Ben Amann currently hates everything: The accident that temporarily put him in a wheelchair, the fact that he has to go for rehab and live in an assisted living home as well. Sebastian Hofers, the good looking but equally bad-tempered new assistant to his rehab therapist changes that.
Sebastian has two choices after causing an accident while driving drunk: community service hours or go to jail. The decision is a no-brainer, and so he meets Ben at the rehab center. The two of them hit it off and slowly, Sebastian sees more than just a patient in Ben.
But their growing relationship faces hard trials, not only because of Sebastian’s heavy drinking, but also because of the truth:
Contains: Two ill-tempered men, a lot of hang-ups, a shared hope, and a destroyed dream.
Trigger Warning: deals with alcohol abuse and alcoholism
(Can be considered to contain spoilers, so read with caution.)
The blurb pretty much explains the main thrust of this story. Sebastian got drunk, hit a car which in turn hit Ben’s car, causing him to be in a wheel-chair and severely scarred. When the story starts we don’t know if the paralysis is permanent or not.
For his punishment, Sebastian is given 200 hours of community services at a physical rehabilitation clinic, coincidentally the same clinic Ben uses.
Through pure chance, the two end up working together and forming a friendship. When they learn who the other is to one another there is of course shock and disbelief. Ben’s friends help him to realize he has to forgive Sebastian as it does no good to harbor any anger.
Sebastian tries to release his guilt but his drinking continues to get in the way of his moving forward with any sort of healthy relationship – with anybody – much less Ben.
I have to admit that I DNF’d this book at the 70% mark. I just couldn’t keep reading. For this I am sorry, but I felt pretty strongly about several things.
I’d read Ms. McHart’s other books and liked them, so though I was leery of this book based on the blurb, I wanted to give it a try. I don’t think the writing is all bad, but I do feel there is maybe some cultural differences that are present which make this book very hard for me to read.
One of my biggest problems with this book is the idea that Sebastian nearly killed someone and he ends up with only 200 hours of community service. THEN that community services puts him in contact with people like Ben, and in fact with Ben when his lawyer did all he could to protect Ben from meeting Sebastian. THEN the community service guy is massaging patients! How would that happen??? No way would somebody off the street be allowed to even touch another person without tons of training and definitely not as a community service. So for him to have met Ben, much less been in physical contact with Ben seems just wrong. Sebastian should have gone to jail or gotten something serious as a punishment. He almost committed man-slaughter and maybe the laws are different in Germany but I found this on the internet:
Under German law, when a driver is involved in an accident involving serious injuries or death and found to have a blood alcohol content of .032 percent or more, the consequences become even more severe, including a possible jail sentence of up to five years.
So I have a real hard time with the idea that Sebastian got a wrist slap and then moves on with his life.
Next, I felt that the lack of any sort of alcohol rehabilitation until the end was unconscionable. Maybe this is just a bit too close to home for me, but Sebastian is the walking definition of an addict and for nobody to have recognized that and to have included that in his punishment is crazy.
Finally, I never quite understood Ben and Sebastian’s relationship. Besides a physical attraction I would think the overwhelming grief/guilt/anger etcetera would have been an INSURMOUNTABLE hurdle, certainly not one overcome in the short amount of time they knew each other.
So when the couple begin to have a physical relationship, that’s when I called it quits. I just couldn’t get behind the story, the initial premise, or even really support the MCs, specifically Sebastian.
I won’t rate this because I didn’t finish it, but I can’t recommend it, I am sorry to say. I will still look forward to other books by this author, but on this subject I fear we just don’t mesh.
(Copy provided by author for honest review)