Book: Love Can't Conquer
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publication Date: June 3, 2016
Length: 260 Pages
Reviewed by Erin
Bullied as a child in small-town Kansas, Jeremy Cox ultimately escaped to Portland, Oregon. Now in his forties, he’s an urban park ranger who does his best to rescue runaways and other street people. His ex-boyfriend, Donny—lost to drinking and drugs six years earlier—appears on his doorstep and inadvertently drags Jeremy into danger. As if dealing with Donny’s issues doesn’t cause enough turmoil, Jeremy meets a fascinating but enigmatic man who carries more than his fair share of problems.
Qayin Hill has almost nothing but skeletons in his closet and demons in his head. A former addict who struggles with anxiety and depression, Qay doesn’t know which of his secrets to reveal to Jeremy—or how to react when Jeremy wants to save him from himself.
Despite the pasts that continue to haunt them, Jeremy and Qay find passion, friendship, and a tentative hope for the future. Now they need to decide whether love is truly a powerful thing or if, despite the old adage, love can’t conquer all.
I have to admit, one of the first things that piqued my interest about this book was the title. It made me wonder what was going to happen, what the conflict in the story was going to be, how it would get resolved. That's the mark of a good title, yeah? The cover is pretty fantastic, too. Kim Fielding's Love Can't Conquer is a beautifully written story about two very imperfect, flawed men who find one another when they need each other the most.
Jeremy Cox is a park ranger in Portland, Oregon. He loves his job, he has friends, a home he's proud of, and if he's sometimes a bit lonely, if something is missing from his life, well he can't really complain too much. Enter the very broken, but very compelling Qayin Hill. Quiet and unassuming, but with an inner strength that peeks through the hard shell Qay has erected, Jeremy becomes totally captivated. He feels a pull to Qay, a familiarity he can't quite understand or figure out, one that once he discovers their connection, brings the two even closer together (after a bit of angst of course!)
There's lots going on in this book. A lot of angst, a lot of inner demons, a lot of heartache, especially for Jeremy in regards to his ex-boyfriend Donny. Donny is a total mess—an addict who Jeremy hasn't seen in five years and who turns up on his doorstep bloodied and bruised. I absolutely love how Kim Fielding wove this story together. The mystery surrounding Donny, the gentle, powerful way Jeremy and Qay navigate their relationship from friends to lovers, and the way Qay slowly puts his life back together is engaging and beautiful. I like quiet books, and this one is definitely that. There's enough drama to keep you interested, enough sex to titillate but not overwhelm. Jeremy and Qay are well-developed and layered, and the story will pull you in. I thought it dragged a bit in places, but not enough to take away my enjoyment of Love Can't Conquer.
Fielding does a wonderful job with the secondary characters as well. Rhoda was a colorful presence and an absolute rock for both Jeremy and Qay. I loved Nevin; he was brash and funny and provided light hearted moments in the perfect places. As always with a Kim Fielding book, the writing is stellar and the imagery evocative and powerful. Make sure you check this one out, you won't be sorry!
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