Book Reviews

Hurricane Reese by R.L. Merrill at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Artists/Actors/Musicians/Authors / Romance
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 30-January-2018

Book Blurb

The life of Tony-winning musician Reese Matheson resembles a natural disaster, and caregiver Jude De La Torre is caught in the eye of the storm. But can the love of two opposites survive caring for an ornery octogenarian with wayward balls and a meddling family insistent upon tradition?


Fresh off the successful London run of his musical, the last thing Reese expects when he comes home is a house surrounded by paparazzi and his girlfriend throwing his stuff into the pool. All he wants to do is spend time with his beloved grandfather and musical mentor who suffers from Alzheimer’s. Reese knows he doesn’t have much time left before the elder Matheson forgets who he is. In classic “Hurricane Reese” form, he moves into the cottage by the sea and displaces Jude, the intriguing caregiver he hired two years before. When Grandpa proves too much for Reese to handle on his own, Jude comes to his rescue, taming Grandpa… and the Hurricane as well. Soon all Reese can think about is how to get Jude out of his scrubs and into his bed—permanently. Will Hurricane Reese destroy everything in his path, or will this odd couple learn to harmonize together?


Book Review

“Here I am. [I'm gonna] rock you like a hurricane.” ~ The Scorpions (Rock You Like a Hurricane)

Reese Matheson, of 'Hurricane Reese' by R. L. Merrill, takes a hiatus in his successful music career to spend time with his elderly grandfather and work on a musical based on his grandfather's songs. Without giving it much thought, Reese rushes in like a hurricane, announces that he's taking over his grandfather's care, and it never occurs to him that his grandfather's caregiver, Jude, has nowhere to go.

Besides being angry and hurt, Jude is worried about Grandpa. He's been with him for two years and has become attached to the spirited old man. Jude is afraid that Reese won't be able to give him the care he needs. A frantic phone call from Reese a week later confirms his suspicions; Grandpa has wandered away while Reese was in the shower. Jude is torn between wanting to tell Reese where he can stick it for acting like such an arrogant jerk, but Jude is genuinely concerned about Mr. Matheson's well-being; the nurturing part of Jude wins and he joins the search to help Reese find and bring Mr. Matheson home. This incident causes Reese to realize how ill-equipped he is to deal with his grandfather's condition, and he begs Jude to move back in and help him. Reluctantly, Jude agrees. Jude is gay but in the closet. He's attracted to Reese who he knows is pansexual, but Jude resolves to keep it under control. Even if Reese feels the same way, his very traditional, strict, Catholic family would never accept his homosexuality, much less Reese, or any other man, as his partner.

Reese is in awe of Jude's ability to manage his grandfather and still be as calm and collected as he appears to be. He's also quite taken with the man in general, particularly since Jude seems to possess so much control and maturity for a man of twenty-two. Reese does everything he can to make his lack of sensitivity and tact up to Jude, even to the point of giving Jude his bed, since there are only two bedrooms in the house. Eventually, their attraction becomes much more, but it doesn't come without complications. Jude comes out to his family and the news is not well received. When Jude's aunt invites Jude and Reese to a family dinner, they accept, but not without trepidation. Predictably, harsh words are spoken and an argument ensues that ends up with Reese leaving. Jude has more “words” with his family and is very angry and, after this incident, stops visiting or speaking to most of his family. Jude moves out of Mr. Matheson's house, although he still has to sleep in his car, and gets another job. If something doesn't change, it seems their affair is over almost before it begins.

R.L. has written a very poignant love story, fraught with many of the issues gay couples still have in this society. Even now many are torn apart when made to choose between the person they love and their families. Besides the topic of homosexuality, R.L. also brings up the important topic of Alzheimer’s, displaying it in a way that helped me understand the seriousness of this disease and the enormous amount of specialized care it takes to help someone who is afflicted. The story is given levity with the banter of Reese's grandfather with, not only Reese and Jude, but with other caregivers and nurses. It's kind of bittersweet, but shows that Mr. Matheson still has spunk and a sense of humor. Thanks, R.L., for the informative and emotional story and for giving Reese and Jude their happy ending.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 205 pages/70853 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 30-January-2018
Price $6.99 ebook, $14.99 paperback, $14.99 bundle
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