Don't Trust the Cut - Kade Boehme Excellent 4.5 Stars


Kade Boehme a few months ago, impressed me with his short story On the Dock. Don’t trust the cut is completely different and proves his versatility as a writer but what is breathtaking about his writing for me is his characterisation… these characters are very real, their lives for a short time touched mine and their journey pulled on my heart strings and evoked all kinds of emotions, he has great empathy with his characters and so much emotion from someone so young it is remarkable! Kade’s writing style is also that of a young man, so emotionally he connects with them… Kade Boehme is a rough diamond, not quite polished, poignantly beautiful at times, yet grounded in the reality of youth with all the raw pain, hurt, laughter and love that goes with it… I am looking forward to watching this man grow and what an exciting journey it will be.

Tucker Grey is a country boy, and when we meet him he is swathed in emptiness yet contemplative, the feeling is that of loss, slight hope for his future and deep regret over his attitude and behaviour. At this point we have no idea of his past only that he is one of three guests of honor at a party to celebrate his return from “Canada”? along with his friend Nate’s birthday and a soldier returning home from Iraq. When we meet Jesse Bauer he is an angry man, bitter at being injured and retired after ten years in the Marines, a job he loved, but also a job that gave him somewhere to hide from himself and life's expectations. He has a girlfriend Miranda but he hides his sexuality behind his relationship, one she is aware of but really she was his camouflage in the real world.

When these two catch each others eye, “eye sex” per Alison his best friend… I love her! The attraction is instant they both feel it, making Jesse uncomfortable with Miranda and Tucker embarrassed to be feeling that way over a man that was obviously straight!?! Only they kiss and that more or less seals the deal and bells were ringing! Only it is twelve months and many nights of fantasies for both, unable to forget that chaste kiss, that they meet again and those fires are still stoked! …yep, a couple of horny teenagers spring to mind!

Ok.. so we have all been there in our younger years, or even our not so younger years, that school girl/boy crush the infatuation or even love, yes, that plain old insta love … we have all fallen victim to it at some point in our lives. The intensity of it all, nervousness, the feeling of being self conscious as though the whole world can tell, admonishing ourselves for seemingly stupid remarks, the butterflies and heavy heart… but mostly it is just a constant whirl of emotions… daydreaming, tummy flutters at every thought, anticipating and playing out future meetings in our minds and all of that emotion is played in this book. That chemistry between two people, is the foundation to this story, eyes meet across a crowded room and they just know… but don’t start drawing hearts round this just yet! What I like about this book, is that  Kade Boehme makes it feels real, believable.. the helplessness, as if your control and common sense have taken a hike and you have none, you are consumed with every waking thought and night-time fantasy revolving around that one person. Just to be in close proximity, to have a glance, anything for the chance or opportunity to just be in the same space can make you buzz with the excitement of their nearness.

Tucker and Jesse love each other, that is as plain day, but still no hearts and flowers because this is a bumpy ride! These men are both very flawed and damaged and in Tuckers case a broken man trying desperately to put the pieces back together. Complication he does not need yet we see both men through misconceptions, stubbornness insecurities and the decisions they make cause no end of trouble and more often than not left me feeling WTF! and I was angry with them and hurting for both of them, frustrated because they spent the first half of the book hiding behind lies and omissions and they pretty much worked me up into a frenzy I was so cross!

Tucker is painfully shy and socially awkward, and he has no friends apart from Alison, whom he lives with. Alison is his rock, she grounds him and certainly takes no shit and definitely won’t allow him to wallow in self pity. In her presence he is alive and we see the man he can be when not in the depth of the depression that can engulf him. He works in a local restaurant so when Jesse turns up for lunch all those feeling from that night of the kiss return, in fact they never left, and when Jesse wants to reach out as a friend that attraction is what drives him forward knowing Jesse is in a relationship but just wanting to be near him and spend time with the man that makes him feel, if only as friends.

Jesse’s attraction hit him head on and asking for Tuckers number makes him feel like a love sick teenager. But he is in a relationship with Miranda he has never hidden his attraction towards men from her, but it is a very different case for the rest of his friends and family so like Tucker, he just wants to spend time in the company of the man that he wants to wrap up in his arms and take away the fear and haunted expression he see’s in his eyes.  But Jesse is also drowning in his own insecurities being pushed and pulled by his mother, Miranda and her parents… six years and still they were not living together and no sign of marriage, it was expected of him but his sorry excuse “being too young” was just that, an excuse!

Jesse hated the complications of it all, as a Marine he followed orders his life had structure and purpose and it was also a way of hiding what he really desired… he is closeted and a coward! Is it that he doesn’t want to disappoint? Is he living the life expected of him? Scared of accepting his sexuality? Anything for an easy life? Does he really know what he wants? …his life is built on lies and omissions, being dishonest with himself, Miranda and Tucker!

Whilst Tucker was happy to suppress his attraction with Jesse and go along with the pretence of friendship, because lets face it they both knew they had the hots for each other… and so did Miranda, so her wanting to be best buds with Tucker also was sending up all kinds of alarm signals and it was quite frankly making me uncomfortable.

Tucker is insecure. painfully shy and he is attracted to Jesse, knows he is closeted and the feelings between them are mutual… frustrating! Being friendly with Miranda, was that a security blanket for Tucker? …being friends with her, is it a way of justifying to himself that he can just be friends with this couple? Then there is Miranda… Ohhhh she knows what's going on, she likes Tucker, I mean who doesn’t he is adorable and has that look of helplessness that everyone seems to want to protect and take care of… but be friends with the man that you know your boyfriend has the hots for… no, that’s just wrong! …as nice as Tucker is. For Jesse… Is he trying to convince himself he can just be friends? or is he wanting any opportunity to be in the presences of the only person that actually makes him feel alive… and not the puppet playing his part to the audience!

And in the middle of all this we have the little bull dog, Alison, fiercely protective of her friend and she is certainly not shy in coming forward and has a habit of saying it like it is, regardless of the consequences… I loved her and she certainly made me laugh out loud in the middle of all this madness!

We finally see hope, each man coming to terms with their relationship and being sensible and taking it slowly… Jesse mans up and and has a break with Miranda to try and “find himself” Tucker, so open and giving is happy to go with the flow but his heart is big and he is wearing it on his sleeve and allowing that hope to take root but there are still secrets that need to be shared!?!

The last part of the book was heartbreaking and had me in tears, the love between these two men is palpable it jumps off the page at you it’s so strong and intense, and that’s what I liked so much about this book, yes we have the insta love thing, but their journey to get to their HEA was fraught with challenges and intense emotion, heartbreak and some hard lessons in life. Yet through it all the one constant was always their love!

This book was provided by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review

SSBR LOGOLike us on Facebook (1)Follow-us-on-Twitter