Twin Peeks Bookstore Romance Book 2
Release Date 12.09.19
A lifetime of abandonment leaves its mark on a person. So much so that when Nicki left, it made a twisted sort of sense. After all, everyone else I had loved in this world had left me, why should he be any different?
Six years later and he’s back in my life. He’s still the same Nicki. Still the same sensitive, intelligent, loving and compassionate man he was years ago. Except…there are shadows in his eyes that were never there before. How do I love him again, trust him again? If he disappears now, there’s no way I’d survive.
I love Kaine Devereaux. I always have. But sometimes love just isn’t enough. When my family moved thousands of miles away to chase the dream of a cure for my mysterious illness, Kaine and I had no idea that more than distance would end up separating us.
How do I ask Kaine to trust me again when I almost destroyed him? How do I ask him to love me again, when I’m still haunted by the specter of my past?
Nicki’s Fight is a M/M Romance with danger, heat, and a snarky cat who saves a life. This story does include explicit sex scenes and descriptive domestic abuse. Please pay heed to the Trigger Warning: Scenes of domestic violence and abuse
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/35FoTHW
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2MbgpR0
Surviving when being told you are HIV positive is one thing but making a pact with the devil and sacrificing your freedom for the safety of your mother is a whole other nightmare—one that Nicki knows all too well. That devil is his own father whose vicious and insane anger results in Nicki promising to never leave him and allow the horrible physical abuse his dad heaps on him to happen all so that his mother is allowed to escape. Their divorce and her safety is the reward Nicki gets for being the whipping boy he has become.
When Nicki and his parents uprooted from Ohio to Florida to consult with a specialist about Nicki’s poor health he left behind a piece of his heart and the boy he loved, Kaine Devereaux. The boys were only sixteen and swore to each other they would never forget the other—would always be there and love each other. When Nicki’s diagnosis was confirmed and it was discovered his mother had cheated on his father all that changed and now six years later Nicki has returned to Kaine but the damage is done and Kaine, who is not a stranger to abandonment, isn’t sure he can ever face Nicki again.
Mellanie Rourke is a new author for me and, as of this writing, Nicki’s Fight is only her second novel. I will say that for such a novice author, this writer packs a huge emotional punch and delvers a jam-packed story that never seemed to stop delivering one shocking event after another. Rourke does so well in developing and fully fleshing out her characters—I certainly felt I knew what made both Nicki and Kaine tick after reading their stories. Both boys had survived some form of deep seated emotional scarring and were still learning how to cope from years of loss and, in Nicki’s case, abuse. Thankfully the guys had friends and family that gave them the much needed emotional support to reshape their lives as adults but still the pain of the past haunted them both.
There were a lot of pieces to this novel in terms of supporting cast and each had a rather intense story line that was presented in this novel. As a result, you could sense that the author was setting up various characters to star in future installments in the series and dangling just enough drama to make the reader want more information about them. While that was well done, in my opinion, it also added to what was already a heavy and involved story. The novel was made a bit more difficult to read by the fact that the author chose to take us back and forth in time with memories interspersed during real time situations. This was not done seamlessly, however, and there were times when I got a little lost as to exactly what year we were in and what was going on since those jumps happened fairly erratically without much introduction.
The only major thing that made me question the story was how much abuse Nicki withstood and the fact that no one really intervened. I understood this was a small town and his father wielded much power but the idea that everyone, including the town doctor, never really pushed at that authority aside from one time was a bit hard to understand. This boy was beaten repeatedly and the author didn’t shy away from describing those scenes. Please let that be a warning to those who may be triggered by physical abuse that this novel could very well not be the one for you to enter into lightly. Having said that I really was surprised that someone somehow didn’t help poor Nicki escape particularly since late in the novel its revealed his own mother knew what was happening.
Nicki’s Fight is an emotional roller coaster with a shocking ending that puts to right much of a past that never should have been allowed to happen. It also reminds us that love can endure not only separation but last through difficult times as well if it’s solid and steady. While this story is graphic at times in its depiction of abuse, it also sends us a reminder of just how much the human spirit can endure and then rise to conquer the darkness.
“Nicki… What happened?” he asked. “I can’t help but feel like there is something major you haven’t told me. Something more than just your parents breaking up kept you away for six years.”
I jerked away from Kaine and headed for the door. Why had I thought I could do this? He deserved so much better than me. He deserved someone stronger, someone who would have fought, who would have found a way to escape. Someone who wasn’t sick, who wouldn’t die and leave him, like so many other people had left him…
Through the dark storm raging in my head, a little voice tried to convince me that I could tell Kaine the whole story, that he’d understand what I’d done to protect my mother. To protect him. That voice was drowned out by the flood of vile words I’d absorbed from my father like a sponge.
I made it to the door before I was able to force myself to stop running. I leaned against it, shaking my head in the vain hope that I could shake off the sound of my father’s voice. I saw my palms flat against the wooden door, the hated tattoos staring at me.
How was Kaine going to react when he found out about the deal I’d made with my father? Would Kaine agree if he knew my dad hated me? What if he thought being sick was some kind of punishment, that I was an abomination? A worthless waste of human flesh, who had caused my parents to split and humiliated my father…
I felt like I was standing on a precipice. To either side of me a yawning chasm that threatened to swallow me whole. My terror of Kaine’s judgment made the breath in my lungs freeze and I stood leaning against the door. Then I felt it… a touch, feather light, gently running over my back. I tried to pull away. I didn’t want him to feel my scars, to know… Fuck!
To know how fucking weak I was.
I made myself turn back around and I took a deep, hoarse breath that turned into a cough that rumbled through my chest. Nausea swirled in my gut as I tried to get the words out, to tell him what had happened…
“I—My dad, he— he was—” I saw Kaine’s eyes narrow and his jaw clench. I tried to choke out an explanation, but the words still wouldn’t come. I felt the censure in his gaze. “Fuck, Kaine! I’m so sorry…” I doubled over with a sob, my hands grabbing my hair in a punishing grip, the pain anchoring me in the midst of my emotional storm.
I couldn’t speak, just shook my head wildly in frustration as Kaine tried to talk to me, but the words were just noise roaring in my ears. I couldn’t get the words out to tell him, so I did the only thing I could do. I showed him.
I stood up quickly and ripped the shirt off over my head and turned my back to him, head bowed. I could feel my whole body flushing with humiliation, my face scarlet as I faced the closed bedroom door. A full-length mirror hung on the back of it, and I could see the look of horror on Kaine’s face. I knew what he’d see, and the shame of it stung through my body like a million angry bees. I’d seen it hundreds of times in my own mirror.
Sound returned slowly, and I heard him gasp as he saw my back. Then I heard a whispered, “What the fuck…”
I just shook my head as I showed him my secret, my shame.
If I’d just done better, been better, Dad wouldn’t have done it. If I hadn’t been gay, I could have been a better son, a better man, and he wouldn’t have been pushed to this extreme. It was all my fault.
About the Author
Mellanie Rourke lives in Akron, Ohio with her loving (and long-suffering) husband, snarky children, and furry menagerie.
She has been writing since she was a child but never had the impulse to publish until she was introduced to the world of MM Romance.
Now her husband has to put up with a variety of new ways to say "penis", and her children aren't allowed to tell their teachers what she writes.
For more information on Mellanie's upcoming work, join her Facebook group Misfits & Malcontents at https://www.facebook.com/groups/MisfitsandMalcontents/
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