Z.A. Maxfield has a lyrical way of writing that makes it easy to escape into the world that she creates for her characters. I admit that I’m not a fan of the first person narrative when it comes to reading romances. Honestly, I usually avoid them, because I really prefer to know what both my heroes are thinking and feeling. When I read St. Nacho’s 3: Jacob’s Ladder, I wasn’t bothered by this at all. She does such a great job at allowing us to see what the other characters are thinking and feeling through the eyes of the main character, that I found that it really isn’t an issue at all.
Jacob Livingston was having one of the worst days of his life. First, he was sent home from his job because he’s sick, and all of his co-workers are afraid he’s got the swine flu. When he gets home, he discovers his boyfriend is having an orgy in their bed. When Jacob confronts his boyfriend, they get into a heated argument that soon turns into domestic violence dispute. His boyfriend has been known to hit Jacob when he’s angry, but this time he beat him so severely he has to go to the hospital. When Jacob is released, he decides to take the bus to see his brother and to get away from his problems for a while.
When the bus driver kicks him at Santo Ignacio off because it’s obvious he’s sick and they are afraid he’s gotten the Swine Flu, Jacob finds a hotel and crashes. The next thing he knows he’s being taken to the hospital for being dehydrated. Although his memory is hazy, he remembers a gorgeous green eyed angel that was able to give him some comfort and peace of mind before he passes out. When he awakens in the hospital, the owner of the hotel and his handsome son, Jason the green eyed EMT, is there to check up on him. Jacob realizes that the sweet and thoughtful Jason was the angel that brought him comfort while being transported to the hospital.
There are circumstances that will keep Jacob at Santo Ignacio for a while, so he decides he’ll stay at the hotel for a few days to heal and relax. But, Jason is a caretaker and soon makes it his mission to help Jacob out. When Jason finds out the Jacob is a victim of domestic abuse, he convinces him to go to a local support group in town. Jacob is embarrassed because he’s the only man at the group, and he’s mortified that he’d allow his ex-boyfriend to abuse him as he did. Soon, Jacob starts making friends with some of the women in the group and forms a special bond with them.
Jason continues to wedge himself into Jacob’s life and soon Jacob starts developing feelings that run deeper than friendship for him. He’s surprised when he finds out that Jason is trying desperately to ignore his homosexuality and is dating every woman he comes across. Even though this angers and hurts Jacob, he can’t deny the emotional bond that he and Jason have formed together. Soon, Jacob must make some life changing decisions. He knows he can go back to his old life, or he can take a chance at a new one at Santo Ignacio. But, if Jacob takes a chance at a new start, will Jason take a chance with having a new life with Jacob as well?
There are several reasons why I’m giving this book 5 stars. First, I thought that the issue of Jacob being a victim of domestic abuse is something that I know I haven’t read before. I thought that Jacob’s embarrassment and denial of being abused was not only realistic, but it was handled very well. I really appreciated how he was able to find help and support from other victims of abuse and from Jason as well. I know that this will be a touchy subject for some people, but I liked how Jacob’s character evolved and managed to work towards changing his life from being a victim, to becoming a survivor.
I also thought that even though some people may not like Jason because of his refusal to acknowledge his homosexuality, I found myself empathizing with him. He was also a character that experienced a lot of personal growth throughout the book. I thought that his confusion and anxiety about coming out was another thing that was handled realistically and even though there were times he frustrated me, I found myself really rallying behind him, and understanding why Jacob could easily fall in love with him.
Ms. Maxfield is a master at witty dialog and snappy comebacks. I loved Jacob’s humor and appreciated the banter he had with not only Jason, but the other characters as well. I found myself falling in love with the small community in general, and the camaraderie they all have between them.
Jacob’s Ladder is the third installment in the St. Nacho’s series. I do believe that this book can be read as a stand alone novel in this series, but after you read this one, you’ll most likely fall in love with this amazing community and want to read the entire series. By the way the book ended it obvious that this series will be continued, and I’m anxiously waiting for the next book in the series to be released!
Z.A. Maxfield has a very informative and interesting website. Here is the link if you are interested: http://zamaxfield.com
Genre: LGBT Contemporary
Length: Novel Plus
Series: Series: St. Nacho's; Previous Book: Physical Therapy
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.
Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: Male/male sexual practices.