REVIEW BY JODI: STORMIN’ NORMAN BY SUE BROWN

 

Title: Stormin’ Norman
Author: Sue Brown
Publisher: Self-Published
Rated: 4.5/5 Smooches

Blurb

Lyon
Vet Series” Book Four
Dan
had been Jesse’s partner for many years, and always there for Jesse on his
return from difficult assignments. However, after breaking his promise not to
leave again, Jesse learns to his cost that Dan can be pushed too far. When he
returns home, broken in body and spirit, Jesse finds his house empty and Dan in
the arms of someone else.
 
To
fill his life, Jesse decides to get a dog. His friends and neighbours take him
to choose a puppy. What he doesn’t expect is for Norman to choose him. As Jesse
takes on a new job, with Norman’s assistance, he realizes that Dan isn’t far
away, and he still loves him. Dan has moved on with his life. Can Jesse do the
same?
Review:
 
 
“Jesse loved his
job. Loved every dangerous, hellish moment of it. And the thought of giving it
up, even for the man he loved, sent shivers down his spine. He was born to do
this job and if he could never tell anyone about it that was a small price to
pay.”
In
book three of the Lyon Vet series, Hazel
Takes
Over, readers meet Dan and Jesse. Evan and Peter, Jesse’s neighbors,
are surprised to discover that Jesse has a boyfriend.
 
Dan
reveals that he and Jesse have been together for six years. However, because of
Jesse’s top secret job, which involves a lot of traveling, the two men have
spent about half of that time away from each other. Jesse’s cryptic job involves
secret undercover work for an undisclosed government law enforcement agency.
Jesse is not allowed to talk about his job. He never knows when leaves for an
assignment, when he will be returning. And that creates a lot of stress and
tension for both men.
 
Dan
confides in Evan that if Jesse leaves again, he will not wait for him. In the
last book in the series, Stormin Norman,
that is exactly what happens.
 
Dan
has reached his breaking point at the beginning of Stormin’ Norman. He loves Jesse, but he cannot handle being
abandoned again. He knows Jesse’s job comes first, but this time it is
different because Jesse promised he would retire and not leave again. Dan
uprooted his life to move closer to Jesse, but their relationship is at a
standstill, and Jesse is leaving, again.
Dan gave a
derisive snort. Seriously? Do you know what the hell you’ve just done to me?
You promised you were through. Promised you would resign and we could
be together.
 
“I screwed up.”
 
“No shit
Sherlock.” Dan brushed past Jesse and grabbed his trainers from where he’d left
them in the hallway.
 
“Where are you
going” Jesse asked.
 
“Home. I need to
think.”
 
“Don’t go Dan.
We can talk about it.”
 
Dan curled his
lip. “I don’t think there’s anything left to talk about. You made the decision
without even taking to me – as usual.”
 
Jesse tugged at
his hair in frustration. “For God’s sake, Dan. Stop being such a drama queen.”
 
“What the fuck do
you expect? I warned you what would happen if you left me again.”
The
Lyon Vet series consists of four stories that explore the relationships of six
men who are in various stages of their relationship. In this last book of the
series, Sue Brown explores what appears to be the end of an established
relationship. Despite the reader’s initial impressions of Jesse and Dan, these
men really do love each other. It is the unconditional part of their
relationship that they cannot reconcile though. Dan wants to settle down with
Jesse, and Jesse, who loves Dan in his own way, cannot commit to settling down.
 
Dan
no longer trusts Jesse, and the men seem to have some serious communication
issues. Although Dan and Jesse are both likeable characters, their actions are
not very likeable. Both men are unsettled and in emotional pain. Although readers
may take issue with both Dan’s and Jesse’s actions, Brown does a great job
letting the reader see the motivation for those actions.
 
Unfortunately
it takes the two men going their different ways to understand how deep their
feelings really run. When Jesse finally realizes what he has given up and wants
another chance to fix things, Dan is out of patience and trust.
 
God. Dan’s
expression … he was so sad. “The point is no matter how long I wait, you’ll
always put the job first. I’m not prepared to take second place any longer. I
need my life back. ‘Bye, Jesse. Stay safe.”
 
He walked out of
the kitchen. Jesse stared after him, unable to move for a moment even as his
brain was screaming at him to get the hell after his boyfriend. Then his limbs unlocked
from their stasis and he ran after him, but it was far too late. The front door
clicked and Dan was gone.
Jesse
returns back from his mission. He seems lost, and he is hopeful that Dan will
be receptive to him again. That hope is extinguished when Jesse discovers Dan
has moved onto a new relationship. Jesse officially resigns from his job. His
first mission is to adopt a dog.
Peter picked up
a collie, who wriggled frantically. Jesse was worried that Peter would drop the
pup so he grabbed him. Immediately the puppy settled into his arms, yawed and
fell asleep. Peter chuckled and patted Norman’s head. “You’ve been picked
mate.”
 
Jesse stared
down at the dog. “Norman? But he was just helping me choose.”
 
Peter rolled his
eyes. “He clocked you the minute you walked into the room. Evan got him out to
see what he would do. You’ve given him a name, for heaven’s sake.”
 
“But—“
 
Peter held out
his hands. “Do you want me to take Norman off your hands so you can look
further?”
 
Jesse took a
step back, clutching Norman to his chest.
 
“Shall I sort
out the paperwork?” Evan asked.
 
Jesse wanted to
punch the smirks off their faces – once he’d made sure Norman was safe.
As
Jesse adapts to his new life as a temporary dog trainer, he tries to have some
fun, but it is clear his heart still belongs to Dan. He tries to ignore his
feelings, but he keeps running into Dan and Mickey, Dan’s new boyfriend. After
all, they do have the same circle of friends and live in the same neighborhood.
Not only has Dan has moved on, but he tells Jesse that he loves Mickey.
 
Jesse
is heartbroken, but tries to move on with his life. Dan, despite his claims
that he has moved on is confused. He says he loves Mickey, but he still has
feelings for Jesse, even though Jesse took him and their relationship for
granted. Dan is ready to cut all ties to everyone to start fresh.
 
Brown
does a wonderful job developing these characters throughout the series. Dan and
Jesse have many faults, and that touch of realism is why the Lyon Vet series,
especially this fourth book, is so engaging. Stormin’ Norman is not filled with a lot of action, but it does
explore another side of romance often not seen. Brown’s writing style is
engaging and not overly dramatic or elaborate, which gives this story a dose of
charm despite the angst. The ending of the story is perfect and the epilogue
connects the final puzzle piece for the story.
 
 
 
Thank you Sue
Brown for providing a review copy
of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *