A big welcome to Jay Hogan as part of her review tour with Signal Boost Promotions for Digging Deep from Dreamspinner Press.
I got pulled into this story immediately, and not just because it’s set in New Zealand, although that was an added bonus. I enjoy reading stories set locally, and being able to recognise places and references.
I loved Drake and Caleb together and individually, and their meeting was very original, which I liked. I felt for both of them, and not just Drake dealing with Crohns but Caleb trying to get through Drake’s defences, yet fully aware that he’s never been that great in relationships. Drake having those defences, considering the huge curveball life has given him, felt realistic and didn’t detract from him as a character. I thought it showed his vunerability.
I thought the author handled the Crohns part of the story well, and sensitively. She didn’t hold back on the seriousness of it, either, and I learnt more about it alongside Caleb. The line that there would be three of them in the relationship including Chrohns was very poignant, harsh, yet true, and I liked that Drake didn’t pull punches, and struggled to let Caleb in. It felt very realistic. Caleb’s determination to woo Drake and the gifts he sends are sweet, and crazy, and I loved him for it. It’s obvious he cares for, and loves Drake, and I could feel his frustration and determination.
There is quite a bit of swearing in the story, but I thought it suited Drake’s character, and none of it was gratuitous. The sex scenes were hot, tender, and caring—and perfect for these guys.
The supporting cast are fabulous, and I loved Carmen in particular. She’s so in your face but fabulous with it, a great friend to Caleb, and then later Drake, supportive but telling them what they need to hear, whether they want to or not. I’d be happy if she got her own story. I also liked Pete—their love and relationship was a highlight of the story too. I loved the family feel of the story, not just with Drake and Caleb’s family but their extended family by choice. Carly and Dana, the midwives Drake work with were realistic, supportive, yet straight up with him when he needed it were well drawn three dimensional characters too, as were Aaron, and Drake’s work partner, Leanne. As an aside, I particularly enjoyed the banter with Drake’s family..
I loved how, although this is a romance, we get the opportunity to see Drake and Caleb at work with the heartbreak and danger their respective roles bring to them as characters, and to their growing relationship. There is a scene in the book—no spoilers!—where I was on the edge of my seat, seriously worried, and an intended reading of a couple of chapters turned into sitting up far too late to finish the book.
This is another book I’ve added to my hardcopy wish list, and among my favourite reads this year. It has stayed with me long after I finished reading it.
I’d recommend Digging Deep to readers who like realistic characters who have a lot of issues to deal with, a great supporting cast, and an addictive story that keeps you turning pages. 5 out of 5 stars.
A Digging Deep Story
Drake Park has a complicated life. As a gay male midwife, he’s used to raising eyebrows. Add Crohn’s disease and things get interesting—or not, considering the sad state of his love life. Experience has taught Drake that most men are fair-weather sailors when it comes to handling his condition—gone for dust when things get rough. Staying healthy is a full-time job without adding in any heartbreak, so a little loneliness is a small price to pay. If he says it often enough he might even believe it. One thing for sure, the cop who arrested him isn’t about to change that.
Caleb Ashton does not have a complicated life. A senior detective with the Whangarei Police Department, he likes his job and is good at it. He works hard and plays hard, happy to enjoy as many men as he can while he’s still young enough—or at least he was. These days he feels adrift for the first time in his life, and the only thing sparking his interest—a certain prickly young midwife.
But can Drake find enough faith to risk opening his heart again? And does Caleb have what it takes to cope with the challenges Drake’s condition presents?
Jay Hogan is a New Zealand author writing in m/m romance, romantic suspense and fantasy. She has travelled extensively and has lived in quite a few countries. She has a BA degree in Nursing and in Theology, and in another life, she was an Intensive Care Nurse, Counselor, and a Lecturer.
She is a cat aficionado especially of Maine Coons, and an avid dog lover (but don’t tell the cat). She loves to cook- pretty damn good, loves to sing – pretty damn average, and as for loving full-time writing -absolutely… depending of course on the day, the word count, the deadline, how obliging her characters are, the ambient temperature in the Western Sahara, whether Jupiter is rising, the size of the ozone hole over New Zealand and how much coffee she’s had.
She has complex boys telling stories in her head that demand attention and a considerable number of words to go with them. Their journeys are never straightforward and even surprise Jay. She does her best to plot things out ahead of time but those pesky characters seem to have a mind of their own. Go figure.
You can find Jay at:
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