"If the Stars Fall (Making of A Man)" by Diane Adams
Warm, electric tinglies to my heart
Very Highly Recommended
Alex Ross has loved Jared Douglas from almost the moment he met him. He was fifteen and Jared almost twenty, but the gap was, to him, nothing. But to Jared it was the difference between consent and abuse, and he made sure Alex was nothing more than his friend for the first year of their relationship.
Now, sixteen years later, the two are partners in all sense of the word. Happily together, living in the home Alex designed for them and happier than Jared ever thought possible, a horrible accident strikes. One that almost takes Alex from him and which rocks both men to the core.
Jump ahead nineteen more years, and it's Alex's turn to be shaken at the potential loss of the other half of his soul. Jared hospitalized and ill, and even thirty-five years of loving the man isn't enough. He is Alex's for all time, until the stars fall from the sky...
Both incidents spur introspections by these two incredible men. Will they get through the pitfalls of health scares intact? How will their lives change? Is their love strong and enduring enough?
In this sentimental, stunning little book, Diane Adams had me on the edge of what Dolly Parton calls smiles though tears (her favorite emotion) from damn near the first page. I've been reading this series since "Our December (Book One)", and have read all five books plus some other smaller stories. I thought nothing could match Clark's Story. God, was I wrong.
There is a purity grounded in real life that makes these tales of love, care and family so very accessible and memorable. Alex and Jared are soulmates, yes, but they are not without their challenges. Alex is a dreamer, apt to jumping in with both feet before he looks. Jared is so self-secure and solid, but also righteous and rigid. Together, they make their friends sick with their never-ending passion and love for one another.
But Ms. Adams doesn't stop with them being a sappy couple. No, that would be selling them, and us, so very short. Alex's mother, for years and years, won't accept her son's homosexuality, and it's like a thorn in his heart for every singe minute of those years to him. All he wants is her love, and she withholds is so very, very cruelly.
And Jared, his whole persona and identity is built on an image he's carried of his father, and how a man should be. But that base is not quite as solid as an outside observer can see; Jared was sexually abused and raped as a teen, even though he refuses to call it that. And it's made for some lonely, harsh days for him. He is a class act, though, trying to be the rock for others when his feet are on slippery ground so much of the time in his head.
But when these two found each other, they truly became more than the sum of the two. Ah, and when they looked outside the two of them and built their lives with their families, both blood and of the heart, they truly shine.
So when we get to this jewel of a book, and see the two of them struggle, we know it will be okay. They have each other, they have Clark, Stevie, their families.
And they decide to marry.
Let me tell you a little story. I love to read, and I hate to drive, so I use my Kindle speech function, with ear buds, when I drive back and forth to work and to run errands. So here I am, near the end of this damn book, struggling already to hold my emotions in because it's just so damned beautiful to read (and you should hear it, trust me) and I get the the scene where Alex and Jared exchange their vows.
I had to pull off on the side of the road. I couldn't see to drive through my tears.
And that's the whole series, to me. Seeing two men fall in love, weather life's storms and come out the other end whole and complete and better for the wear. How can that not move you? Isn't that all of our dreams?
It's not perfect, but it's darned close.
Trust me, read these giant-hearted stories back-to-back. Not many do it better than Ms. Adams.