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Friday, July 23, 2010

Jacob's Ladder : St. Nacho's 3 by ZA Maxfield

Jacob's Ladder : St. Nacho's 3 by ZA Maxfield
Publisher: Loose ID
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (165 pgs)
Other: M/M, anal sex
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Cactus

Jacob “Yasha”” Livingston is having a bad day. First there is the head cold. Then the orgy, the fight, and the hospital. Between that and the bus driver who ejects him -- after accusing him of transmitting the Swine Flu -- the rest of his day seems fairly vague. Now he's stuck in a small town called Santo Ignacio and he has a whole lot of thinking to do.

One thing is, when fate speaks in the form of an EMT, maybe it’s time to listen. One man in particular, EMT Jason “JT” Lents, with his shy smile and jade green eyes, seems more like an angel than a paramedic. But Jason has a date with a newer, prettier girl every night, despite the fact that he seems to return Yasha’s interest.

What will make JT happy? If JT is afraid of his feelings it might be Yasha’s chance to heal the healer. For this couple to find their way, it’s up to Jacob, his new friends, and the magic of St. Nacho’s.

When opposites attract, enough sparks fly to start a fire.

Yasha’s having a pretty horrible day. He’s sick, walked in on his boyfriend having an orgy, then got beat up by said boyfriend in a roid rage. Then while trying to get out of town, Yasha’s thrown off the greyhound bus out of swine flu fear. Could his day get any worse? Thankfully a hunky EMT named JT takes an active interest in Yasha’s life but between JT’s religion and his closeted sexuality, life has taken an even more complicated turn for the pastry chef.

This return to the world of St. Nacho’s is a warm comfort for fans. One of the best aspects about the book is that the story can easily be read as a stand-alone for those readers not familiar with the fabulous series. If you haven’t started this trio of books, do so now! But you can also start with Jacob’s Ladder and work your way back as well so there’s no reason to skip this truly entertaining story.

The plot revolves around JT and Yasha’s relationship as they dance around each other. JT is very religious and deeply closeted so his actions are a push and pull of conflicted desire. JT wants Yasha badly but falls into the predictable behavior of visiting Yasha at night while parading women around during the day. This isn’t likely to win many fans for JT but he does redeem himself rather well towards the end.

The characters are as always multi-faceted and wonderful creations. The entire St. Nacho’s series, and this offering in particular, are well written and offer different issues handled deftly with a skill the author is known for. Here the issue of domestic violence is highlighted, not only through Yasha’s experiences, but also showing a group of strong, independent women surviving and thriving after their horrors. Yasha learns from these women and becomes a better man for their acquaintance. His romance with JT is almost a backseat to the great setting, rich descriptions, and wonderful secondary characters. Small glimpses into past couples will please fans while not confusing any newcomers.

As a fan of the author, I’m happy to say Jacob’s Ladder delivers and appeals on all levels. There is romance, conflict, hot sex, tension, and a delicious thread for the next novel. This series offers something comforting, sexy, and purely entertaining. You can’t help but sink into the atmosphere and enjoy the ride with these gorgeous men as they figure out life, love, and everything in between. I easily recommend this for both newcomers and fans alike.

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