An Arresting Ride

An Arresting Ride - Lissa Kasey Review originally posted at Sinfully.

Lissa Kasey is a new author for me.’ Not having read the first story in this series, [b:Painting with Fire|32726974|Painting with Fire (Survivors Find Love, #1)|Lissa Kasey||53312771], I had no problem reading An Arresting Ride. Although Graham obviously played a part in the first book and its MCs, Bastian and Charlie, have a secondary role here, enough information is given about their story as needed.

Jason’s therapist approves of Graham as a potential roommate based on his reputation. Graham is a cop that is on-duty all the time. Even on his days off he is watching out for the town. He is well respected and liked throughout the island, but his whole life is his job. She believes Graham can show Jason that not everyone is out to hurt him and that as a police officer he can help Jason feel safe and be a model of how a “normal” homosexual adult interacts with others and help Jason realize that not everything requires a sexual exchange.

Jason will never fully recover from the trauma of his childhood. He has been in therapy, was adopted by a loving family and has found himself a livelihood as a horse breeder. He will always have some behaviors that may seem odd. When Graham arrives Jason can admit that he doesn’t want to be alone but that he has trouble around people. But Jason isn’t what his past and his odd behavior may suggest and just maybe Jason’s not as helpless and unaware as everyone thinks. Maybe Graham isn’t as normal as everyone thinks.

I liked that the story didn’t completely go where I expected it to. Sure, Graham has an immediate desire to keep Jason safe and although he is attracted, he puts the brakes on Jason’s moves towards him. The two develop a friendship and working relationship as Graham helps around the ranch, encourages healthier habits and Jason teaches Graham to care for the horses. The share everyday things that are new for both men, from meals, to movie nights and all the everyday things roommates would normally share with a few little hiccups here and there. Some of Jason’s actions may not make sense to Graham, but Jason tries to articulate his reasons for doing things Graham sees as crossing lines.

As Graham and Jason get closer, Graham reaches out to Charlie with concerns over the relationship becoming sexual. It’s clear they both want to go there, but Graham is afraid of hurting or taking advantage of Jason. Meanwhile, Charlie’s partner Bastian becomes a source of support for Jason. Dealing with the aftermath of abuse himself, the two form a connection and Bastian helps offer some insight to Graham. Once Graham stops fearing he may break Jason, their passion burns on the pages.

Jason isn’t the typical broken MC and Graham isn’t the typical white knight. This becomes even clearer when Graham is faced with trouble on the job and has to deal with the damage his past has done and the PTSD he didn’t know he was suffering. I know nothing about horses, but Jason seems to be a sort of horse whisperer. They were instrumental in his recovery as a child and are the one thing he has been devoted to ever since and their therapeutic value isn’t limited to only him. I did enjoy seeing the animals used in this manner, even though they did seem, at times, to be portrayed as unrealistically understanding human conversation and being given human attributes.

All in all, this was a lovely, slow burn, hurt/comfort story. I liked the way the author explored the questions of what is normal and how people heal and gave us two MCs that were more complex than expected. I’m looking forward to going back to read Charlie and Bastian’s story.