“Sometimes your heart needs more time to accept what your mind already knows.” ~ anonymous
When Jesse comes back from a secret mission gone bad, he's looking forward to having Dan waiting for him. He craves his love and attention and can't wait to be back in his arms. Unfortunately, Dan is not there. After years of disappointment, Dan has had enough and has left. Jesse, so stubborn, determined, and selfish simply can't believe Dan is gone and his heart is broken. He comes to realize though, as much as he hates it, he understands and tries, not too successfully, to deal with being alone. When that doesn't work, Norman comes into Jesse’s life and saves him from total despair, but his heart still aches for Dan.
Dan and Jesse were introduced in book three of the ‘Lyon Road Vet’ series, Jesse as Peter and Evan's neighbor and Dan as his partner. After promising Dan he wouldn't go on assignment again, Jesse breaks his word and goes anyway. Even though Dan told him he was serious, Jesse just didn't listen. He's taken Dan for granted so long, that he assumed Dan couldn't live without him and would always be there when he came home. When he finds out that Dan is seeing someone named Mickey, Jesse is even more depressed, yet, somewhere in his heart, he hopes that, since he couldn't give Dan what he needed, maybe Mickey can. At least that's what he tries to tell himself, but when he sees them together, it's all he can do to contain himself. Because Jesse is still friends with his neighbors, they run into each other more than Jesse can stand. At least he has his dog, Norman, to love him; he's not entirely alone. Jesse tries to tell himself it's all for the best, but he doesn't believe it. He wants Dan, but won't jeopardize Dan's possible happiness by trying to get him back. When Jesse learns that Mickey and Dan have split, he still hems and haws, not sure about what to do. He gets a lecture from Evan, who we all know is very outspoken, telling him that if he wants Dan, he'd better go get him, because he won't have another chance.
Dan is seriously conflicted. He promised himself that he would move on, but seeing Jesse again brings back overwhelming feelings of lust and longing. Mickey is a good guy, but compared to Jesse, is kind of boring. Mickey is really insecure too, not that I can blame him. He's terrified that Dan will leave him and go back to Jesse. He's nervous around Jesse and his friends, knowing that he doesn't fit in. Mickey isn't used to the normal teasing and bantering that goes on when the group is together and he's not sure who is serious or not about what they say. Dan starts having serious doubts about being with Mickey, but still doesn't trust Jesse when he says he's not leaving again. After he breaks up with Mickey, Dan decides to get away from all the confusion and go back home to his smothering, religious family, rather than stay there and be in pain.
Although there are some humorous parts and warm, fuzzy ones with the dogs especially, this is, by far, the most serious story in the series so far. Sue eloquently reminds us that it is unwise to assume anything and that we should never take anyone or anything for granted, particularly when involves the person you love. A lot of times, you don't appreciate what you have until it's gone, but by then, it may be too late to get it back. Thank you, Sue, for your important reminders and for giving Jesse and Dan their second chance.
Originally published at Rainbow Book Reviews.