Friends Find Love in EVERYTHING CHANGES–Review and giveaway

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a cover reveal for a contemporary M/M romance from Melanie Hansen. EVERYTHING CHANGES is the first book in her Resilient Love series, and has been revised for this new release.

Scroll down for an excerpt, my review and a chance to win $25 GC in the giveaway!
About the book:
Two battle buddies. One fateful deployment. Two vastly different sets of wounds. One friendship changed forever.

A childhood in foster care taught Carey Everett to hold tight to what he has. Enlisting in the Marines gave him purpose, but a life-threatening injury ended his career—and took his leg. Now fully recovered, Carey’s happier than he’s ever been. He has a fulfilling job, a chosen family and, best of all, a cherished friendship with Jase DeSantis, the platoon medic who saved his life.

Despite Jase’s heroism in combat, he’s haunted by his actions overseas. Playing music with his band keeps the demons at bay, but it’s a battle he’s starting to lose.

After a week of sun and fun in San Diego, Jase and Carey’s connection takes an unexpected turn. With change comes a new set of challenges. For Jase, it means letting someone else into his deepest pain. For Carey, it’s realizing love doesn’t always equal loss. In order to make their relationship work, they’ll have to come to terms with their pasts…
…or risk walking away from each other for good.

Author note:
UPDATED AS OF SEPTEMBER 2020! In this version, Jase and Carey’s basic story remains the same, but it’s approached in a very different manner. Rewritten from the ground up, and re-edited, this story is definitely one I can be more proud of. Also, if you’d like a peek into how Jesse and Trevor from Point of Contact are doing, this is the book for you! I hope you enjoy.

My Review
Carey and Jase were comrades in arms in the armed services before Carey was struck in the line of duty and lost the lower half of a leg and his foot. Having no living family, the military gave Jase leave and pay to help transition Carey back to civilian life with his prosthesis. That was a few years ago and the two of them have remained best friends. Jase comes from a loving family and now that he’s fulfilled his service contract he’s back in their midst. He was a medic in the service and now serves as an ambulance driver and the lead singer of a band that plays cover songs and also some of their own music. Jase is the lead songwriter, and the songs reflect the anguish of military life and experiences. His fellow bandmates are all retired military, and each has some ghosts to shed.

Carey has come to San Diego to hang out with Jase for a week’s vacation from his job as a media relations and funding coordinator for a non-profit veteran’s care group. Specializing in the therapy of amputees and veterans suffering with PTSD, Carey feels he has a purpose serving his fellow vets and helping them be whole. He’s happy to be with Jase, but he’s also a little unsettled by feelings he’s experiencing now that he and Jase are both healthy and in close proximity.

Carey hasn’t had a sexual partner in years, not since before his injuries. Well, there was ONE time, but that was with Jase and he was pretty sure that was a moment that Jase treated him with pity, and its was a one-sided release. He identifies as straight, while Jase is openly bisexual. That’s why Carey is confused about the jealousy he feels seeing men fawn all over Jase.

Jase has been in love with Carey for years. He was kind of crushed when Carey’s confusion and depression surrounding their one encounter turned to bitterness. It took him time to heal from those emotional wounds, and he’s still suffering PTSD from the moments of Carey’s injury, when he was almost unable to save Carey’s life. Being in the same apartment is pure torture, and Jase lusts for his best friend, and fears messing up their friendship again by trying to act on or confess his true feelings. Good thing Carey starts taking some control.

This is a friends-to-lovers, damaged veterans story, so you can expect the usual discussions about the danger and the intensity of fighting, the comradery of military personnel, and how to cope with civilian life. I liked how Carey and Jase told their own parts of the story, but at times I was a bit overwhelmed by the backstory creeping in and slowing the pace. I also a bit of a stickler for timelines and I will fully admit that this story had me flummoxed. It seemed both Jase and Carey were too (mathematically) young for the experiences described in their adult lives, and that kept itching in the back of my brain as I negotiated yet another backstory moment.

These guys are deeply invested in their friendship–Carey particularly as he has few close personal friends and no family. Both men need to take a leap of faith that they will be able to navigate their budding relationship in a way that will add to their lives, not detract from it. There is some conflict about this, particularly because Jase is too afraid to confide his biggest traumas to Carey, but their eventual frank conversation allows Jase the space to get the help he needs.

Interested? You can find EVERYTHING CHANGES on Goodreads and can be pre-ordered on Amazon.


Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for a chance to win a $25 Amazon GC from author Melanie Hansen.
Good luck and keep reading my friends.

About the Author:
Melanie Hansen has spent time in Texas and Florida prisons…for work. She’s been in a room with a 17-year-old mass murderer who was also one of the most soft-spoken and polite teenagers she’s ever met. After a 13-year career as a court reporter, she can tell many stories both hilarious and heartbreaking.

She grew up with an Air Force dad, and ended up marrying a Navy man. After living and working all over the country, she hopes to bring these rich and varied life experiences to her stories about people finding love amidst real-life struggles.

Melanie left the stressful world of the courtroom behind and now enjoys a rewarding career transcribing for a deaf student. She currently lives in Arizona with her husband and two sons.

Catch Melanie on her website, Facebook, and twitter.

Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!

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