Reviewed by Shelley
TITLE: Finding Zach (Book #1)
SERIES: Finding Zach
AUTHOR: Rowan Speedwell
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 264 pages
BLURB: For five years, Zach Tyler, son of one of the worlds richest software moguls, was held hostage, tortured, and abused. When he is rescued at last from the Venezuelan jungle, he is physically and psychologically shattered, but he slowly begins to rebuild the life he should have had before an innocent kiss sent him into hell. His childhood best friend David has lived those years with overwhelming guilt and grief. Every relationship David has tried has fallen apart because of his feelings for a boy he thought dead. When Zach is rescued, David is overjoyed and then crushed when Zach shuts him out. Two years later, David returns home, and he and Zach must come to terms with the rift between them, what they feel for each other, and what their future could hold. But Zach has secrets, and one of them might well destroy their fragile love.
Special Forces are on a rescue mission and think they’ve just found Zach Tyler; but the creature before them is barely recognisable as the 15 year old boy who was kidnaped 5 years earlier. The cowering, snarling man is barely human. His naked emaciated body displays twisted bones and unthinkable scarring – evidence of years of revolting torture. Physically broken and psychologically shattered Zach Tyler is finally coming home.
Two years of intense therapy later and Zach is physically recovered … almost. There is a long way to go before Zach really begins to heal, to stop anticipating the implosion of his new found reality, to start feeling safe to make choices again. Nightmares, terror attacks, neuroses and fear have Zack hovering on the edge of crazy, hiding behind an icy facade and seeking oblivion through self-destruction.
David has never gotten over the guilt and grief of losing Zach the first time and he won’t lose him again. David is the obvious choiceto help put Zach together again – but will Zach let him?
“I guess the kid you knew is pretty damn dead. There’s just me left. The fucked-up crazy-assed cold-hearted Ice Queen.Battered, bruised and bewildered.”
“But still fucking beautiful,” David said.
It’s a great premise right? Long lost love rekindled – broken hearts – coming of age – healing minds – friends to lovers. It’s all here, well written, well developed, believable, and emphatic. The author does a great job in executing Zach’s recovery from a psychological perspective. I’ll even admit to swallowing back a little sob at the end – which is very rare for me. So why do I find myself sitting on the fence with it? Admittedly my rating is leaning toward the favourable side but mourning what could have been on the negative side.
The beginning is intense, riveting and exciting. Thefirst 50-ish% felt different to the other recycled tropes of its kind. I felt invested in the characters and especially the outcome for most of its length. There is an underlying angst that drives this story, and I was constantly waiting for the bomb to drop. It builds and builds and then fizzles into a spluttering frustrated dialog of misinterpretations and miscommunications. The overly used statement “What are you talking about?” from both MC’s is a constant that grated on me to no end. What promised to be different, just … wasn’t. And that is why I’m sitting on the fence feeling slightly disappointed. So I’ll just slap myself out of it and stop playing devil’s advocate to recall what I loved instead: the unconditional LOVE, the balance between dark and light, the rough with the fluff – it’s reciprocal and in the end it leaves me with a light heart.
Do I recommend it? YES! Just ignore my screwed up rating system. Finding Zach is worth your hard earned pennies, I promise.
Shelley is one of the official reviewers on The Blog of Sid Love.
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