Book Reviews

Forsaken (Breaking The Rules 3) by E.M. Lindsey

Genre Gay / Bisexual / Contemporary / Doctors/Nurses/EMTs/Vets / Military/Former Military / Romance
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 29-June-2020

Book Blurb

Dr. Elliot Bethel isn’t an easy man to love. He’s not even an easy man to like. He does good work in Fairfield, even if he’s no one’s favorite veterinarian, but he doesn’t need to be popular to be effective. Elliot made his way into his career after a roadside bomb during his deployment changed the trajectory of his life, and though he returned Stateside with one less limb, that didn’t change his firm belief—animals are better than people. Growing up a system kid with foster parents who tried their best, Elliot was determined to never let anyone close to his heart. And he might have succeeded if the massive stranger clutching two newborn rabbits hadn’t shown up at his door in a furious rainstorm.

Arlo Bullock is the kind of man whose entire life had been planned out for him from the day he was conceived. The first-born son to a family with a long-standing Military Legacy, Arlo followed in his father’s footsteps for as long as he could. But a career in the Marines with a nice wife and obedient kids were not part of Arlo’s future. In the end, it was no hardship to take his walking papers and leave that life behind—even if it meant cutting ties to his disappointed parents. With a small trust in his savings account, Arlo found his way to Fairfield, determined to make his own way in life. He had a little cash, and a big dream, and he would give anything to see it through. What he didn’t plan was for his entire life to be turned upside down by a snarky vet with a soft spot for wounded baby animals.

With Elliot determined not to love, and Arlo not even sure if he’s still straight, the two men find their way through friendship, tragedy, grief, and sexual awakening. But will that connection between them be enough to light the way home, or will everything working against them leave them utterly forsaken?

Book Review

"Animals are born who they are, accept it, and that is that. They live with greater peace than people do." ― Gregory Maguire

Anyone who works with both people and animals knows that animals are much easier to get along with than people. They exhibit a brand of loyalty, honesty, and unconditional love rarely found in humans. Early in life, Dr. Elliot Ethel discovers that fact and steadfastly clings to his convictions, never letting another person get too close, until Arly Bullock, ex-military mountain of a man, comes in with baby bunnies in his arms. After that, Elliot isn’t so sure.

Trying to gain his approval, Arlo did what his father expected of him but he reached the point where, regardless of the consequences, he couldn’t do it anymore. He left the military, cut himself off from his family, and set off to blaze his own path. Arlo finds a job working as a handyman at Ted House, a shelter for LGBT kids at risk. As part of his new life plan, he buys a fixer-upper cabin out in the country with dreams of making it a kennel where he can raise support dogs for the disabled. One day, on the way back to the cabin, he sees a coyote with prey. After further investigation, he finds a dead mother rabbit who has left behind two kits. Arlo’s heart goes out to the babies. He knows that if he is going to save them, he is going to need help and rushes them to the nearest vet, Dr. Elliot Ethel.

After a long day at the clinic, all Elliot wants to do is go home and relax, but before he gets to leave, he hears a fist pounding on his front door. When he opens it, he finds Arlo holding two baby rabbits. He lets them in and goes to work. As he is stabilizing the kits, Elliot and Arlo briefly get to know each other. Elliot is impressed that Arlo is so worried about keeping the little bunnies alive and what will happen to them afterwards. Although Elliot has sworn not to let anyone get close to him, he has to admit that this gentle giant’s actions touch his heart in a way that few men ever have. To make things worse, as far as Elliot knows Arlo is straight.

As Arlo becomes closer to Elliot, he begins to have conflicting feelings about him. Arlo has never considered the possibility that he is anything but straight, but his reaction to Elliot has him questioning that assumption. He tries to be “just friends” but as they bond, it is becoming harder and harder to do so. When Elliot’s foster father becomes ill, Arlo offers to drive Elliot up to his place. During their stay there, the dynamics of their relation begins to change. Arlo realizes that his feelings for Elliot are too strong to deny and is fairly sure that Elliot feels the same way, but Arlo has never been with a man and doesn’t know where to start.

This is a good addition to the ‘Breaking the Rules’ series. Arlo and Elliot are an odd, but passionate couple. They both needed someone to love them for who they were. I look forward to the next story.





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Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 282 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 20-April-2020
Price $2.99 ebook, $13.99 paperback
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