleb Tomas flees to the town of El Jardin in the hopes of escaping the terror that haunts him. Instead, he becomes more of a recluse, scared of everything, unable to get more than a dozen feet past his porch before he panics. His head’s a mess, and he knows he needs help, but that’s a step he doesn’t want to take. It’s easier, safer, to stay hidden away with only his adorable puppy, Loopy, and the bird-murdering cat, Mix, for companionship.
But Caleb can’t help but notice the sexy man across the street, and when Loopy escapes from the back yard, it’s Jesse Martin who comes to the rescue.
And he might save more than one bouncy little poodle, if Caleb and Jesse are willing to take the risk.
Reader Advisory: This book contains references to physical assault.
Something Shattered by Bailey Bradford is not light reading. It’s a story about two men whose wounds debilitate them differently, and the love that begins to heal them. Closeted police officer Jesse Martin begins to take notice of his reclusive new neighbor, Caleb Thomas. The fact that he can only catch glimpses of Caleb piques Jesse’s interest even more. Their attraction is, of course, mutual.
I found these characters very believable for the most part. Caleb’s pain was evident from the first page. His inability to leave his house in reaction to being a victim of a violent crime is heart wrenching to read about. However, Jesse is filled with compassion and understanding for the stranger who becomes so much more.
While I loved the main characters’ relationship – and that of the supporting cast, including Loopy – I couldn’t give this book five stars because it dragged in parts and I wasn’t sure about how quickly Jesse and Caleb jumped into bed. But overall, it was a touching book that I’d recommend.
Violence can do far more than just physical damage. Caleb has been beaten to the point that he was not sure he would survive it. Not because he was gay, or was robbed, no domestic abuse just because he was there and alone. He is healing from the physical wounds, now he is finding it almost impossible for him to go outside. He is in a new town, small neighborhood where no one knows who he is. He is having panic attacks just to go check his mail. Caleb knows he needs to fix what is wrong with him, but with all the flash backs and nightmares he doesn’t know how.
Jesse is a police officer that happens to live across the street from Caleb. He is intrigued with his new neighbor. He is attractive but seems to be a reclusive, and not very friendly. Jesse has lived here in this town for all his adult life, he is gay but does not advertise it because there are a lot of homophobic people in the community. He is drawn to Caleb and decides that he is worth the taking the chance of facing the prejudice that may come their way.
Caleb is scared to let anyone in. But Jesse shows him that he can be trusted. They take it 1day at a time, start with innocent things. Then move to more time sharing. Caleb and Jesse grow into a strong friendship and then to lovers. Caleb has been learning to talk about his fears with Jesse. Jesse has fears of his own, he feels that Caleb is the best thing that has ever happened to him, and so he works through his fears.
I really liked this book because the real life issues were not glossed over, they were dealt with. The violence that happens in life can be random, sometimes you do everything right and you still are a victim. It’s how you work through the emotional scaring that matters. Caleb come across as a weak person in the beginning but as you read and follow what he has gone through you come to realize how utterly strong he truly is. Jesse comes across just like he is, the strong caring man, who wants to help. They really are made for each other.