Stolen Moments by Ariel Tachna is a bittersweet, heartfelt book that at moments was a very difficult read for me. There were times as I read through the story I found myself wanting to yell my frustrations out to some of the characters, and there were times I really enjoyed what was going on with the storyline. I admit I felt an array of mixed emotions as I read this novel, which makes it a very thought-provoking story in general.
Jacob Peters is a successful teacher at an all Christian school. He lives in a small southern town, has a wife and a child that he adores. The problem with this picture perfect life is…there is something missing in Jacob’s life. Years ago, Jacob was in a hot and heavy affair with Beau Braedon, a county judge who lives in the next town over, and he can’t seem to get the man off of his mind. Since both men are closeted, especially Beau, their affair was kept a secret and when Beau suddenly got cold feet, it left Jacob heartbroken and forced to pick up the pieces of his life alone. One day, Beau suddenly calls him and the picture perfect life that Jacob has worked so hard to achieve is over. Both men miss each other terribly and soon restart their illicit affair. As the men test each other and form another emotional bond between them, they quickly realize that if they are going to be together they are a much stronger force together than they are apart.
I’m really on the fence when it comes to rating this book. On one hand, I liked it. It’s got a darker, realistic feel to it and watching the characters’ struggle throughout the story wasn’t an easy thing to read. On the other hand, there were times I didn’t like one of the heroes, Beau, at all. I wanted Jacob to just tell him go and get out of his life for good. But in the end, Beau does step up to the plate and he ended up being a character I did like and did think was good for Jacob.
I would like to say that this book will not be for everyone. Its dark and angsty at times and there is some cheating involved, which I know some readers will not enjoy. For those who are looking for a darker and in some ways a freshly written romance, I urge you to give this book a try. Fans of Ms. Tachna will also like this book. She has a way of spinning a tale, and making her characters empathic even in some of the most difficult of circumstances.
I decided to give it 4.5 stars because of the emotional rollercoaster I felt as I read this book and because it lived in my head several hours after I finished reading the book. Because of this, I think it deserved a high rating, but it still will not be for everyone.
After a year apart, teacher Jacob Peters and county judge Beau Braedon decide they can’t live without each other. There are just a few small obstacles to their Alabama love story. Jacob resents Beau’s paranoia about being outed, but Beau is convinced he’ll lose his seat on the bench if he admits to their relationship, and as a teacher at a Christian school, Jacob’s job is even more at risk. They could relocate, but Beau’s mother has Alzheimer’s and can’t be moved. And then there’s the tiny issue of Jacob’s infant son, Finn, and his mother, whom Jacob wed out of duty. In short, they are stuck.
But Beau has a long-term plan, and he’s prepared to swallow his fears and compromise with Jacob, because sharing stolen moments is no longer enough.