Tuesday Guest Tickle: Saving Kane by Michele Rakes
A twenty-something paramedic suffering from PTSD and a failing relationship with his high school sweetheart becomes embroiled in the tragic life of a young, gay man brutally beaten, raped, and left for dead.
Kane Abel can’t help falling for his caregiver, the handsome paramedic who saves his life, but he’s resistant. The one time Kane throws caution to the wind, he’s left with a wired jaw and a tracheostomy. He can’t take much more hurt. With his attacker’s promise to return, Kane lives in a constant state of fear, and with the ever-present paramedic, arousal.
Garrett Young struggles with the question of his sexuality, unable to get Kane out of his mind even as he fights against the demise of his long-time engagement with his girlfriend Amanda. Every day is complicated by his ongoing battle with PTSD and alcoholism, compounded by his fear for Kane’s life.
What MT, a staff member at Loose Id had to say about it:
Saving Kane is the debut story from new-to Loose Id author Michele M. Rakes. It’s m/m, and it’s not a gentle story. I like lighthearted books but I also like stories that have hard-luck characters who overcome odds and obstacles, and endure the angst and sometimes ungentle, unkind actions that come with it. Right now I’m sort of skimming as I format, but dayum, this looks good. Prolly not something you can gulp right down, but I reckon the story will stick to your ribs, so to speak.
A little preview:
The days all blend together. Two weeks feel like two months. Garrett’s the only one who makes the days stand out. By my bedside, during the night, schmoozing the night nurse into letting him stay. Sometimes, he sleeps in the chair.
The day nurse, Yolanda, enters my room. Her voice is full of cheer, and her Brooklyn accent’s so much easier on my nervous system. “Hey, you! Nice to see you again. Did you know Kane’s going home today?”
“Is he?” A low, familiar rumble fills the room, sending my skin into instant ripples of gooseflesh—a dark-chocolate voice.
Garrett’s back. The surprise of him in my room this early in the afternoon floods my body with a rare heat. Did he know I was leaving the hospital today? Did the night nurse mention something to him? I didn’t tell him. My instinct’s to play possum, always unsure of how I’m to behave with Garrett. I prefer to simply listen to the man talk, especially when he thinks I’m sleeping.
The ice pack over my eyes blocks everything except a vague light. I can’t see Garrett, but I imagine he’s in his usual spot. Long legs spread wide, his muscular form makes the chair appear small, and his uniform is rumpled from a night’s work.
I still don’t like the lights on; so much easier for me to hide in the dark. Garrett doesn’t mind. Yolanda urges me not to look in the mirror yet. I haven’t seen my face, avoiding the moment with diligence. I must be gruesome. I wonder what Garrett thinks of me, although at night he doesn’t seem to notice. Is he horrified by me in the light of day?
“I thought you might be his ride. I gotta say, you’re the only one who’s showed up.” Yolanda prattles on, filling Garrett in on all my secrets.
“He hasn’t had any other visitors? All this time?” Garrett asks, pinpointing my loneliness with a skewer of doubt.
“Oh, no, honey. You’ve been the only one today. Some guy visited him yesterday, but Kane had to send him home. The young man was a mess. Crying and carrying on like he’d been the one attacked. Poor Kane had to console him. Kyle or Lyle?” Yolanda’s voice lowers to a whisper. “Anyway, he talks about you. You’re his angel.”