Thursday, June 10, 2010

Finding Zach


Title: Finding Zach
Author: Rowan Speedwell
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61581-447-3
Genre: [M/M] Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

At age fifteen, Zach Tyler, son of one of the world’s wealthiest software tycoons, was kidnapped from the airport in Costa Rica. During the years of his captivity, he’s been treated like a dog - starved and emotionally and physically abused by a sadist drug lord. It’s only by chance that he’s rescued from the Venezuelan jungle; hundreds of miles from the spot where he was abducted. After months of extensive physical and mental rehab, now twenty year-old Zach works slowly to rebuild his life…or at least tries to.

David, his childhood best friend and the person he fell in love with, has spent the intervening years filled with remorse and guilt at what happened. No man…no relationship has a chance of succeeding; the memory of his love for Zach coloring his feelings. When he discovers the boy he thought long dead is, in fact, alive, he’s overjoyed but that quickly turns to pain when Zach rejects him.

Two years later, David returns home and soon he and Zach set about mending their wounded relationship. If they can get past their painful history to build a strong present, they have a chance at future happiness but David doesn’t know everything that happened to the man he loves and discovering the truth just might destroy their fragile trust.

Finding Zach is the first book by author Rowan Speedwell that I’ve had the pleasure of reading and it won’t be my last. When I read the blurb, I was hopeful that I’d be treated to a well written and thought provoking story of rescue, redemption and hope and I’m happy to say I wasn’t disappointed, because it’s all that and more. Please be aware that the first portion of the story deals with Zach and what happened to him while in captivity is gut-wrenchingly painful and filled with angst, depressions, self loathing and hopelessness. Just hang in there—the feeling will quickly pass, making way for a tale of hope, caring and love.

I have to commend the author for picking such a tough subject and for creating a great character in the tortured and abused Zach. His struggle to get his life back is handled with realism, creativity and emotional pain. David makes a nice loving counterpoint to the scared and angst-filled Zach. There’s nothing he won’t do to make the love of his life happy. That’s true of the supporting characters—Zach’s parents Richard and Jane, and David’s mother, Anna. There are even a few old friends that help round out the plot and help to move the story forward—and the PTSD is handled lightly to keep the story from getting maudlin and depressed.

My only real complaint is the speed at which the ending and its issues are wrapped up. After spending so many pages getting to that point, it didn’t make any sense to me to handle the news reporter, MIT and David and Zach’s happily-ever-after so quickly.

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