Love Can't Conquer
(Love Can't series, Bk #1)
by Kim Fielding
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.
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4 out of 5 stars
Love Can't Conquer is the first book in Kim Fielding's Love Can't Series. I will give a short trigger warning that this story deals with addiction, recovery, and also mental health issues.
Love Can't Conquer is the story of Jeremy and Qay, two men in their early to mid-40's and both are trying to find their way. Jeremy is the Chief Park Ranger but has kind of shut himself off from all his old friends except Rhoda and Nevin. Rhoda is totally encouraging him to get out and live his life more than the work, home, P-Town Cafe, and gym -wash, rinse, and repeat- routine that he has going on.
Qay is surviving day to day between a job with a boss from hell, and trying to get his Associates Degree so he can get out of the dead-end job. He's also a 7-year recovered addict but there are times when life makes the walls close in on him just enough that he feels himself teetering on that ledge again. But he's trying to make his life better one step at a time, one accomplishment as a time. So when Qay runs into Jeremy his life is turned upside down because he's someone he knew before this current version of his life. It doesn't make him stop wanting what Jeremy offers, but Qay decides to keep his secrets.
Love Can't Conquer is a story of chances, and changes, and learning to be who you are. It's also fits the title of the book. Love can't always conquer everything, it may be the catalyst to make things better or it could be the trigger to make things worse. For someone like Qay who's faced a long term addiction it's still about taking it one day at a time and learning to let those that love you, help you even when you don't want to let them help.
Now this is still a romance and it's got it's sweet and funny moments, and it's learning to explore your partner sexy moments. It has a bit of a suspense storyline running through it in regards to Jeremy and his ex-boyfriend. I enjoyed Love Can't Conquer but it wasn't an easy, light-hearted read. This was a meaty, packed full of storyline kind of book. One that sometimes you had to put down or walk away from for a moment or two. And then you got right back into it and cheered or cried with both characters. My only missing piece on this story was the missing parts of the story for Qay after he left his home when he was a teenager and all the way up to his current spot. I think that would have added a little bit to his backstory and allowed us to get more of a full picture.
I highly recommend this book if you're looking for a deeper read, one that takes a little while to get to the heart of the story and allows you to get to know the characters.
About The Author
Kim Fielding is the bestselling, award-winning author of numerous m/m romance novels, novellas, and short stories. Like Kim herself, her work is eclectic, spanning genres such as contemporary, fantasy, paranormal, and historical. Her stories are set in alternate worlds, in 15th century Bosnia, in modern-day Oregon. Her heroes are hipster architect werewolves, housekeepers, maimed giants, and conflicted graduate students. They’re usually flawed, they often encounter terrible obstacles, but they always find love.
After having migrated back and forth across the western two-thirds of the United States, Kim calls the boring part of California home. She lives there with her husband, her two daughters, and her day job as a university professor, but escapes as often as possible via car, train, plane, or boat. This may explain why her characters often seem to be in transit as well. She dreams of traveling and writing full-time.