Brittany's Reviews > Jacob's Ladder

Jacob's Ladder by Z.A. Maxfield
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Apr 25, 12

bookshelves: meh, m-m
Read in April, 2012

Huge improvement from Physical Therapy. Okay, maybe not huge, but I think this was one of the stronger books in the St. Nacho series. For the first time while reading this series, both the MC AND the love interest felt like real people to me. I didn't find myself questioning character behavior as often as I did in the previous books. Sadly, that was the only thing that made this book better than the previous ones.

I did question whether or not JT and Jacob realized their feelings too early. They drew a connection to Narnia and how deep JT was in the closet twice, but that didn't exactly ring true to me. If the writer wanted me to believe that JT was deep in the closet, she should have made JT's behavior a little more subtle. I had issue with the lack of attraction build up in the previous books, but it bothered me here even more because the love interest was a closet case.

Speaking of being in the closet, I thought JT leaving his was rushed and contrived. I don't know what provoked JT to come out. Was it (view spoiler)? Was it Jacob going back to LA to get his stuff from his apartment? Was it Jacob saying (view spoiler)? I didn't get from his dialogue that he missed or yearned for Jacob. o.O So when he (view spoiler) I was a little shocked. I don't think JT had emotionally developed enough to make his actions plausible. I bought that JT had feelings for Jacob, but I don't believe he was ready to come out of the closet for him. I don't think JT's feelings for Jacob had reached that depth yet. As happy as I was for Jacob, emotionally JT's actions just didn't ring true to me.

Another issue I had with this book was Jacob. Much like the St. Nacho protagonists that came before him, he is a doormat. My second favorite doormat next to Cooper, but still a doormat none the less. Some girls like those angsty/emotionally weak male leads. I absolutely hate them. I hated seeing Jacob give into JT time and time again. They'd perform a sexual act and then JT would abandon him. JT couldn't stand to look at Jacob after what they did. And then the next day he'd going parading around with a girl trying to show everyone that he was straight. JT would show up at the motel with his pathetic excuses when his date ended and manipulate Jacob into having sex with him. Then he would leave again. That cycle happened again and again. JT used Jacob like a whore and Jacob let him. Cooper allowed himself to be manipulated by Jordan in book one. Jordan allowed himself to be manipulated by Ken's family in book two. Z.A. Maxfield's main character's have absolutely no balls and it bothers me to no end. At first I felt sorry for them, but after awhile I began to think that maybe they deserved to get treated that way. If these characters have no respect for themselves, why should I respect them?

I have mixed feelings about Jacob and JT ending up together. JT treated Jacob like utter shit. A part of me wishes Jacob had told JT it was too late for them when he decided to come out. I don't like that everything was glossed over when JT decided to come out. I don't agree with the saying "love never means having to say you're sorry". If you treat someone badly and feel sorry about it, you should repent and apologize. IMO, JT didn't do enough apologizing.

Overall, I'd give Jacob's Ladder 2.5/5 stars. Characterization was slightly better in this book that it was in the previous ones. I still have a hard time taking ZA Maxfield's protagonist seriously because they're such pushovers. I didn't like JT that much, but I could understand where he was coming from the majority of the time. I can't really say that about the previous love interests. Pacing wise, this book was still a little too fast for me. I wish these St. Nacho books were longer and not so rushed. I wish the author would take more time to build up the sexual attraction of the male leads. Overall, I just wish there was more subtlety in this series.

For ZA Maxfield, Jacob's Ladder was pretty good. For m/m romance novels, it was mediocre at best.
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