Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Learning Curve By Kaje Harper

Synopsis From Back Cover:

Mac is afraid he'll never recover enough to go back to being a cop, while Tony is afraid he will.

Three months after being shot, Detective Jared MacLean is healing, but he's afraid it may not be enough to go back on the job.  He won't give up, though.  Being a cop is written deep in Mac's bones, and he'll do whatever it takes to carry his badge again.  Tony used to wish he could have Mac safely home, but watching his strong husband battle disabilities is farm from Tony's dream come true. When Mac is asked to consult on a case involving one of Tony's students, both men will have to face old demons and new fears to find a way to move forward together. 

All good things must come to an end, and unless Kaje Harper writes a fifth book, which I'm praying for, I have to say goodbye to Mac and Tony.  That doesn't mean that this won't be a series I continuously go back to, because I will, but I'll miss getting to see where their lives take them after what proved to be the most life affirming book of the series.

Mac is struggling to not only go back on the job after his near fatal shooting left him battling aphasia, but he is having to figure out who he is as a person, a husband, a father, and as a cop.  Before he met Tony, and formed their family, most of his identity was wrapped up in his career.  If he can't go back to it, which I'll relieve your fears here, he does, he isn't sure how to go about redefining himself.  He loves Tony and the kids, but he is his job, it's who he sees himself as.

Then you have poor Tony who someone has to come to terms with the man he loves, the husband he almost lost, going back to a job that almost killed him. I can't imagine being the spouse of a police officer.  I would be terrified every time he went to work that he wouldn't be coming back, it's not a situation I envy anyone, especially in today's climate.  I think the author does a wonderful job balancing Tony and Mac as individuals, as well as a couple.  They both need different things, in both of those roles, and it's not always easy to reconcile them.  Tony's fears, and Mac's need to be the man he sees himself have are two vastly conflicting issues, and the two of them handle them in a very affirming way.

We also get to see more of Mac's background in this book, and after meeting his siblings and dad, it's very easy to see how he became the man we met in the first book.  The fact he was able to overcome, and accept a life with Tony, after his childhood is amazing, and speaks to the inner strength he has. And when you compare his family to Tony's, it's even more apparent that Tony completes Mac in ways that I don't think another man would have been able to.

Challenges: Men In Uniform


Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Oh I'm glad you are enjoying these so much. It does sound like a great character book. I hope for your 5th book! :)

Ryan said...

I hope for it too! I did read that if she does another book, it will be in a few years, and the kids will be teenagers. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that she will.

Janine Moore said...

I love this series! The family building is delightful with Mac and Tony's romance at the core. ~J9