Cover Artist: Anne CainCOVER BLURB:
After filing charges that put his abusive ex-Dom behind bars, Jesse Turbul relocates halfway across the country, hoping to escape his past—but, of course, it's never that easy. When Jesse meets third-year law student Aadon at the library where he works, their mutual attraction is instant and obvious.
Despite the sparks, they just can't seem to make it work. Aadon is mired in guilt over his inability to help his older brother, damaged by events far too similar to Jesse’s past. Jesse is stuck in his own desperate wish to forget the painful shadow that continues to threaten him and any hope of a happy future. The only way to move forward is for Jesse to acknowledge he’s broken and for Aadon to accept he can’t make him better.*****
In reading the above description, one would get a rather dark impression of a novel that is really very inspiring in its own way. There are periods of high angst and upset, emotion notched up to the highest peak and sadness flowing like blood from an opened vein.
If you put the blurb aside and read the book as I did you will have a very special reading experience. I admit that I am not a follower of the whole Dom/Sub scene so that aspect left me a little in the dark to begin with. I actually purchased the book due to the cover art and the first impression I got from speaking to the author online.
Jesse, one of the lead characters, is a damaged soul trying to rebuild himself after being damaged both physically and emotionally by an abusive lover. As anyone knows physical wounds heal but emotional wounds linger long after the bruises fade and the broken bones mend. It is these emotional wounds that drive Jesse to first avoid Aadon, then slowly begin to accept him with tentative trust which gets strained from time to time as they get to know each other, and develop their relationship.
Aadon, the second lead has his own baggage with an older brother with the mind of a child who has been hospitalized due to the damage he did to himself with drugs to make him forget his own sexual assault as a child. Aadon is outwardly very confident and ready to face anything but inside his emotions run rampant and cause him as much doubt as Jesse’s do. He knows he is falling for the younger man but his fear of causing Jesse pain or distress keeps him distant for far too long.
With a cast of supporting characters, BETTER fills the bill for a fulfilling, deeply moving reading experience that no one should miss. There is limited sexual activity but where the scenes are placed is fitting and suits the story well. This is a story of love and heeling rather than groping, sexual lust, which is fine. Not all M/M books have to be about getting to the bed, couch, floor or wherever with the next hot guy.*****
A FEW WORDS WITH THE AUTHOR
rwig43: I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed BETTER.
Jaime Samms: I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I'm always so stoked here when people enjoy my stories.
rwig43: How did you get the idea for this novel?
Jaime Samms: Um....funny, that. The idea really has nothing to do with how the novel ended up
rwig43: Really? It seems like it was very thought out and planned from my reading of it.
Jaime Samms: I had gone through a spat of writing about painters and artists, and I wanted to write something different. So I decided to try writing about a geek. I picked a guy who worked in a library.
I'm a very organic writer. I pretty much start with a tiny seed of an idea, a blank page and start writing to see where I end up.
rwig43: I related to the characters’ so well. I hate to admit this was the first of you novels I hve read, it certainly won't be the last.
Jaime Samms: Well thank you! Nothing wrong with that. There a so many writers out there. It's impossible to keep up with everyone
rwig43: That is very true.
rwig43: How many books have you written and when was the first published, what was the title?
Jaime Samms: U gee....last time I counted I had twenty five releases. Might be a few more than that now. Not all novels, though. Lots of short stories
Jaime Samms: The first was a short story called The Runaway released November 2008 from Freya's Bower.
rwig43: That is a lot of output!
Jaime Samms: Like I said lots of under 20k stories, and I had a lot already written waiting for publishers. I've slowed down considerably now that I no longer have that backlog.
Jaime Samms: That one is considerably less angsty, in my opinion.
rwig43: I don't much mind angst if it has a true purpose.
rwig43: I found myself really liking Ricky and wanting to see more of him. I want a sequel!
Jaime Samms: Me either, I guess, since I've been accused of writing a lot of it
rwig43: I had actually heard that.
Jaime Samms: People keep saying that. He would be really hard to write
rwig43: The thing that drew me to the book in the first place was the cover, then the blurb.
Jaime Samms: It is an awesome Anne Cain cover. I have coveted a cover from her for years, and I think she did a wonderful job capturing the essence of the story and characters.
rwig43: I'm not familiar with the Dom/sub culture other than mentions in certain books. What attracted you to this subject for BETTER?
Jaime Samms: I write a lot of it, actually. BETTER was started a long time ago and was one of the first D/s books I wrote, but a lot of my stuff has that theme.
rwig43: Are there any final remarks you would like to make for the posting?
Jaime Samms: I relate much more the sub side of things, so I guess that's where my interest stems from.rwig43: Thanks so much for your time!