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Detective Aidan Calloway is rock-solid strong. He's a man of justice—loyal to his friends, family, and job—even if it requires bending a law…or two. He shields himself behind an abrasive, fearless facade, until a phone call one night chips his armor and throws his perfectly planned, hollow life into a tailspin. Jessie Vega is the epitome of optimism. His carefully crafted a Detective Aidan Calloway is rock-solid strong. He's a man of justice—loyal to his friends, family, and job—even if it requires bending a law…or two. He shields himself behind an abrasive, fearless facade, until a phone call one night chips his armor and throws his perfectly planned, hollow life into a tailspin. Jessie Vega is the epitome of optimism. His carefully crafted attitude of hope and positivity protects him from a past filled with too much pain. When a ghost from a dark time resurfaces and nearly breaks him, he must tap into his inner strength or risk losing everything he's worked so hard to build. But Jessie can't do it alone. He must fight to break through Aidan's ironclad defenses to reveal the heart of the man hiding beneath the tough surface and mend his damaged spirit. Only then can they truly heal and become strong enough to battle the demons that haunt them and threaten their chance to finally be together. ——— ***This book contains scenes and subject matter some readers may find distressing.*** Word count: 145K Although part of a series, this book can be read as a stand-alone.


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Detective Aidan Calloway is rock-solid strong. He's a man of justice—loyal to his friends, family, and job—even if it requires bending a law…or two. He shields himself behind an abrasive, fearless facade, until a phone call one night chips his armor and throws his perfectly planned, hollow life into a tailspin. Jessie Vega is the epitome of optimism. His carefully crafted a Detective Aidan Calloway is rock-solid strong. He's a man of justice—loyal to his friends, family, and job—even if it requires bending a law…or two. He shields himself behind an abrasive, fearless facade, until a phone call one night chips his armor and throws his perfectly planned, hollow life into a tailspin. Jessie Vega is the epitome of optimism. His carefully crafted attitude of hope and positivity protects him from a past filled with too much pain. When a ghost from a dark time resurfaces and nearly breaks him, he must tap into his inner strength or risk losing everything he's worked so hard to build. But Jessie can't do it alone. He must fight to break through Aidan's ironclad defenses to reveal the heart of the man hiding beneath the tough surface and mend his damaged spirit. Only then can they truly heal and become strong enough to battle the demons that haunt them and threaten their chance to finally be together. ——— ***This book contains scenes and subject matter some readers may find distressing.*** Word count: 145K Although part of a series, this book can be read as a stand-alone.

30 review for A Mended Man

  1. 4 out of 5

    ~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~

    This series is about wounded, imperfect men who find their HEA through struggle and sacrifice. The road to happily ever after is stained with blood, sweat, and tears. But there's love. There’s always love. What I appreciate about Jaime Reese’s books is that past trauma is never easily or magically fixed. It takes hard work and determination. A Mended Man is not an easy read. It’s broody and sad. It begins and ends with a brutal attack, and deals with issues of abandonment, rape, and PTSD. Conte This series is about wounded, imperfect men who find their HEA through struggle and sacrifice. The road to happily ever after is stained with blood, sweat, and tears. But there's love. There’s always love. What I appreciate about Jaime Reese’s books is that past trauma is never easily or magically fixed. It takes hard work and determination. A Mended Man is not an easy read. It’s broody and sad. It begins and ends with a brutal attack, and deals with issues of abandonment, rape, and PTSD. Content warning: (view spoiler)[Contains flashbacks to scenes of torture and violence, including sexual assault and child abuse. There are also several scenes of graphic violence that take place during the course of the story. (hide spoiler)] A monster from Jessie’s past returns to haunt him. Aidan is forced to stay off Jessie’s assault case, which drives him mad. Both MCs hide deep scars, but Jessie is willing to talk about his. Aidan loves Jessie with all his heart, but his demons are cunning and brutal. All Jessie can do is make sure Aidan knows that his love isn’t conditional. Even though several crime cases are woven into the story (the attack on Jessie; the “butterfly killer”; and Cam’s connection to a drug ring), this book is very much relationship focused. Despite Aidan putting up brick walls, he and Jessie never waver, never quit. They offer each other comfort and hope. Aidan says so much without ever saying a word. Their relationship is based on a strong foundation of trust and friendship. Jessie just wants more; he wants an “us." The steam level in the story is fairly low. At 80 percent, the men finally move beyond touching and kissing. The painfully long slow burn is understandable considering Aidan’s past, but once Aidan confronted his fear of intimacy, I wanted more of the men together. And, hell, was I frustrated waiting on Aidan and watching him push Jessie away time and again. I love that Cole, who’s still living a blissful fairy tale with his My-Ty, has a fairly big role in this story. Truly, Cole is one of a kind, and he always makes me smile. We even see Cam and his boy toy, err ... Hunter again. Aidan’s detective buddies, including his partner Sunny and the inscrutable, silent Wall, are great characters. I liked all the banter and teasing. I enjoyed this book slightly less than the others in the series, because at time the dark really overshadowed the joy, and the lack of sexy times and frequent time jumps made me feel less connected to the characters. The last chapter certainly forced a resolution, but it felt overly dramatic and rushed. Even so, this is a well-written, intense story with a gorgeous epilogue. P.S. COVER LUST! The guy on the cover is a perfect Aidan, down to the sexy tat. P.S.S. A Mended Man is not a standalone book. This series should be read in order.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Denise H.

    *** Deep topics, an important book, so relevant ! *** I've loved every story in this series ! *** This time it's big, tall, Aiden the cop, ( on the book cover) who has met the Halfway House men through various encounters. He's been to war, had trauma, been tortured, and is a tough, hard, closed off man, until his old friend, Jessie, needs help, having been kidnapped & held, and this time, he fought back. Jessie Aiden responds immediately, turns off work, and life and concentrates on Jessie's hea *** Deep topics, an important book, so relevant ! *** I've loved every story in this series ! *** This time it's big, tall, Aiden the cop, ( on the book cover) who has met the Halfway House men through various encounters. He's been to war, had trauma, been tortured, and is a tough, hard, closed off man, until his old friend, Jessie, needs help, having been kidnapped & held, and this time, he fought back. Jessie Aiden responds immediately, turns off work, and life and concentrates on Jessie's healing. Jessie is smaller, gentler, and has been in love with Aiden. Aiden has wanted Jessie, but has held back because of his tortured soul, and isn't ready to make a move. Aiden tends to Jessie; he is devoted, tender, and sweet. Aiden and his Guardian Angel tattoo are perfection. after all, everyone has a Guardian Angel... When Jessie is falsely evicted Aiden steps up. Working and living together is great for these two. Finally an intense nightmare from Aiden's past wartime, brings them closer. I like that the therapy is used and helpful, not just the physical therapy for Jessie, post attack, but both for mental issues that cripple Aiden from PTSD, torture, etc. Both men understand what the other went through, deep bonding. The evil bastard that hurt Jessie is searched for, and turns up later. Deep thought-filled characters, a wonderful cast of people, a truly riveting story in ALL ways. Jaime Reese gives us magnificent emotions, erotic M/M sex, and superb relationships. These men are uninhibited, accepting, loving, complicated, genuine, and heartwarming. This series has flawed men who find redemption, caring, and fulfillment. Glorious full-bodied storytelling with faith, passion, understanding, patience and dedication, makes these tales worthwhile. The books can stand alone, but I've enjoyed all of their journeys. Recommended Highly ! ENJOY !!! ============================= The cover is a perfect Aiden ! There is violence, and described wartime/kidnapped tortures. ============================

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jewel

    4.5 Stars First, I just want to say -- isn't that cover just delicious? Yum yum yum. I got to be one of the few people to actually lay eyes on that cover last year at GRL, and I actually drooled a bit. The cover still has that effect on me, actually. He makes the perfect Aidan, too. Delicious. Of all the covers in this series, this one is my favorite, hands down! Why did it take me six months to read it? I don't even know. A Mended Man is not an easy read. Of all of the MC's in this series, I thin 4.5 Stars First, I just want to say -- isn't that cover just delicious? Yum yum yum. I got to be one of the few people to actually lay eyes on that cover last year at GRL, and I actually drooled a bit. The cover still has that effect on me, actually. He makes the perfect Aidan, too. Delicious. Of all the covers in this series, this one is my favorite, hands down! Why did it take me six months to read it? I don't even know. A Mended Man is not an easy read. Of all of the MC's in this series, I think that Aidan and Jessie have the most to overcome. All of the men in this series feel real, with real problems and real histories that affect their present. No one gets off easy and no one magically moves past their pasts. It takes hard work and determination for them to get to a place where they are whole and happy and can be with another person. And I love that the stories have that extra bit of realism to them. A Mended Man has it all -- tortured heroes, a super slow burn of a romance, MC's I can't help but root for, a cast of characters I love, and a gorgeous happy ending. It does take a while to get there, though, and nothing is ever easy. You should also be aware that there are violent scenes involving the MC's. In fact, the book starts with a very violent attack on one of the MC's, so if you have triggers that involve things like that, approach with caution. My only complaint about this book, actually, is that it felt a bit long in spots, so I think a bit could have been edited out without compromising the story. Overall, though, I loved it. This whole series is fantastic, and though you can read this one as a standalone, I would encourage you to read them all. Not only are there character crossovers from the previous books, but they are all fantastic reads. I can't wait for the next book!

  4. 4 out of 5

    * A Reader Obsessed *

    This series just keeps getting better and better. Who doesn't love a damaged hero afraid to open his heart but unable to resist when it comes to the one he loves - one who also has his own terrible past to confront?? Aiden - a man with walls and defenses so impenetrable, he's pretty much closed himself off to anything beyond the superficial. He's overwhelmed by grief and guilt, and despite the fact that he can't physically will himself to engage more with Jessie, he truly thinks he doesn't deserv This series just keeps getting better and better. Who doesn't love a damaged hero afraid to open his heart but unable to resist when it comes to the one he loves - one who also has his own terrible past to confront?? Aiden - a man with walls and defenses so impenetrable, he's pretty much closed himself off to anything beyond the superficial. He's overwhelmed by grief and guilt, and despite the fact that he can't physically will himself to engage more with Jessie, he truly thinks he doesn't deserve him. His only small comfort is hanging onto to their friendship. Jessie - also a survivor of utmost proportions, is willing to take whatever Aiden can give, and knows there's so much more to the guarded man. He's seen that rare glimpse of light and life from Aiden, and he's willing to wait forever for him to come around. As a warning, this has epic slow burn in the relationship progression, but take comfort that the romance is ever present and its strength and intensity is felt early on. Of course, nothing is easy and these two (mainly Aiden) have a ton to work through before they can truly be happy together. So yes, most likely you'll probably bang your head against the wall, pull out a few hairs, and groan in frustration, but I'll tell you this - it's worth it. To reiterate, this is a step by step, detailed look at both these men's recovery and how they slowly overcome their fears, demons, and issues. Thus, patience will be needed. Lots of patience. Definitely the most angsty of the bunch, I appreciated that this was grounded more in realism and plausibility, never shirking on the feels, UST, or smex. Reassuringly there's hints of more to come in this series, and there is no doubt that I'll be at the front of the line ready to read whatever comes next!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Bev

    I liked the beginning, Aidan was a superstar when Jess needed him, and I liked the ending but unfortunately the middle dragged on way too much for me. I was also irritated with pivotal plot points happening off page yet drowning in waffle overload when really, cutting out a good chunk from the middle of the book would've made for a more captivating read. The story was there, and it was a good one but bloody hell, it took some work weeding it out. Loved Jessie, Aidan worked my last nerve for most I liked the beginning, Aidan was a superstar when Jess needed him, and I liked the ending but unfortunately the middle dragged on way too much for me. I was also irritated with pivotal plot points happening off page yet drowning in waffle overload when really, cutting out a good chunk from the middle of the book would've made for a more captivating read. The story was there, and it was a good one but bloody hell, it took some work weeding it out. Loved Jessie, Aidan worked my last nerve for most of the book. 😞

  6. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

    This is book number four in this series and I have enjoyed reading ever single one of them !! This time it's Jessie and Aiden's turn...and I've been waiting for their story anxiously :) Jessie used to be Hunter's assistent (book 2) and grouchy detective Aiden is Hunters best friend as well as Ty's brother (book 3). These two have been sniffeling around each other for ages, so the time has finally come for them to get together.  The hardest part for me to read in this book, was the reason why, they This is book number four in this series and I have enjoyed reading ever single one of them !! This time it's Jessie and Aiden's turn...and I've been waiting for their story anxiously :) Jessie used to be Hunter's assistent (book 2) and grouchy detective Aiden is Hunters best friend as well as Ty's brother (book 3). These two have been sniffeling around each other for ages, so the time has finally come for them to get together.  The hardest part for me to read in this book, was the reason why, they finally do come together. There is a major tragedy that happens,   and I was bawling my poor little eyes out, within the first couple of pages !!  Jessie was such a strong and sweet character, my heart broke for him on more than one occasion, but he really earned my respect with his strenght and possitivity !! Aiden was a harder nut to crack. He was Jessie's rock, but he has his own demons to fight and Aidens demons won't give up so easily. Even though Aiden is "Mr. tough detective guy", Jessie was the real hero in this book for me. He never gave up on Aiden and his love for the man was admirable !!  I really enjoyed this book, but I have to agree with my friend Susan on this one. I think Jessie's tragedy and suffering was a bit brushed over. It seemed like he got the short end of the stick on this one. Everything is mostly about Aiden and his struggles. What happend to him was awful, but I just didn't understand, why he wouldn't talk to Jessie. Jessie bared his freaking soul to him and I just wanted Aiden to wake up and do the same !! I enjoyed reading this one, but I would have loved to read more about Jessie and what he was going through. Now this book deals with some heavy topics, such as (sexual) abuse, torture and violence, but it also has a lot of love and fun times. I loved Jessie's obsession with balls !!!! The steam level is a bit lower than in the previous one, but that is to be expected. There was still some hotness though....no worries ;) I will leave my review with an Aidenism :) Let's hope there will be many more books in this series !! This review is posted on Wendy's Wycked Words

  7. 5 out of 5

    Elsbeth

    BR with the Dutch Girls. (Susan, Wendy and Karlijn) *4,5 stars* Boy, did these men had to work hard for their HEA. This is the fourth book of the series The Men of Halfway House. I wanted so to read Aidan and Jessie’s story!!! Aidan was Hunter’s (Cam’s boy-toy) best friend. We already knew he was a very troubled man. He meets Jessie as Hunter’s assistant and immediately he finds that Jessie gives him peace and keeps him grounded. But because of his past he’s afraid to commit, to even dream of havin BR with the Dutch Girls. (Susan, Wendy and Karlijn) *4,5 stars* Boy, did these men had to work hard for their HEA. This is the fourth book of the series The Men of Halfway House. I wanted so to read Aidan and Jessie’s story!!! Aidan was Hunter’s (Cam’s boy-toy) best friend. We already knew he was a very troubled man. He meets Jessie as Hunter’s assistant and immediately he finds that Jessie gives him peace and keeps him grounded. But because of his past he’s afraid to commit, to even dream of having an intimate relationship! Jessie has his own skeletons. I admired Jessie so much for his strength, his refusal to let what had happened to him define his future!! It took a lot of patience and understanding to have Aidan let his guards down. He needed to learn to talk and make baby steps to letting himself be loved. "I've waited almost two years for that." "I've waited a lifetime." I really enjoyed this book. I loved to see Aidan making these baby steps. Sometimes they were even Olympic-sized leaps. It was stunning to see this big, important man relying on this smaller man Jessie! "How do you do that? How do you manage to make me feel as if I can get through anything? It's you, Jess. That's all you. You're the one who's taught me anything is possible." I didn’t feel at all that Jessie’s problems were brushed off!! He obviously had a lot of counseling and he’s just one of those people that always look at the bright sight of life. Jessie was just what Aidan needed and vice versa. Sometimes it’s the ones we don’t expect that are the strong ones!! I wonder if there will be more books of this series. Cause I sure can read more of Matt and Julian, Cam and Hunter, Cole and Ty and obviously Jessie and Aidan!!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Dia

    3,5 stars This book was different than the previous ones. As much as I loved Aidan and Jessie, this book was hard to read. It's painfully slow. Not only the romance but also the action. I felt like the same things were playing on repeat. Aidan's determination to stay back, Jessie's determination to get closer to Aidan. The beginning was pretty good. Unexpected scenes. But after a while I craved action. The first half was really slow and if it wasn't for my determination to finish it I think I wou 3,5 stars This book was different than the previous ones. As much as I loved Aidan and Jessie, this book was hard to read. It's painfully slow. Not only the romance but also the action. I felt like the same things were playing on repeat. Aidan's determination to stay back, Jessie's determination to get closer to Aidan. The beginning was pretty good. Unexpected scenes. But after a while I craved action. The first half was really slow and if it wasn't for my determination to finish it I think I would have abandoned it. I get it, both main characters had horrible pasts but Aidan's stubbornness was tiring. I would have wanted him to open up faster. For me as a reader it was hard to see how he chose to suffer all by himself. All the time. Even after Jessie moved in and already opened up to him. We get some action in the end, but not enough to balance everything else that didn't work for me.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Catherine

    While I love this series, this book didn't engage me as much as the previous books had. First off, the good stuff: This book was absolutely brimming with mental and emotional intimacy - steps forward and backwards, things said and left unsaid - and that part was beautiful. I loved how real the characters' struggles to tear down their walls and let someone else in felt. I loved that sometimes they didn't succeed. I loved how obviously each character tried to help their partner tear down their wal While I love this series, this book didn't engage me as much as the previous books had. First off, the good stuff: This book was absolutely brimming with mental and emotional intimacy - steps forward and backwards, things said and left unsaid - and that part was beautiful. I loved how real the characters' struggles to tear down their walls and let someone else in felt. I loved that sometimes they didn't succeed. I loved how obviously each character tried to help their partner tear down their walls, and didn't give up when their efforts didn't yield immediate results. I'd be glossing over the truth, however, if I didn't point out that it took a long ass time time to get to the physical intimacy between Jessie and Aiden. I mean, I get it, not everyone jumps into the sack at the first opportunity. I actually prefer when characters let their heart and their head rule their hormones. But, in this case, I found it frustrating to watch two characters, so obviously in love and committed to one another, hold back. Before you start accusing me of being a horny bunny, let me explain. I wasn't frustrated by the lack of sex because I just couldn't wait to get to the salacious mattress thumping, I was frustrated because Aiden's reluctance to move them in that direction made no sense to me given their emotional attachment. So the more I read, the more frustrated I became. When we were finally let in on exactly why Aiden had been so reluctant to have sex with Jessie, his reasons were completely understandable. You'd have to be a MONSTER not to be sympathetic to where he was coming from. But, I couldn't let go of my frustration because the way that the story was told (from both characters' perspectives), I felt as if the reader should have been let in on the why of Aiden's decisions looooong before we were. I mean, when you're angry or frustrated or sad about something in real life, how often do you angst about it vaguely?! Um, never. If you're anything like me, you fixate on the thing that is causing you distress - and you do it in excruciating detail. For instance, you're not just upset with your friend, you're hurt that she said 'x' and then 'y' and then looked at you with that expression that clearly said 'z' without her having to say a single word. You feel me? So my frustration was with the author's storytelling choices, not the characters, but it didn't really seem to matter at that point; there was a distance between myself and the characters and it wasn't going away.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    2.5 stars This is a hard book to review. This is one of those books where my expectations went one way and the story took me another way. Don’t get me wrong, I still liked it, but I think this is my least favorite of the series. While I was expecting it to become my favorite.. Yes, this book had hurt/comfort to the max, but I felt it was a bit much having first concentrated on Jessie being hurt and then Aidan who had to overcome the trauma of his past. I felt as if Jessie healed too easily. I don’t 2.5 stars This is a hard book to review. This is one of those books where my expectations went one way and the story took me another way. Don’t get me wrong, I still liked it, but I think this is my least favorite of the series. While I was expecting it to become my favorite.. Yes, this book had hurt/comfort to the max, but I felt it was a bit much having first concentrated on Jessie being hurt and then Aidan who had to overcome the trauma of his past. I felt as if Jessie healed too easily. I don’t mean physically, but mentally. And I would have been okay with it, but Aidan took up so much page time. I really wanted Jessie to get some attention too. He went through an awful thing, but I felt it was not addressed the way I would have liked. I needed more Jessie time!! Aidan was one of the most closest off, stubborn characters I have ever read about. I liked how he was there for Jessie and how protective he was of him. I really felt for Aidan and what he went through (we don’t find out what it is at first, but you can kind of guess). But somewhere halfway through I thought it would have been nice if Aidan stopped overthinking things and finally opened up to someone. And because this book is so long it started to feel repetitive to me. Both Jessie and Aidan admitted they wanted to be in a relationship with each other, so there’s not a lot of relationship angst. Their main problem is Aidan and his inability to talk, but Jessie is patient throughout the entire book. I would have kicked his ass, but okay. I liked it, but if the middle part was completely left out, I would have liked it even more.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Heather the Queen of (Smut)Books

    Dayummmm. This was long and tragic, but beautifully hopeful. I get why it was so long, why the author took so long to get to the end. Nobody with that many internal scars is healed that quickly or easily and it was good how we were there watch them heal and grow together. But it would have flowed much better if trimmed a bit. And the whole mystery ended a bit abruptly. I was glad that part wasn't what was dragged out but it felt like it was too rushed and felt pointless to the story. I'm so happ Dayummmm. This was long and tragic, but beautifully hopeful. I get why it was so long, why the author took so long to get to the end. Nobody with that many internal scars is healed that quickly or easily and it was good how we were there watch them heal and grow together. But it would have flowed much better if trimmed a bit. And the whole mystery ended a bit abruptly. I was glad that part wasn't what was dragged out but it felt like it was too rushed and felt pointless to the story. I'm so happy I finally caved and read this one. The angst wasn't too bad, it was painful but Aiden's issues were 100% understandable. No big misunderstanding or major lack of communication. Aiden is closed off about what happened to him but his love for Jess made him want to try to be better. And he does try, he really does. Excellent hurt/comfort love story. And fucking GORGEOUS cover that actually looks exactly like Aiden. I may have licked it a little ;P

  12. 4 out of 5

    Meags

    5 Stars It’s no secret that my love for this series borders on obsessive, and as such, my expectations going into this book were extremely high. I realised early on in my reading that Aidan and Jessie’s story was going to be very different from the story I had been hoping for all these years -- different, but luckily, still amazing. I guess I had been so focused on the eventuality of finally getting these two characters together romantically that I didn’t really consider how that was going to hap 5 Stars It’s no secret that my love for this series borders on obsessive, and as such, my expectations going into this book were extremely high. I realised early on in my reading that Aidan and Jessie’s story was going to be very different from the story I had been hoping for all these years -- different, but luckily, still amazing. I guess I had been so focused on the eventuality of finally getting these two characters together romantically that I didn’t really consider how that was going to happen. So even though the story vastly deviated from my initial expectations, I couldn’t be happier with the end results. This story is extremely angsty; it is definitely the angstiest story of the series to date. The feels are plentiful – good and bad – and the emotional weight of the book is aptly handled, given each characters horrific past experiences (emotionally, mentally and physically). When the story begins, Aidan and Jessie have so much weighing each of them down, which ultimately limits their ability to be a (potential) well-functioning couple, let alone well-functioning human beings, regardless of how much they want to be together in that way. The story takes the time it needs to shine a spotlight on Jessie and Aidan’s (mostly Aidan’s) inner turmoil and past traumas, providing the depth needed for me as a reader to become wholeheartedly engaged in the story and its outcome. What I really appreciate about this story is that nothing is rushed in terms of overcoming character issues or personal demons. This is great because there is nothing I hate more in my angsty reads than a magical cure that fixes all problems. I love that Aidan and Jessie take the actual time needed to work through their problems together. They don’t simply fall in love and suddenly everything is all rainbows and unicorns. Because let’s be honest, these two have been pining for (madly in love with) each other for years, so their actual coming together had to be worked for in order for it to be satisfying for the reader. It’s very rare that a book series actually gets better as it progresses; particularly one that already starts out extremely strong. Yet, Jaime Reese is a prime example of author growth. Her stories and the writing quality (although good from the get go) somehow improve in standard as she goes along. She has that special ability to make her characters and their stories feel extremely real to the reader. I can’t help but fall in love over and over again every time a new character is introduced. At this point, the men in this series are one of my favourite “book families” that I’ve ever come across. I can’t wait to see where this series goes next.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Tara♥ {MindforBooks}

    I'm conflicted. I loved Aidan and Jessie in the previous books and to be honest I did love them in this but I didn't love this book as much as the last one in this series and I just wasn't as invested as I was in previous books. Both Aidan and Jessie's journeys are heartbreaking and what they endure, is at times, difficult to read. At the start I was excited about the section titles because I thought that it would be a story of love but also one of healing wounds that aren't visible and while it I'm conflicted. I loved Aidan and Jessie in the previous books and to be honest I did love them in this but I didn't love this book as much as the last one in this series and I just wasn't as invested as I was in previous books. Both Aidan and Jessie's journeys are heartbreaking and what they endure, is at times, difficult to read. At the start I was excited about the section titles because I thought that it would be a story of love but also one of healing wounds that aren't visible and while it did do that in a way, I felt that some of that healing was a little superficial. I don't know how to describe it, but at times everything felt like it lacked depth. I'm happy they got their HEA and I'm glad I read this but I am a little disappointed. Will I read the next one? Well I suspect that the random prisoner who popped up near the end and Drayton will be next so the answer is yes. Yes I will read the next one, because regardless of the fact that this one did not deliver, I like this series and I like these men and I'm a little bit hooked.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Debra

    As much as I love this series and really liked Aidan and Jessie and their individual stories, I struggled with this book. I found it frustrating and actually walked away for a bit before picking it back up again. I appreciate where the author was going with it and that the men went through a lot individually. As much as they are perfect for each other and as attached as they were, it still took so long for Aidan to open up I felt like I was reading a lot of the same thing over and over again. I' As much as I love this series and really liked Aidan and Jessie and their individual stories, I struggled with this book. I found it frustrating and actually walked away for a bit before picking it back up again. I appreciate where the author was going with it and that the men went through a lot individually. As much as they are perfect for each other and as attached as they were, it still took so long for Aidan to open up I felt like I was reading a lot of the same thing over and over again. I'm in the minority with this one, so don't just go by my opinion as it resonated much better with so many readers.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ann

    Well, that was a journey. A long journey that covered SO many emotions. It was so well done though that I didn’t take any notice of the page count (or percentage count) as I read. I was way too engaged in the evolution of Aiden and Jessie to even pay attention. I’ve been hooked on this series since Julian and Matt in A Better Man. I read that one in 2012 and reread it again and again. Julian has always had a special spot in my heart. I love strong protective characters with tough pasts. The char Well, that was a journey. A long journey that covered SO many emotions. It was so well done though that I didn’t take any notice of the page count (or percentage count) as I read. I was way too engaged in the evolution of Aiden and Jessie to even pay attention. I’ve been hooked on this series since Julian and Matt in A Better Man. I read that one in 2012 and reread it again and again. Julian has always had a special spot in my heart. I love strong protective characters with tough pasts. The characters who take all the hurt and pain and learn what NOT to do from their early experiences. They learn from the crappy hand that life has dealt them and teach themselves to be better men. That’s Julian and now, that is Aiden. In no way is he like Julian, but he has those same core qualities that make me all swoony inside and get me hooked right from the start. Both Aiden and Jessie have been around in the series for a while and I was as anxious as everyone else for their story. There were glimpses into their lives, but for the most part they were both a mystery until now. There was a lot of story for each of these guys to get through and the author had to balance a lot of backstory while at the same time having them move forward. I really liked how the pace played out. Anything rushed would have cheapened their experiences and their hard won HEA wouldn’t have been nearly as valuable as it was. The action starts right at page 1 and doesn’t let up for quite some time. When someone from Jessie’s past comes for him and tries to break him, Aiden is there for him and I learned so much about Aiden’s heart in the first third of the book and in a really unique way. His actions in that time showed me everything about his feelings for Jessie and even though Jessie wasn’t an active player in any of the scenes, Aiden’s thoughts about him gave me a ton of insight into Jessie’s character as well. They’ve both been through their own versions of hell up until this point and had walls they’d built and coping mechanisms to deal that got them through their daily lives. They’re both getting by, but neither of them are really living. The bulk of the book is about, just like the title states, mending. Jessie has been in therapy for some time so he’s got a jump on Aiden in the coping department and thank goodness for that. He knows when to push and when to give space, and mostly he knows what to do to give Aiden peace to heal and a safe space to just be. While the book is lengthy and full of difficult emotions and experiences, there wasn’t manufactured angst between Aiden and Jessie thankfully. They had to work to be together, no doubt about that and it was not easy, but they didn’t cause any undo drama between each other just because. There was enough baggage for these guys to work through without any of that and any trepidation Aiden (well, mostly Aiden) had was born out of a desire to protect Jessie. But Jessie knew how to work Aiden and take him to a healthy place so he could process and feel loved. The way the two of them made each other feel was my favorite thing about A Mended Man. There was more than just therapeutic communication going on throughout the book. It was also a slow burn courtship that was really delicious to read. They flirted and opened up to one another in really adorable ways. They settled into daily routines that gave them the comfort and confidence to attempt actual “relationship” stuff and to just try and be a normal couple. I really think all of those little moments gave Aiden the strength and determination he needed to be able to process all of the painful memories to get on the path to mending his heart and soul. The appearance and references to the other couples from the previous books were welcome moments that made me feel warm and fuzzy. Cole is still his loud and imposing self and his little nuggets of wisdom were spot on and the pure logic of his ramblings drove Aiden crazy. Each character returned with their strongest personality points and they all fit right in at just the right times. The mystery at the end wrapped up rather quickly given the overall length of the novel, but honestly, I was all about the relationship aspect of the story and it was fine by me. The HEA Aiden and Jessie earned was a tough one and they earned every little bit of happiness they fought for. **a copy of this story was provided by the author for an honest review**

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sheri

    Quick question, you know The Men of Halfway House, right? Yes...most excellent. No…ohh? Well, I’ll wait right here while you acquaint yourself. I promise you’ll thank me. Alrighty then, I think we’re ready now. Everyone knows (and loves) Julian & Matt, Cam & Hunter and Ty & Cole and is ready for Aidan & Jessie. Do you have a favorite? I know, I know, it’s nearly impossible to choose. With the Aidan time we've had thus far, I can confidently tell you Aidan was not my favorite...or even close to t Quick question, you know The Men of Halfway House, right? Yes...most excellent. No…ohh? Well, I’ll wait right here while you acquaint yourself. I promise you’ll thank me. Alrighty then, I think we’re ready now. Everyone knows (and loves) Julian & Matt, Cam & Hunter and Ty & Cole and is ready for Aidan & Jessie. Do you have a favorite? I know, I know, it’s nearly impossible to choose. With the Aidan time we've had thus far, I can confidently tell you Aidan was not my favorite...or even close to the top. Truth be told, I’ve always been a Julian girl. But now I’m not so sure? Aidan surprised me and he's battling for the top spot of my favorite Halfway House man. What happened? Let me tell you…. Aidan has the gruff and intimidating persona perfected. He doesn’t have the withdrawn somber face that Ty use to wear but the ‘tread with caution before speaking to’ face. He doesn’t smile, he doesn’t laugh, and he doesn’t allow happiness to touch him. He's a cop, he's a veteran but its clear something tragic has changed him. He was forced to put up a fortress around his heart and soul to survive and now that he’s safe again, he has no idea how to begin to dismantle it. He’s coveted Jessie from afar and would do ANYthing to be his, but he accepts that he is broken, damaged beyond all repair and Jessie doesn’t deserve to be tainted by his demons. However, he is unaware that Jessie has his own demons and when they return from the shadows of his past, Aidan is devastated that he couldn’t protect Jessie. Aidan Calloway does not fail. He can’t. But in his mind he fails Jessie again and again. It would be best for Jess if he kept him out of his fortress. Jessie doesn’t agree and won’t rest until he finds the key…the key to the hidden heart. Will he find it? *crosses fingers & toes* What's to like: Aidan is a very guarded man. He demonstrates great control with every cautious step. This most definitely applies to his personal life. He’s a relationship virgin. Completely clueless when it comes to dating and building a life with another. And to be honest, he’s adorable when he fumbles with his uncertainties. Once we add in both of their painful pasts, its fitting that their fire starts with smoldering embers. This is important information. Please don’t expect a fast & furious naked frenzy. The physical desires are there but take the back seat to their emotional needs. They almost do some things backwards but when it comes to the end, they nail it perfectly. What's to love: Reese has a gift when it comes to second chance stories. She is also an expert when it comes to ultra intense men. Put the two together and power things happen. I love her meticulous writing and her complex men with pure love. Jessie is strong, optimistic and has the patience of a saint. He is Aidan’s salvation. Aidan has never wanted anything as badly as he wants Jessie. He has to conquer his demons before he can open his heart and though it proves to be impossible at times, he never gives up. I LOVED having the guys from the first three books return. Cole pops up more often than the others but they all make an appearance or two at some point. I’m sure Aidan is a grumbly bear about the cover but, *wipes drool* I can’t stop staring. Beware of: A long-distance love affair. Aidan’s story was like a marathon; I was utterly exhausted but it was extremely rewarding. Traumatic pasts are relived and a vicious attack at the opening could be a severe trigger for some. As we know, Aidan is a homicide detective and his job plays an important role from start to finish. It is not easy but it is…so worth it. And more! Another couple? Oooo! I know who’s next and let the countdown begin again. This book is for: I’m afraid this book is not for everyone. I wish I could say it is but I believe it is going to strike the bullseye’s with a target audience. It’s slow, painful and tragically beautiful. It is rich with emotions. It is filled with brutal storms but when the sun comes out, its breathtaking. It’s true it can be a stand-alone but I urge you to start at the beginning. It grows and gathers strength with each amazing couple. If you are just beginning this unforgettable series (yay!), give Julian my love would you please? Book UNfunk

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ele

    DNF @ 43% Dissenting opinion here, but I finally give up. I got the book a few months back and have been trying to finish it since. It doesn't hold my interest at all, and it's been a few pages here and a few pages there. It's too freaking long and slow (glacial pace), and in need of tightening up. I tried because I liked the rest of the series, but can't do no more. DNF @ 43% Dissenting opinion here, but I finally give up. I got the book a few months back and have been trying to finish it since. It doesn't hold my interest at all, and it's been a few pages here and a few pages there. It's too freaking long and slow (glacial pace), and in need of tightening up. I tried because I liked the rest of the series, but can't do no more.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Bev

    4.5 stars from me. ***edit June 2020. Yes, a re-read in advance of A Sweet Man coming out later this month. This one isn't my fave of the series by any means, mainly cause it's so difficult to read about people being tortured and suffering from the mental consequences BUT it's very well-written. Team Calloway certainly racked up a shedload of credit with his loving behaviour towards Jessie. 😍😍😍*** There are triggers which could make some readers uncomfortable with this read, so just be forewa 4.5 stars from me. ***edit June 2020. Yes, a re-read in advance of A Sweet Man coming out later this month. This one isn't my fave of the series by any means, mainly cause it's so difficult to read about people being tortured and suffering from the mental consequences BUT it's very well-written. Team Calloway certainly racked up a shedload of credit with his loving behaviour towards Jessie. 😍😍😍*** There are triggers which could make some readers uncomfortable with this read, so just be forewarned, but I've been waiting a long time for Aidan and especially Jessie to get their HEA, so there was absolutely no f*****g way I wasn't going to read it....after all, the author is as good at writing stories as she is designing wonderful covers for other authors. Yes folks, Jaime Reese/Reese Dante is one extremely talented lady!! As is usual with Jaime's stories, there is little or no sex and very few F-bombs, but plenty to love in the characterisation, actual storyline [which was dark and quite disturbing mostly it has to be said, so very unusual for a Jamie Reese story]...ooh, and let's not forget the unresolved ST between Aidan and Jessie, which I would imagine lead to serious cases of 'blue balls' or nuts in Jessie's case, hehe. We had visits from all of the leading men of the series so far, and some newbies who made up the task force that Aidan was involved in, and Jessie also got roped into towards the end, but without a doubt, it was the love between the two main characters that made the book for me. Yes, it took Aidan a helluva long time to actually say those three little words to Jessie, but all through the story, it was implied and understood with his actions if not words, and both of them had suffered from horrendous past traumas that actually made Jessie want to say 'I love you' to Aidan all the time, while Aidan had awful PTSD after his service in the army and his capture by terrorists, and finally agreed to see someone to help him. I would just add that this is not the end of the series if the author is to be believed, and from my own personal POV, I would like something done about Jessie's sperm donor of a 'father'...maybe Jessie could 'take him out' whilst practising his shooting for example?? Many thanks Jaime, another winner.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Johann Shah

    I gave up on this series. As much as I like hurt/comfort trope, when one of the main characters keeps rumbling I'm not good enough for you blah blah blah bullshit, it's time to put it to bloody death. Story: 2/5 Main Characters: 2/5 I gave up on this series. As much as I like hurt/comfort trope, when one of the main characters keeps rumbling I'm not good enough for you blah blah blah bullshit, it's time to put it to bloody death. Story: 2/5 Main Characters: 2/5

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jaime

    5 Stars A Mended Man is book four in Jaime Reese's Men of Halfway House Series and is a book I have been unpatiently waiting for now for just over a year. So when I saw an ARC come around you can be assured I greedily raised my hand and gobbled this bad boy up! Let me tell you, the wait. Worth it. I am not going to sugar coat it however there are things in this book that might be too much for some, the things that our MC's go through are horrific. So be ready for an emotional ride and also be re 5 Stars A Mended Man is book four in Jaime Reese's Men of Halfway House Series and is a book I have been unpatiently waiting for now for just over a year. So when I saw an ARC come around you can be assured I greedily raised my hand and gobbled this bad boy up! Let me tell you, the wait. Worth it. I am not going to sugar coat it however there are things in this book that might be too much for some, the things that our MC's go through are horrific. So be ready for an emotional ride and also be ready for a long story that is full of actual story -- not just page fillers for the sake of having a long book. Each word in this book, in my opinion, is critical to the story. So, we first met our MC in book 2 of the series and then we saw them again in book 3. Now it's finally their time to shine and I have to say I repeatedly wanted to climb into the story and give both Aiden and Jessie a huge hug!! This is such an emotional story and it is so hard to see two men who are strong and independent be so broken and vulnerable. Jaime Reese stripped these guys down to their souls and then slowly they each were put back together again, and were a little stronger, because they had each other. "I'm not ashamed of us. I just don't want anyone telling me it's wrong because I know it's not." He leaned over and brushed his lips against Jessie's ear. "It feels too fucking perfect when I'm with you." This story is not only an emotional roller coaster but it is full of action and mystery as well. There are several different stories all coming to a proverbial head in this book, and the outcome is excellent. We get to catch up with characters from previous Men of Halfway House books however, if you wanted to you could probably read this story as a standalone. I would recommend you start at the beginning but that's just me and my love for the entire series! "...every second of every day, with every breath and heartbeat, I love you." I highly recommend this 5 Star book and the entire series - perfection! Entire a Review will be posted on Alpha Book Club ❥❥**´¨) ¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*¨) (¸.•´ (¸.•`*ARC provided by Author in exchange for an honest review. Reviewed by Jaime from Alpha Book Club

  21. 4 out of 5

    Bo

    All the stars! Aiden is my favorite character in this amazing series. He's a grump with asshole tendencies, but he's always sweet to HIS Jessie. TBH, there were times in the other books, I didn't like him very much.  However, when his heartbreaking past is revealed, we get to see why. He's very closed off and emotionally vacant most of the time. When he opens up...It's like seeing a rainbow for the first time. Jessie is his light and beacon of hope in his dark existence. "I know I don't say it, bu All the stars! Aiden is my favorite character in this amazing series. He's a grump with asshole tendencies, but he's always sweet to HIS Jessie. TBH, there were times in the other books, I didn't like him very much.  However, when his heartbreaking past is revealed, we get to see why. He's very closed off and emotionally vacant most of the time. When he opens up...It's like seeing a rainbow for the first time. Jessie is his light and beacon of hope in his dark existence. "I know I don't say it, but I need you to know that you're not just important to me but essential. I don't walk around telling the air I appreciate it and need it to breathe. I just do." So imagine a guy who's an asshole to everyone, but says things like that to only you. Holy Shit! Jessie is usually shy and reserved. He's had a traumatic childhood. He's a survivor, and so strong. He doesn't cower, and he believes in fighting for the future. He decides no matter the baggage, Aiden is worth any fight. He's sweet AND strong. I loved him too. I'm really ashamed I haven't reviewed this in the past because I've read it so many times. However, I never felt I could find the words to describe how magical this read is for me. It's probably because I'm emotionally drained from reading it. It makes me smile and cry often. Anyone who is a fan of second chances, and moving on from the past needs to read this series.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    What a stunning book - this was like reading the slow build of a tsunami ! Aiden & Jesse both suffered torture, pain and nightmares that they carried through much of their lives. It kept them closed off to others and struggling to build trust or form relationships. When the beast resurfaces and almost kills Jesse, Aiden is faced with his deepest fears - how to move forward and love & protect Jesse without letting him in. Jesse is relentless in easing Aiden from his past and bringing him into the What a stunning book - this was like reading the slow build of a tsunami ! Aiden & Jesse both suffered torture, pain and nightmares that they carried through much of their lives. It kept them closed off to others and struggling to build trust or form relationships. When the beast resurfaces and almost kills Jesse, Aiden is faced with his deepest fears - how to move forward and love & protect Jesse without letting him in. Jesse is relentless in easing Aiden from his past and bringing him into the now by constantly reminding him that he is safe and loved. Both of these men come to realize they have a superb network and learn to accept and let them in. This was painful, beautiful and compelling ❤️ loved it

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ay

    ANGST! Self Loathing! Grinding of jaws! Bad Things Happening! Pain! Hospitals! Suffering! More Self Loathing! Person an absolute mental mess with no one noticing! Who Suffers! A Lot! As does the other guy! For Different Reasons! And it went on and on an on...until I had no sympathy for anybody. I couldn't stand it quite frankly. I even lost interest in the crime stuff which usually keeps me reading when I lose interest in the characters. Reading this was extremely unpleasant. ANGST! Self Loathing! Grinding of jaws! Bad Things Happening! Pain! Hospitals! Suffering! More Self Loathing! Person an absolute mental mess with no one noticing! Who Suffers! A Lot! As does the other guy! For Different Reasons! And it went on and on an on...until I had no sympathy for anybody. I couldn't stand it quite frankly. I even lost interest in the crime stuff which usually keeps me reading when I lose interest in the characters. Reading this was extremely unpleasant.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Tamika♥RBF MOOD♥

    3 stars. I swear if I didn't have to read this for a challenge, I would have DNF @40%. It was extremely too damn long. 3 stars. I swear if I didn't have to read this for a challenge, I would have DNF @40%. It was extremely too damn long.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    I love this series and was so excited when I got my hands on the next book in Jaime’s The Men of Halfway House series. As always the wait was worth it and Jaime delivers yet another stunning but very different book. You never know what you’re going to get with Jaime and this one couldn’t be more different in style to the third book if it tried. In the former book A Restored Man we were introduced to Ty and Cole, Cole your cheeky guy with a quip and superhero undies. I loved this combination as T I love this series and was so excited when I got my hands on the next book in Jaime’s The Men of Halfway House series. As always the wait was worth it and Jaime delivers yet another stunning but very different book. You never know what you’re going to get with Jaime and this one couldn’t be more different in style to the third book if it tried. In the former book A Restored Man we were introduced to Ty and Cole, Cole your cheeky guy with a quip and superhero undies. I loved this combination as Ty being broody, Cole gave the book a light side to it. Both mirror opposites but complementary at the same time. A Mended Man is a stark contrast to the previous one, it’s dark and brooding, serious and austere in its nature which fits the two MCs perfectly. This is Aidan’s and Jessie’s story. We met Jessie, Hunter’s assistant, in book two and even then Macky and I got a strong vibe about this character when we wrote our review for A Hunted Man, so delighted we get his story now, it’s been a long wait. As for Aidan? Well we met him in book three A Restored Man, Aidan is the cop and Ty’s older brother. Both these characters have a shit load of baggage in their pasts and here we find out what the real deal is with these two, and oh my you couldn’t get two more broken guys, or two guys that have experienced the most horrendous things in their lives. The title of the book is therefore very apt A Mended Men as these two needed a whole shed load of mending or healing before they get their HEA. The first chapter knocked me off my sofa! We’re thrown right into the action and the thick of things with a brutal attack on Jessie. For those of a nervous disposition who only like fluffy bunny, rainbow and unicorn reads then the start of this book is going to shatter your world. It’s brutal! This sets the whole story of what is to follow in the rest of book. Both these men have pasts that they are trying to put behind them. Jessie has almost made it but the event in the first chapter throws him completely off kilter and we see that all this confidence he exuded in the second book is only covering up a horrible and very upsetting history, namely as a teenager during his formative years. Aidan is called in and although his love is apparent he couldn’t be more emotionally stunted due to his experiences if he tried. But once we learn what Aidan experienced while being a Marine, coping with flashbacks and PTSD then it’s a wonder he is as sane as he is. Could these two even consider having a relationship after all that they have been through? Can two broken men make a whole? Well, bit-by-bit Jessie comes back to his confident self, he has already worked through his past before meeting Aidan even though it still hurts. But he has to unlock what keeps Aidan from forming any kind of attachment. This is a slow, slow, slow burn romance. These two guys really have a lot of stuff to work through before they can even make a go of it. Aidan may seem impossible at times but when we eventually get to hear Aidan’s story then my heart broke for him. How can anyone experience what he had and still have his shit together? Well, that’s the problem. On the outside he is all Mr Protector, strong and confident but on the inside he has locked his true feelings away so far in the closet that he really doesn’t know who he truly is anymore, but it needs to come out in order for him to move on. Jessie gives him the strength, love and support to do this but it’s not without its emotional pain for Aidan. Locking things away emotionally is no good for anyone. Aidan has been put on a task force working violent crimes but is not allowed to get involved in Jessie’s case because he’s personally too involved, obviously. This annoys him but has to accept the decision of his superiors. Again crime / mystery aspect moves slowly too and it seems that the team are making no progress whatsoever with Jessie’s case. I was about to give up on whether there would ever be a form of resolution. The more I read the colder the case kept getting for Jessie’s attacker. But the focus is on the developing relationship between Jessie and Aidan, so it was OK to be patient and right at the very end we get an explosive finish where once again Aidan is tested and needs to be Jessie’s guardian angel. This book is a mammoth read (took me ten hours) but every bit of it thoroughly enjoyable thanks to Jaime’s wonderful writing style. You could feel the emotional connection that these two guys have, how gentle, patient and understanding they are with each other. It didn’t feel like ten hours at all as I was so invested in Jessie’s and Aidan’s story. Once again the characters from the former books all make a cameo appearance and of course the minute Cole comes on stage and starts to wind Aidan up it’s hilarious. Cole always provides a few lighter moments of fresh air which breaks up the sombre and ruminating mood of this book. I LOVE COLE!! He is seriously one of my favourite characters. This book can also be read as a standalone with no problem but to get the full benefit and picture then it’s always advisable to start from the beginning. If you’ve already started this series then I’m sure like myself you’re hooked and can’t wait to start on this latest addition. If you haven’t started the series then you had better amend that mistake very quickly. I know I’ll now be waiting for the next book and hoping there will be one. Whose story will we have in the next book? Well, this time to be honest I have no clue. I’m just going to have to be patient, which is difficult – lol! And snap up the next book as fast as I can! Jaime? Are you hearing me?

  26. 5 out of 5

    Beth doesn't write enough reviews

    It’s going to take me a bit but I will write a review. There should be a worldwide discussion about themes in this book and I will soapbox the fuck out of it.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Shelby P

    This was my least favorite book in the series. The best part of the book was Cole. This book was too long and the story dragged. I wasn't the bit interested in the police case. Jessie had the patience of a saint. I would have cared more about Aidan's issues if we were given a hint about what his issues were. It was like watching paint dry how their relationship progressed. This was my least favorite book in the series. The best part of the book was Cole. This book was too long and the story dragged. I wasn't the bit interested in the police case. Jessie had the patience of a saint. I would have cared more about Aidan's issues if we were given a hint about what his issues were. It was like watching paint dry how their relationship progressed.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Mrs. Reader

    I have been waiting for Aidan and Jessie's story for awhile and this did not disappoint. I didn't expect for Jessie's story to have the past that he had. I loved the progression of Aidan's character and their relationship. It was definitely a five star read for me. I have been waiting for Aidan and Jessie's story for awhile and this did not disappoint. I didn't expect for Jessie's story to have the past that he had. I loved the progression of Aidan's character and their relationship. It was definitely a five star read for me.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Teri

    Not my favorite of the series, definitely worth the read, but after Cole's book this one just didn't move quite fast enough for me. It was rough and the beginning was stellar. Still beautiful moments and it pulled on the heart strings a few times Not my favorite of the series, definitely worth the read, but after Cole's book this one just didn't move quite fast enough for me. It was rough and the beginning was stellar. Still beautiful moments and it pulled on the heart strings a few times

  30. 4 out of 5

    Serena Yates

    Each and every one of the books in the ‘Men of Halfway House’ series so far has been an outstanding novel, an excellent character study, and so intense that I usually need a few days to “recover” – in the best possible way. ‘A Mended Man’ is no exception. In fact I think it is the best one yet. I knew going in that Aidan’s story would be powerful, and the blurb is a clear and truthful indication of the level of passion and suffering that both Aidan and Jesse face before they get their happy end. Each and every one of the books in the ‘Men of Halfway House’ series so far has been an outstanding novel, an excellent character study, and so intense that I usually need a few days to “recover” – in the best possible way. ‘A Mended Man’ is no exception. In fact I think it is the best one yet. I knew going in that Aidan’s story would be powerful, and the blurb is a clear and truthful indication of the level of passion and suffering that both Aidan and Jesse face before they get their happy end. But let me tell you – reading that blurb and reading the actual story are two entirely different things. Aidan is a detective and, as far as I can see, determined to catch every last criminal on Earth – single-handedly if need be. He is strong, quiet and withdrawn, never so much as smiles, and neither a people person nor touchy-feely in the least. Aidan is very smart and understands human motivation and “theoretical psychology” well enough, but as for reading the people who are important to him? That is a different story. It is evident from the beginning that he suffers from significant trauma, and that this is the reason he has built immensely strong walls around his heart, to the point where he can’t open up even though he desperately craves intimacy with Jessie. His struggle with himself was painful to watch, and each layer that got pulled back had me quietly cheering him on. Where Aidan is an eternal pessimist, always planning for the worst possible case, Jessie is an eternal optimist. I have no idea how he does it, but it is so deeply ingrained in his personality that even years of suffering the most horrendous physical and emotional abuse were unable to change him. Yes, he has tough days as he deals with the trauma and the newest attack, but he never loses sight of the beauty of life, no matter how afraid he is. He has an inner strength that is simply inspiring. His support of Aidan is unwavering, his patience almost saint-like, and his determination to make their relationship work more substantial than Aidan’s emotional walls. Multilayered characters with complicated issues are not all Jaime Reese has given me with this book. The underlying plot is suspenseful, brings back more than one old enemy, and kept me on the edge of my seat. There is the crime ring that began to emerge in book two and ended up driving Cam and Hunter (Aidan’s best friend) into witness protection. There is Jessie’s abuser – a monster of epic proportions. There are ongoing cases Aidan is involved in as a member of the newly created special task force. All of these criminals seem to conspire to make Aidan’s and Jessie’s life even more difficult. On the other hand there are great supporting characters as well. Whether it is Aidan’s brother Ty and his son-to-be husband Cole (not Aidan’s favorite person), but they sort of get used to each other, or Aidan’s colleagues at work, they all contribute in their own ways. The quirky fellow detectives Aidan works with in the multidisciplinary task force, including the rather abrasive team leader, were wonderful additions, and I certainly hope to see more of them in future books. If you prefer your love stories to be real and gritty, if you like seeing wounded men finding, accepting, and loving each other so they can build a new life together, and if you’re looking for a captivating, intense read that is as much a crime thriller as a deeply moving love story, then you will probably love this novel as much as I did. It is truly amazing, and I hope there will be many more! Each one may render me close to speechless between the emotional exhaustion and the spine-tingling tension, but they are so, so rewarding to read that I can’t stay away – and am not even tempted to try. NOTE: This book was provided by the author for the purpose of a review on Rainbow Book Reviews.

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