Book Reviews

Without You by Sara York

Genre Gay / Science Fiction / Aliens / Romance / Action/Adventure
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 30-April-2013

Book Blurb

Within moments of meeting, attraction sizzled between Zander and Layton, drawing them closer than most. But when tragedy strikes, Zander's world is ripped apart, leaving him near crippled. Layton, his partner, blames himself for the accident. Falling into despair, he seeks out dangerous war zones, using his Kito Fighting Force skills to inflict destruction. Pain and agony trumps everything, sending Layton searching for solace with another, only to be caught by Zander.

Unable to hold it together, Layton lashes out, his anger building to epic proportions. Layton won't survive unless something changes. But can the warrior crawl out of his pit of self-loathing and become half the man Zander was, or will he fail at living without Zander at his side?

Book Review

This is a hard story to read; not because it is badly written, on the contrary, but because the obstacles placed in front of the two main characters are more than anyone should have to deal with. Reading about their trials was interesting, but emotionally draining for me. A light, fluffy romance this is not, instead, expect to find a love story with suffering, depth, and not a little soul searching for both men, The resulting character growth is hard-won but will give hope to anyone who has to deal with physical disfigurement and loss.

Zander is a tough Kito soldier, a part of the military that is so secret nobody even knows of its existence. Kito warriors are sent into the toughest situations all over the galaxy, and deposing dictators is as much a part of their jobs as freeing a group of hostages. Zander loves this life and cannot imagine surviving without it. Being a soldier is who he is, so when he gets seriously wounded on a mission and has to face never being able to go back to work, the world almost ends for him. But there is one thing that pulls him out, additionally to a survival drive that is off the charts, and that is his love for fellow warrior Layton.

Layton has a problem with Zander being wounded, but not because of the injury, because of the anger at himself for having put Zander in charge that day. This is what he perceives at having caused Zander's injury, and Layton blames himself. He also has more than a few other issues and makes some very stupid mistakes. And when it is his turn to be injured badly enough to end up in a coma? He decides he's going to kill himself. Luckily, Zander is there to help him see the error of his ways.

Both these guys have deep-seated issues with physical dependency, and a lack of control over their own bodies is one of the most threatening scenarios they can imagine. The journey each of them takes toward accepting their new realities is fascinating, and as different as their personalities. Even though each thinks they are unique, they do have some similarities which end up helping them deal with their partner's situation as well as their own.

If you like your stories almost bitter-sweet, intense, and dealing with the serous subject of how to adapt to totally changed circumstances, if you enjoy reading about struggles on both the physical and the emotional level, and if you're looking for a read that maybe set in the far future and outer space, yet one that touches the humanity in all of us, you will probably like this short book.




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Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novella, 127 pages/26000 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 03-October-2012
Price $0.99 ebook, $4.99 paperback
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