“Block and Strike” by Kelly Jensen features a couple of very different guys who prove that opposites do indeed attract. The traumatic beginning of their relationship underscores their differences but it is wonderful to see the efforts that Jake makes to boost Max’s self-confidence and I was happy that they had a gradual intensification of their relationship in a naturally unfolding manner. I am still irked by the betrayal of Jake which resulted in such severe repercussions, even as I concede that he definitely needed to learn to control his temper. I adore his supportive family even as I ache for the events that shaped his character, and it was heart-wrenching to learn about Max’s history and to observe his subsequent challenges. There are a few places that felt awkward for me, including the actions of one of the members of the dojo but there are other scenes that are beautifully touching and memorable. This story did a great job of making me care for the characters and I definitely enjoyed this story and will be looking for other works by this author.
Jake Kendricks never expects that his downtrodden downstairs neighbor, Max, will cause such an upheaval in his life. His quest to get past the horrific events that keep him from being part of his young daughter’s life gets tangled up with his relationship with Max and forces him to reevaluate his priorities and his beliefs. Finding a way to move forward will take courage and self-honesty, from Jake and everyone around him.
Jacob Kendricks is three months out of prison, estranged from his daughter, and ready to get his life on track. Taking care of the bum curled up on his doorstep isn’t part of the plan. When he realizes the man has been assaulted, Jake takes him to the hospital, where he learns that Max is his downstairs neighbor… and that he could really use a friend. Keeping Max in the friend-zone would be easier if he wasn’t so damned cute.
Maxwell Wilson has been bullied for years, and the only person who ever cared lives too far away to come to his rescue. Now his upstairs neighbor is offering support. Max remains cautious, suspecting he is little more than a project for the handsome Jake. When he learns Jake has had boyfriends as well as girlfriends, Max has to reevaluate his priorities—and muster the courage to take a chance at love.
Just when a happy future is within their grasp, life knocks them back down. A devastating blow leaves Max lower than ever and Jake wrestling with regret. They both have to find the strength to stand on their own before they can stand together.