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Resilient Love #1

Everything Changes

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A Resilient Love Story

What happens when friendship catches fire?

Former Marine and lower-leg amputee Carey Everett keeps a grueling schedule of counseling fellow war veterans and their families. The injury he received in Afghanistan forces him to rely on a reserve of strength he didn’t even know he had. A much deserved vacation will let him reconnect with his best friend, who saved his life and has been there for him through devastating injury and painful recovery.

Part-time EMT and aspiring singer Jase DeSantis has been in love with Carey for years, but he’s come to accept that his straight friend will never be able to offer more. Jase fills his days with band rehearsals, ambulance shifts, and willing groupies, all while trying to cope with debilitating PTSD.

A week of sun, fun, and music in San Diego changes Jase and Carey’s lives forever when their relationship takes an unexpected turn. Jase has been longing for that change, but it leaves Carey reeling with confusion. As Jase fights to hold things together, Carey deals with doubts, fears, and his own preconceived notions about labels and the true nature of love.

200 pages, Kindle Edition

First published March 13, 2015

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About the author

Melanie Hansen

10 books736 followers
Melanie Hansen has spent time in Texas and Florida prisons…for work. She’s been in a room with a 17-year-old mass murderer who was also one of the most soft-spoken and polite teenagers she’s ever met. After a 13-year career as a court reporter, she can tell many stories both hilarious and heartbreaking.

She grew up with an Air Force dad, and ended up marrying a Navy man. After living and working all over the country, she hopes to bring these rich and varied life experiences to her stories about people finding love amidst real-life struggles.

Melanie left the stressful world of the courtroom behind and now enjoys a rewarding career transcribing for a deaf student. She currently lives in Arizona with her husband and two sons.

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5 stars
504 (27%)
4 stars
776 (42%)
3 stars
433 (23%)
2 stars
98 (5%)
1 star
34 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 335 reviews
October 25, 2015

I have no idea why it took me so long to read this book, but shame on me, because this story has it all:

Incredible chemistry between two damaged MCs (Carey is an amputee, a disability that is not sugar-coated, and Jase has horrific flashbacks to his time in Afghanistan, where he found—and almost lost—Carey.)

Melt-worthy, hotter-than-fuck sex (First-time man-on-man lovin', y'all!)

FEELS galore (The flashbacks, particularly Jase's memory of his mission with the SEALS in chapter 10, slayed me.)

Realistic GFY (Carey and Jase have such a strong connection, a friendship build on trust and CARE and love. Jase saves Carey's life not once but twice, and Carey is the rock Jase needs.)

Raw and real portrayal of war (There are no winners. Only loss. And pain.)

Fanfuckingtastic HEA (When Carey comes back and claims his man, I couldn't even ... hell, that was brilliant!)

I wanted to throttle Carey when he pulled away from Jase. He just couldn't imagine that the love of his life could be a MAN, but when he finally got it, it was beautiful.

"But that Jase-shaped hole can never be filled by anything else. Only by you."

I loved this book: strong writing, heart-felt romance, dirty & tender lovin', best-friends-to-lovers, and two MCs who are as real as rain.

Life is fragile; take it:

Day by precious day.
Profile Image for Gigi.
2,156 reviews1,055 followers
November 8, 2015

Holy shit, I don't even know where to start with this one. It blew me the fuck away and I am already 25% done reading it for the second time. And it came out less than 24 hours ago! And it is from a brand-spanking-new author, Melanie Hansen. And I put it on my highest honor shelf, the Fuck Yeah, 5+ Stars shelf. Where books from the likes of Kendall McKenna, N.R. Walker and Lynn Kelling live.

OK, as my GoodRead's friends know, I have my favorites: Military men, hurt/healing/comfort, gay-for-you, friends-to-lovers, sex with intense emotion and of course, dirty talk. This book had ALL of that. And every single element worked for me. Like really, really worked for me. Honest to god, I felt like this was written especially for me! If MC Jase was a Firefighter instead of an EMT, I would probably be looking for cameras in my house, wondering who was pulling my leg.

This lovely story is about two best friends who met in the military. MC Carey Everett (former Marine and current therapist for war veterans) and MC Jase DeSantis (former military EMT and current rockstar) have known each other for 5 years. Jase was the medic that saved Carey's life in Afghanistan when shrapnel shredded his leg and made him a below-the-knee amputee. The timeline of the book starts with Carey visiting Jase in California for a week's vacation. We get several very intense flashbacks to their time overseas, including one at about 60% that was difficult to read. A warning to those who are squeamish, it's pretty graphic, but reading it really helped understand just how much Jase was suffering with his PTSD.

Anyway, the boys start a physical relationship that is absolutely mind-blowing. The sex was off-the-charts. Did I mention dirty talk? The story goes from there to where the boys have to decide what they are going to do about their relationship as Carey lives 800 miles away and loves his therapist job and Jase's band is a the verge of making it big in the music business.

Of course, I wouldn't be writing this if the boys didn't get their HEA. They got a spectacular HEA in a glorious epilogue. Rainbows and kittens and fuzzy bunnies HEA.

Read this book my fellow M/M romance fans. It really does have something for everyone. I haven't been this excited about a book since Public Display of Everything and The Last Thing He Needs came out. Highly, highly recommended.

OK, I'm done with the fangirling. But it was SO WORTH IT.

This review is also posted at Gay Book Reviews

Profile Image for Heather K (dentist in my spare time).
3,831 reviews5,505 followers
December 29, 2019
*3.5 stars*

An impressive debut book from Melanie Hansen, and a sure thing for fans of hurt/comfort with military men. However, as a sexuality discovery story, it fell a bit short.

Military sex is pretty much the dream, am I right ladies and gentlemen? Big, strong men getting down and dirty with each other... all those alpha males... all that testosterone... YES PLEASE!

If you are reading this for the sexuality discovery part, I think you will be disappointed. First time same sex attraction is tricky to write: You need to have the guy be convincingly attracted to another guy, but also convince your readers that this is a totally unique experience. I just didn't buy it here. I think this book would have been better as a closeted story or some other incarnation of an unlikely love story. Even better, just a friends-to-lovers story without the first time SSA. It was too fast, too easy (in the sexual aspect) for my tastes. It seemed like Carey was already attracted to Jase from the start, and I didn't see the point/merit of the GFY.

If you are reading this for the military aspect, buy away! I think this book seemed really accurate in terms of the military and PTSD details, though some of the medic details were off (suture needles come pre-threaded!). I loved the detail devoted to Carey's amputation status. I think this book nailed the emotional and mental things that someone with a war-injury would go through.

I would have given this book a solid 4 stars if it wasn't for two things: For one, I HATE flashbacks. This book has very frequent flashback scenes to the guys' time in the military, and I just don't like how flashbacks take me out of the flow of the story. In addition, the awkward transitions to the flashback scenes were a pain. Also, I just didn't feel that draw to pick this one up. I read this story off and on for about 4 days, which is a loooong time for me. It wasn't enough to keep me reading continuously.

I think that the love between the MCs came shining through, and the writing was very competent, but this book was just a strong like for me. However, I'd put this author on the list of authors to watch because if this is what she could do with her first book, she will be a fan-favorite in no time.

**Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review**
Profile Image for ✦❋Arianna✦❋.
790 reviews2,493 followers
March 16, 2015


While “Everything Changes” wasn’t a total winner for me, I think it’s a great debut novel. A military GFY friends to lovers story, this read was both heartwarming and heartbreaking. The story is about two friends, two ex-military men, Carey and Jase who served together in Afghanistan. Carey is a former marine who now works as a therapist for war veterans and Jase is a former military EMT who now plays in a band. Even if they live in different cities, Carey and Jase’s relationship is strong and special. Jase was the medic who saved Carey’s life. Carey survived, but the war in Afghanistan made him a below the knee amputee. Jase survived the war physically, but emotionally he’s still damaged, suffering from PTSD.

They are best friends and they are there for each other. While Carey is straight looking to be in a stable relationship, Jase is openly bi-sexual only hooking up occasionally with both men and women. The only problem for Jase is that he’s in love with his best friend.

Their relationship starts to change when Carey decides to take a visit to Jase. Carey always knew Jase is an attractive man, but that doesn’t mean he was sexually attracted to him. So why now he starts noticing Jase’s abs, his hips, his muscular shoulders?! Everything changes between them with a simply touch, with a simply kiss. Carey doesn’t accept so easily his attraction to Jase. He’s confused and afraid to lose his friend.

Will Carey accepts that he has feelings for his best friend, that it’s all right to be in love with a man?

If you like military novels, this novel will definitely work for you. I haven’t read many military novels, so I’m not an expert, but in my opinion this aspect is very well done. Jase’s PTDS is detailed, intense and heartbreaking and I’m sure many readers will be emotionally involved in the story. Also, Carey’s amputee is presented very well. What I'm saying is the author did a great job with the research part.

The story has many flashbacks; some interesting and good for the story, some boring and not so good in my opinion. Through these flashbacks we get to know and ‘see’ how these two men met, how their friendship grew, when and how Jase realized he’s in love with Carey and other significant moments in their lives in their relationship. I liked both Carey and Jase. They both are endearing characters and I really felt for both of them. Carey has his own issues, but he’s a strong man. He’s a great friend and he’s caring and supportive. Jase was so wonderful both in the present and in the past. Not only he was the one who saved Carey, but he was the one who was there for him when he needed care and love. He’s loving, caring, supportive and so patient with Carey. When Carey’s feels worthless, Jase is there to remind him he’s the most important person for him, that he matters. He makes him feel like man, he makes him feel cherished, he makes him feel loved. And I loved him for that!

I loved the beautiful friendship between them. I really felt how important they are for each other. And the sweet romance between them was exactly like that sweet and so lovely. I also liked the side characters. All of them. They were caring, supportive and really good friends to both Carey and Jase. There are plenty of sexy moments between the two men. They are sexy, detailed enough, but I expected them to be more emotionally considering the fact that this is a GFY novel and considering Carey and Jase's backgrounds.

Also what didn’t work for me so well was the GFY aspect. I felt Carey accepted too easily the fact that he’s attracted with a man. I really wanted him to struggle a little more with his feelings. This aspect wasn’t too bad, but it wasn’t too great either.

Overall, a great read!
Profile Image for .Lili. .
1,155 reviews260 followers
March 14, 2015
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You guys, this book was:

As soon as I read the blurb- I had to read it. Military, PTSD, friends to lovers, GFY!

It kind of had it all:
Great MCs ✔
Dual POV ✔
Romantic ✔
Realistic ✔
Off the charts steam ✔
Great friends to lovers story ✔
GFY done right ✔
Awesome supporting cast ✔
Pulls at your heartstrings ✔
Amazing epilogue ✔

Why not 5 Stars? The flashbacks. Although, I did believe some were necessary to the storyline, some could've been cut out. I felt that there were too many, and they disrupted the story flow a bit. That's just me though. I loathe flashbacks in books so...

Overall, I can't recommend this enough! What an amazing debut! I can't wait to see what else this author has in store for us! 4.5 Stars ♥

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Profile Image for SheReadsALot.
1,837 reviews1,179 followers
February 10, 2017
A Hearts On Fire Review

Four Hearts--Debut author Melanie Hansen's "Everything Changes" is a best friends-to-lovers romance that features straight, amputee former Marine, Carey and his best friend, Former Navy medic, bisexual lead singer Jase.

Carey visits Jase in San Diego, while on vacation from his Colorado wounded warriors peer counseling job, Jase heads an up and coming band, sleeps with his groupies, and is divorced and enjoying the single life. Except for one thing...he's in love with his best friend. He thinks his feelings won't be returned so he continues to sleep around. Carey however, can't seem to stop staring at his friend. Their connection is built upon friendship, life & death situations, a soldier's camaraderie, experiences only they would understand. The novel does a good job of showing this through flashbacks (a good number of them, BTW).

Everything Changes is billed as gay for you but...it was slightly different. Technically, Carey is sexually attracted to his male best friend. But, it wasn't like he and Jase hadn't had sexual contact in the past. Yes, it was a stressful point in Carey's life. Yes, learning about Carey's character showed he blocks anything too emotional from his mind and analyzes at a later time. But it wasn't like it was something new that he experiences to bring the reader through his internal conflict with him. He does have internal conflict, he does run back into a woman's arms...but he had years already to do all of this. Plus, when he has sex with Jase, he wasn't protesting much. He jumped into it with legs WIDE open. (No judging because I enjoyed his legs being open) full throttle.

The best part of the story? The sex. It's vanilla but sweet Cheesus do they pound it out. They are sucking, fingering, frotting, jerking off, rimming, and fucking for a good part of this book. Their sexing never got old with all that they did.

*stares into space remembering all the scenes*

I devoured this book in hours. I just...they...the dirty talk. Oh, the dirty talk is really nice.

And the thong. Did I mention one of the main characters wears a thong? There's a little thong play in one of the scenes and it--

*stares off into space again*

Did the guys get in between sheets fairly quickly? It seemed so. Even though it was emphasized that they knew each other for four years a lot (like really a lot) and there were plenty of flashbacks to make that point, it still seemed Carey got into bed like a lightening bolt was attached to his ass. But the scenes were so hot, I didn't care as much after awhile.

I was hooked by 8%. All the chips were in, my heart opened a tiny crevice to accept this book's landing. The moment slutty Jase's feelings for Carey are shown and the reader knows he couldn't do anything about it? That was super solid. I believed it. I enjoy those moments in romance.

But...there were a few issues:

Sometimes the main characters would have the same thoughts/tone: Yes, they're best bros but it read like they were the same person for a few parts. They got a little lost from being distinct characters.

The heavy handedness: The four years of knowing each other. The shared love. The wounded veterans. The sugary epilogue. Sometimes the point was made and then it would be driven over again and again. I got it the first time. Don't need to lay it on so thick. I can tell the author did the research especially with wounded veterans but it could've been a little lighter when trying to play the sympathy card. Having an author's note about the charities and projects dedicated to this subject (which certainly does deserve advertisement) could have been just as effective as pouring it in the book...maybe even more so.

The last 15-20%: Forget that both men seemed to be able to communicate their needs (except the most major one) to each other without much problem. Once their dicks got heavily involved, their brains must have taken a slight trip to the moon. Maybe from all the coming? They sure did jizz tons. The miscommunication/ignoring each other/ minor dramatics crap came out and kinda tarnished the solid beginning 80%. It got slightly soap opera-y with the lower key MANtrums going on in the last 20%. Thankfully, it was brief but still worth a mention because I couldn't rate this book 5 hearts no matter how much I enjoyed it. It's reread worthy-ish but I know I'll go straight to the steamy bits and skim some of the flashbacks and definitely ignore the sugar.

And that epilogue? Too long, too sugary and not necessary, IMO. We get a solid finish and then that gets added in the epilogue? Didn't really add to the story. They were already each other's perfect match, it could have been left alone as that.

I'm not going to discuss the tears bits. I can't stand water pots, no matter the gender.

Overall, I was entertained. I thought it was a solid debut. Love the cover, think it fits the story perfectly. I recommend this story for best friends to lovers fans especially. The GFY was a little wonky but it wasn't the worse I've read.

Definitely keeping my eye out for more of this author's work in the future.
Profile Image for Sheziss.
1,104 reviews430 followers
July 27, 2016

Don't panic. In general, it was a good book. But I wasn't thrilled by this. There is a paradox here: it was too short and too long at the same time. But I will explain that later.

The love story was pretty sweet, a friends-to-lovers kind of story, a gay-for-you kind of story. Bisexual included. Ex-soldiers in Afghanistan. Carey suffered an explosion during the service and Jase, the medic, saved his life. That's when Jace faces the truth: he is in love with his best friend. Carey achieves to come back home, but he loses his leg in the process, so he has to confront a long recovery in which Jase helps. The bond gets stronger and stronger with the years, but nothing shatters the status quo. Until one day, Carey decides to stay a week in Jase's house. Carey works with Army retirees while Jase struggles for his music group to jump into the national scene. He's the singer and extremely sexy in leather trousers, and has lots of groupies, and that, for some reason upsets Carey. I mean both: the leather and the groupies.

I can relate.

Carey has to deal with a prothesis but Jase has his own injuries, he has anxiety attacks and the less expected of circumstances can trigger them. So they are both wounded characters, in need of friendship and companionship with each other. But they find out they can have more.

I liked this premise a lot and they are honestly good together. There is chemistry, in bed and out of it. But somehow the feeling of completion was dimmed. I can't point out exactly what, but something was missing for me in this formula. It fell flat. Yes, it was smooth, with no abrupt changes. Despite this, I wasn't wholly satisfied. Maybe because the characters knew each other for a long time, and it didn't feel new or exciting. But then I can mention lots of authors who indeed managed to give intensity and fascination to long-as-life-companionship to the pair. Maybe that's exactly the reason why.

Because, surprisingly, I don't feel like Carey loves Jase. I mean, he looks untouched by it all, as if he didn't really care about the relationship when the vacation ends. But suddenly, he panics and "makes things right". I have to mention that that last scene and the epilogue satisfied me, though.

The book is exactly 188 pages (paperback version) but there are 48-49 pages of flashbacks. Almost 50 pages, which by themselves are a lot. But when the book doesn't even reach 200 it becomes a joke. I've always considered flashbacks an easy resource for writers: if a scene is lacking, let's memories say what I want to tell. It's lazy and aggravating because it requires the effort from the reader to put pieces together, when it's the author the one who should make that effort and write a balanced novel. There is one sentence used for scientific articles: "It was long because I didn't have time to make it short". That's the feeling I had here.

Because it was as if Melanie Hansen just didn't want to invest her time in writing a book properly. Because a paragraph or two of flashbacks it's okay but when they are so frequent and takes 25% of the book it's not fun at all! Above all when they interrupted in a very unpleasant way the thread of the story. If those parts were so important, was it that hard to write the book since the moment they meet and become friends in the Army?

So I was extremely bored and frustrated, when I read the well-known "Four years ago..." I groaned in exasperation. It stopped being a novel and became more like homework for me: first I tasted some deliciously sweet pages, but then I had to shallow the hard bread and so on and so on. With time the compensation became less and less worthy of the effort.

It made me hyperaware of other mistakes the author (IMHO) makes. For instance, why there has to be an almost-lover close to the end telling you you are wasting your time with her/him and encourages you to go for the love of your life? I always considered that unfair, like the ugly friend in movies telling the pretty girl to go for the boy. It's like... don't those people have feelings or a life? Don't they deserve a HEA, too? It's a common character used in romances but somehow this person annoyed me.

In spite of it all, I can say that this book is good enough to give it a try, and that I'm still interested in reading the second installment in the series, which seems pretty good. So from my POV, this story was not a total waste, but the author certainly didn't get the most of it.

Profile Image for * A Reader Obsessed *.
2,080 reviews424 followers
May 19, 2019
4 Stars

This was one of the best in showcasing friends evolving to lovers, hitting all the emotional stops on desire, want, longing, and the trauma war wrecks on those who’re lucky to survive.

Jase has been in love with Carey for forever, falling hard when he was the medic for Carey’s Marine contingent. They’ve been through a lot, mainly Carey losing his leg in an explosion, but also Jase’s continued guilt and PTSD from his remaining time served.

Despite different life projectories, these two remain the best of friends, sharing a rare bond forged literally in fire, and they continue to take the time to visit and reconnect. Underlying their deep friendship has always been a strong attraction that they've mostly ignored or brushed aside, basically because Carey insists he’s straight. Or is he?

Be aware this jumps back and forth in time. There’s also a lot of denial and some might not appreciate what Carey puts Jase through, as he remains adamant that his attraction to his friend could never move beyond a fleeting indulgence of lust.

However, where this excels at is how strong the bond is between Jase and Carey. Both men do hesitate about ruining the friendship but when push comes to shove, the blatant and repeated situations that showcase their undeniable hot connection to each other can no longer be ignored. Unf.

This was obviously pretty darn hot and sexy, while never failing on the varied emotional struggles these men faced and are facing. Mostly with no unnecessary angst, Jase and Carey’s win with each other was definitely wholly satisfying.
Profile Image for Eva.
363 reviews162 followers
March 25, 2015
5 "Day by precious day" stars

"What happens when friendship catches fire?"

Oh dear, how I loved this book... GFY/FTL is my absolute favorite plus healing comfort plus dirty talking and scorching hot loving. For me it was a total winner.

Jase saved Carey's life i Afghanistan, and the feelings Jase had for his friend were forever, and deeply embedded in his heart.
"You don’t know how long I’ve wanted this, wanted you.”

Carey was indebted to Jase but he also wanted to forget everything that happened during the War. They remained friends but it was a bit strained until Carey decides to take a visit to Jase, in San Diego. And what happens there was unexpected for both of them. The discovery, the passion, the love... and loss.
“I love you. Please don’t leave me.”

The support Jess and Carey gave each other was just beyond words. War is War and both have very difficult inner battles to overcome but with each by their side they can take it one day at a time.

In summary
“The best kind of love is friendship that has caught fire.”

Amazing book. Highly recommended must read.

BR with my darlings here
Profile Image for Simone - on indefinite hiatus  -.
662 reviews43 followers
December 8, 2018
Audiobook: 4 Stars
Story: 3.5 Stars

Great debut novel and another reminder of the repercussions war has on those who experienced it first-hand, be it due to grievous bodily harm or mental health issues like PTSD and the author did a great job with her research in my opinion. 

I really enjoyed it and not even the flashbacks bothered me; to the contrary, I found they contributed to the storyline and made me tear up quite often. Jase was my hero in this story and my heart ached for him, but Carey? He seriously p*ssed me off! His constant push-and-pull and his whiny "I'm not gay!" annoyed the hell out of me. I think my rating for the story would have been higher, if he got his sh*t together sooner. 

I think Robert Nieman's narration made it even more enjoyable for me. He's a new to me narrator, but I will definitely listen to more of him in the future. Great voice.
Profile Image for Mirjana **DTR - Down to Read**.
1,371 reviews649 followers
September 14, 2017

**8/31/17 - Audiobook was on sale, and I absolutely had to pick it up! So I'll be spending my commute with Carey & Jase ♥ ♥ **


***5 Stars***

"In war, there are no unwounded soldiers, Jase."


Yes, yes I am yelling.

Below is a live look at me right now.

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This is my first Melanie Hansen book and it 100% most certainly WILL NOT be my last. The writing here was fantastic. It flowed effortlessy, it sucked you in from the beginning and it held you prisoner until the very last page.

One thing I have to touch on and applaud is that the author tackled a very difficult subject with honesty, care and respect. Writing about the life-altering realities of war is a very sensitive subject matter. This was vividly believable and raw. You felt the pain right alongside the characters as they looked back at their time serving in Afghanistan.

The emotion will grip you from the beginning. The flashbacks are difficult to read, but so vital to understanding these men....both individually and as the foundation to their friendship.

The evolution of their romantic relationship was believable and very well written. Jase's love for Carey was a living breathing thing....a current of emotion constantly zipping through his body whenever they were together. As a reader, you felt that yearning....and in the beginning, that unrequited desire.

Carey's struggle with his feelings for Jase was understandable. He was apprehensive and confused. He knew he loved him, cared for him....but he just couldn't get his mind to wrap around the depth of love he had for his best friend. Could he truly be in love with a man?

Their connection was palpable. The sex here, in addition to being incredibly hot, was intense yet unbelievably intimate. Jase and Carey were soul mates on a much deeper level...something that transcended far deeper than their physical connection.

GAH I can't recommend this book enough!

Why I've waited so long to read this, I have no idea?!? I think it just got lost in my never-ending TBR pile or maybe I was apprehensive since this was a debut.....yes, A DEBUT people!

I urge you...DO NOT make the same mistake I did...pick up this book and read it.
Profile Image for Judith.
724 reviews2,586 followers
April 7, 2015

Just, WOW..lovely FTL STORY

JACE has been in love with CAREY for years...they are both ex service...Jace saved Carey's life while fighting in Afganistan..they both suffered..Carey lost half his leg and Jace suffers from PTSD...

While CAREY was recovering from his amputation JACE was there for him and they share a steamy moment...

They kind of loose their connection over the years until CAREY visits JACE ....it's a beautiful story of friends to lovers and I loved every damn word....they were perfect together..

851 reviews231 followers
March 9, 2015

3.5 stars

These days, I'm less and less likely to take chances on 1st time authors. I have less time to read, and all my favorite authors are still producing such great books. It narrows my choices. But a friend of mine recommended this book to me, so I gave it a go.

I quite enjoyed this friends-to-lovers, GFY, military story about Carey & Jase. Their friendship, support, devotion, and love for one another drew me in. Carey is an amputee, still dealing at times with his war injury, and slowly realizing that he's attracted to his best friend. Jase is a Navy medic turned rock star who's loved Carey since they served together in Afghanistan.

Both Carey and Jase are likable characters and their war-torn pasts make them heroes and also sympathetic characters. As Jase battles PTSD and Casey handles life with a prosthetic leg, their connection is what steadies and grounds each of them. When they finally give in to their growing attraction, it is HOT. But it's also tender and so very intimate.

The author clearly knows her facts, whether by life experience or research. As a native San Diegan, I give kudos to her spot-on depiction of military life in America's Finest City. And the war scenes, the life-in-the-military depiction, and even the medical details all seem completely legit and accurate. I do think, however, since the author really knew her stuff, it actually resulted in a lot of 'info-dump' throughout the book...making the read a tiny bit cumbersome.

The middle of the book started to drag a little bit for me and I think there were chunks that actually could have been cut to make it flow a bit better. It read a lot longer than 200 pages. But, there's no denying that the author has a real knack for emotional storytelling and is a talented writer.

It wasn't a consumed-in-one-sitting read for me...in fact, I had to come back to it a few times. But their last bit on the road to a HEA gripped my heart, had me in tears, and put a lot of things about life and love into perspective for me.

I ultimately really enjoyed it and am looking forward to reading more from Melanie Hansen!

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Profile Image for Barbara.
433 reviews87 followers
March 25, 2015

BR with my Girls!!

Things I LOVED in this heartwarming book, of another couple to love: Jase and Carey!!

- Ex-military
- Best-friends-to-lovers
- Gay-For-You theme
- Emotional connection
- Music
- Vulnerable disability
- Explosive chemistry
- Smoking hot sex
- Smexy dirty talk
- Very solid/ fast paced storyline

My first book by Melanie Hansen and certainly won’t be my last. I’ll definitely be looking for more in the future.

Thanks to my Girls for reading with me!
Profile Image for Meags.
2,066 reviews353 followers
July 29, 2017
5 Stars

Whoa boy! This one definitely snuck up on me and unexpectedly blew my mind!

Everything Changes encompassed all my favourite M/M tropes in one. The story features military men, strong hurt-comfort themes, an epic best-friends-to-lovers relationship, and is bundled all together by brilliant writing that is drenched in a metric ton of feels.

The best kind of love is friendship that has caught fire.

Carey and Jase are a book couple I won't be forgetting anytime soon, that's for certain. Their story has become an instant favourite!

Profile Image for Elena.
823 reviews80 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
August 7, 2018
Dnf at 16%

Maybe it’s the book, maybe it’s me.
Either way, I’m cutting my losses early because I can already tell this book will only be frustrating for me.

There are things I like, the writing and the flashbacks are pretty good, I like how the author's been handling the presence of Carey’s prosthetic leg so far, with all the little everyday details giving it the required space without being too much, and Jase’s PTSD is probably going to be an interesting addition to the story.

Still, no amount of romance between the MCs could ever make up for the simple fact that so far Jase has been a callous jerk to his groupie Jayden, and reviews say he’s not going to get any better either, and I’m already not buying the gay-for-you part of this story. I wish authors would find other ways to have a character realizing or acting on their attraction to another man for the first time relatively late in life. If they really want it to be only one single guy he’s ever been attracted to, how about this: there’s a thing called demisexuality.
In any case, I’m not eager to spend the rest of this book reading about a character who repeats to himself “I’m not gay” even after realizing he’s attracted to another man. Yes, you’re most surely not gay since you’ve been attracted to women your whole life, but you want to jump your male best friend, so let me give you a clue, darling: you’re not all that straight either.

Despite my throwing the towel in so early, I’m not giving up on this author. I’ll definitely read something else but I’ll pay more attention to reviews before choosing the next book to try.
Profile Image for Kade Boehme.
Author 33 books1,053 followers
December 8, 2015
This got me in the feels. Nothing terribly new with the GFY or military men plot, but it still had a little something that made it its own, which is the best kinda story. Sweet and made me fee good in the end. Also, kudos for the detail in which the amputation and prosthesis were spoken about. It was more than most books usually do, not just a plot device, but a normal bit of this guy's life and it was written as such without feeling like I was reading a handbook.

Recommended read.

385 reviews22 followers
January 29, 2018
3.5 rounded up to 4 stars

I did enjoy this book, but there was one thing that really bothered me. Why did Carey have such a hard time with wanting a man!? I'm not saying society makes it easy, and I'm not downplaying the difficulty of coming out. What I'm saying is... people usually have a reason for not wanting to. It usually stems from fear involving families or their employment. Carey was a foster kid with no family, and he could find a job with no problem. A job should never be worth losing the love of your life!!!? 😤😤 I just didn't get that. It really bothered me. He also cut off all communication and with his bestie causing immeasurable pain to him and himself. Why!!?? Any readers who don't like back and forth, push and pull between MCs (just one of them really) stay far away from this one.
Profile Image for Martin.
738 reviews392 followers
November 28, 2018
Buddy read with Adam!

This was a challenging story, to say the least.

Even though I'm not a big fan of rock star settings (or generally singers as MCs) and also Jayden The Groupie bothered me, I absolutely LOVED the first 80% of this story. Like 5 star adoration!

Jace is a retired military medic who is now the lead singer of a band on the verge to stardom. His tragic history is shown frequently in flashbacks, where we follow him and his best friend Carey during their deployment in Afghanistan. Carey lost a leg in the war and Jace was his medic, saving his life during those dark days. 

Now they're best friends and care deeply about each other. For Jace, things are clear as day. He loves his best friend and would do anything to cross the line to physical intimacy with him.

Carey, however, is straight. Still, it doesn't take very long to find joy and sexual attraction in their bond, especially when Carey spends his vacation at Jace's place, sharing their best and worst (PTSD induced) moments with each other.

Their intimate scenes are refreshing and absolutely stunning. I enjoyed the hell out of them.

The way Jace carefully let Carey lead any advances, in order not to scare him away. The way Carey finally gave in and broke down the final barriere between them. It was satisfying on so many levels, but then I'm not surprised, as Melanie Hansen is the author of my favorite book that I've read this year: Point of Contact. 

And then the 80% mark came and

What an unsatisfying closure of the book?? I mean, I know GFY can be a rough ride, but this was literally torture. 

I so wanted to give the book a high rating for all the beautiful moments in it.
But Carey's behaviour at the end really wrecked it...

3.5 stars!
Profile Image for Wendys Wycked Words.
1,549 reviews3,802 followers
April 2, 2017
I really enoyed this gfy/best friends to lovers book. I read the second book in this series first, which I loved, but this one didn't dissapoint either !!

Carey and Jase met while they were both in service. They quickly became the best of friends. Jase was serving as a medic and he saved Carey's life while in Afghanistan. Obviously Carey survived, but his leg had to be amputated. Jase has been there for him and truly took care of him when he had nobody else.

Things haven't been easy for Carey, having to accept his condition. But things haven't been easy for Jase either...he's been having flashbacks and panic attacks. He's also struggeling with his feelings for Carey. You see Jase is bi and has been in love with Carey for some time...but Carey, he's straight.

A long visit from Carey to Jase, changes things between them and the lines between friends and lovers evaporate.

These two were really hot together. I loved their dirty talk !!

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But ofcourse things can't stay the way they are. Carey still thinks he's straight and he also has an important job to go back to. He can understand the fact that he's sexually attracted to his best friend...but being in love with him...he can't accept that to be the case. He's straight after all. So he leaves....

Jase doesn't push him. He tries to be patient. He let's Carey know about his feelings and now the ball is in Carey's court.

Carey does take his sweet time, figuring out he's in love with Jase too.....he kinda pissed me off for a little while, but I tried to understand where he was coming from.

Thank god he finally gets his head out of his ass and saves the day !!

4 stars from me (I could have done with a little less flashbacks)...looking forward to book 3 !!

 photo lucky_im_in_love_with_my_best_friend-855094_zpsywgk5gm3.jpg

Profile Image for Karen.
1,859 reviews84 followers
May 4, 2017
3.5 stars rounded up to 4 because still no 1/2 stars here on GR and this one definitely deserves more than 3 stars.

Ok, so I'm really, really late to the party on this one...

I bought this back in 2015 when it was first released and then I squirreled...what can I say it's a thing that I do...frequently. But I've been reading long enough that I know a book that I want to read when I see it so I get them and when the timing feels right I drift back and read them.

In this case I was motivated by the opportunity to listen to the second book in this series on audio. While these books can be done as standalones, if I'm going to read a series I like to at least try and start at the beginning and I had a little time so I decided to squeeze this one in and I'm glad I did.

'Everything Changes' is a friends to lovers, GFY story about two men who meet during their military enlistment. Jase is a medic assigned to Carey's marine corp. It's during their enlistment that they develop a strong bond as friends. It's also during this time that Carey losses his lower leg and gets shipped home early.

When Jase is finally discharged he goes in search of Carey and helps him through his recovery before returning to his life in California, while Carey ends up in Colorado counselling vets. Still in spite of the distance their friendship continues.

Things Change during Carey's visit and Jase ultimately confesses that he's been in love with Carey for a long time. When Carey's time with Jase comes to an end Carey chooses to return to Colorado under the premise of needing time because 'he's not gay'.

'Everything Changes' was well done and I enjoyed it, but I have to admit for some reason it just didn't put me over the moon the way a story like this usually does and I truly think that it's totally on my this time because I've been pondering this and I have yet to come up with anything that I didn't like or that spoiled the story for me...I got nothin'. However, I can come up with a nice list of what I liked...

I like both of the MC's. Yes, I got a little frustrated with Carey, but I could see where he was coming from. All his life he'd believed he was straight and suddenly he's having not so straight feelings about a guy...yes, it was his best friend, but still it's a guy...so for him it was a bit disconcerting. It wasn't that he was homophobic or anything just really surprised by his feelings and honestly, if I was Carey I'd probably have the same reaction.

I liked Jase. He was such an amazingly good friend and so in love with Carey. More than what he wanted for himself what mattered for Jase was Carey's happiness. I loved that for Jase it was about attraction to the person, not the gender. Truthfully the world could use a whole lot more people like Jase.

I liked Jase and Carey together. They were awesome friends and scorching hot as lovers. I had zero doubt that once Carey got his mind around things they'd be an amazing couple. I loved that while the epilogue was short we saw that they weren't perfect just two men in love, dealing with life and it's challenges the best they could.

In general I liked this story it worked for me...so you see nothing that really stands out in my mind as being wrong or offensive or spoiled the story in any way. Lots that I liked but whatever the reason this didn't go from good to great for me. But I did like it reading was no hardship so I'm looking forward to checking out more by this author and I've got 'Signs of Life' the second book in this series all quayed up and ready to go on audible.
Profile Image for Ele.
1,265 reviews41 followers
March 21, 2015
3.5 stars

This is an impressive friends to lovers story from a debut author.

Carey and Jase met in the military and became best friends. Carey is straight and Jase (who always had a crush on Carey) is bisexual. Jase practically saved Carey's life in Afganistan 5 years ago, after a sharpnel left him below-the knee amputee. Now, Carey visits Jase for vacation and this is where the story picks up.

I appreciate the fact that the author seemed to know what she was talking about regarding the military stuff, the PTSD and the medical situations. The amputation was handled with respect, the emotional ordeal and recovery Carey went through after the accident were depicted pretty well.

There were some things that didn't sit well with me, though, thus the 3.5 stars :
- Too many frequent flashbacks.Some were enjoyable and even necessary while others felt too long, like they were interrupting the story. But this is just me, if you do like flashbacks then this is the story for you.

-What I expected, having read the blurb, was a story where the MCs relationship, goes suddenly from friendship to something more.I didn't buy this.It was clear from the beginning that Carey always felt something more for Jase. He notices everything about him like his body or his clothes and gets pissed when Jase hooks up with a groupie. Plus we learn from a flashback that .That was really confusing.

-I didn't like the way Jase treated Jayden.Yes, I know that Jayden was a minor character and a whiny groupie but Jase using him twice in the story and acting like an asshole afterwards didn't sit well with me cause other than that Jase was a sweetheart and a very likeable character.

-"Working with the ambulance service kept him supplied in fresh morphine and antibiotics, plus the best professional-grade medical supplies."
Does this mean what I think it does? Was he stealing supplies? I hope not. I'm genuinely asking this.Who knows, maybe things work differently in the States or maybe I didn't get it right.

Despite all the above, this was a very enjoyable read, the connection between the characters was undeniable and the chemistry off the charts(and holly mother of dirty talks).The ending left me warm and happy. I would like to read from this author again.

Profile Image for Susan.
2,174 reviews380 followers
October 23, 2015
This was better than I expected. But I have to admit, I didn’t like the stupid angsty last part.

This is a book that concentrated a lot more on character than it does on plot.

I like those kind of books.

Jase is a singer in a band. He is also a war veteran. He used to be a medic in Afghanistan. He and his best friend Carey met while serving together.


Jase saved Carey’s life when Carey lost his leg during an attack in Afghanistan.

Now Carey is visiting Jase on his break. The two spend a lot of time together and things between them are better than ever. That is why is confuses Carey when he starts to have all these feelings for Jase. Sexual feelings. He knows Jase is bisexual but he has always considered himself straight.

Carey doesn’t know that Jase has been in love with him for years. When Carey no longer wants to fight the attraction Jase is happy to go along with anything Carey has in mind.

The GFY aspect in this story was very well done. No jumping in bed with a man without so much as a bit of inner turmoil in this one! No, Carey has doubts and it takes him a while to get on board with the idea of him and Jase in bed together. And they talk about it, as adults. I loved that.


I also loved the deep friendship between these men. They had been through so much together and they were still dealing with the crap they went through in Afghanistan. Both scarred, inside or out, they needed each other to heal.


My one complaint was the angst near the end. It took too long for

But other than that, a very enjoyable story.
Profile Image for Cadiva.
3,226 reviews290 followers
August 14, 2020
This book made me ugly cry, it's pretty much perfection in a book for me.

Two damaged but superbly written ex military men with a connection forged in war and loss.

Friends to lovers crafted in a relationship which is not only believable but painfully real, a gay for you attraction which is perfectly outlined and developed, smoking hot sex, epic emotional romance and a fabulous epilogue promising a true HEA.

Jase and Carey were beautiful and reading them come together from the horrors of war was an emotional rollercoaster of a ride.

Seriously attractive cover as well, which only adds to the overall brilliance of this story.
October 20, 2018
Sweet Romantic Read.

But, sometimes

The minor details matter. This had some VERY GOOD PLOT POINTS...but, it still failed to keep hold of me.

I’ll tell you why...

The intro, opens with my very own personal pet peeve demon lurking and looking at me head on; this quote... no, just no. Sigh...I wish writer's that write on military driven PTSD would just let us have our honor. Yes, I wish this even in fictional writing ^_^.

Please note....Medic's and EMTS are UNSUNG hero's! give it purpose, give it depth. This was unfortunately not done in that retrospect.

And, I almost tossed, your beautiful book ( Melanie Hansen) before mid-point.

The romance.

This book has flashbacks, and GAWD they were so depressing. Re-caps that made my brain take a commercial break. And, reflections in the mist of a conversation that had me day-dreaming.


As, I close this book my final thought, was that this couple had issues, but they simply worked. And, they alone are worth the read. They had great love and devotion towards , and the smex'in was well written. And, the epilogue was pretty nice, yes, it could have been fab, if ?

3 solid stars.
Profile Image for Shile (Hazard's Version) semi-hiatus.
1,069 reviews750 followers
November 14, 2017


Phew! i finished it.

I Liked it but not the way i wanted to. The story was good but did not hold my attention from the start, at around 60% it started to but it was too late, the epilogue was sweet though.

My Issues

-Jase treated Jayden so badly that i felt sorry for him.
-I did not feel the chemistry between Jase and Carey the way i wanted to, and the GFY did not work for me, i found myself skimming the sex scenes.( i never,ever do that) and we had a butt virgin! and i felt:


-The flashbacks *Sighs*
-I felt Carey was just selfish and he even mentions it so many times.

But Overall its me not the book! We did not click there was something missing.


Since this was a debut book for this author, i will read the rest of the series another time. When i am not thinking about L&T.
Profile Image for Monica Vidal.
687 reviews67 followers
March 13, 2015
I better start the review by sying that the author is my best friend but my review is not biased. I promise. I read this book a while ago actually. Perks of being friends with the author...

Two things made me interested since the first moment Mel told me about the plot: GFY and friends to lovers. These two are probablly two of my favorite trops in m/m books, but they are also a constant pay in the ass, because very little authors can convince me of both. Mel's book did it!

You can see and understand Carey and Jason falling in love with each other. You can see and understand them going from friends to lovers, it's all there. It's not told, something that bother me imensily in others books, it's shown. I think she touched a very important point, that we almost never see in books also, phisycal disability in a very sweet but honest way. In fact, Carey's struggles come more from having feelings for his friend than by being an amputee. There are some very sad and touching moments, specially with both of the guys' flashbacks, but you can see in the present that they over came together their issues.

The sex parts are HOT! Like, super smoking hot because Mel can nails sex scenes. She just does. The book is emotional in the right dose, it's exciting and sexy. I just can't stress enough that you all should read it. It's her 1st published work and you even get a blurb of her next book that lemme tell you is just as awesome!

Profile Image for Tammy.
1,130 reviews29 followers
June 15, 2018
I'm trying not to low ball this review because of something one of the characters (CAREY) did that I didn't agree with. 😏😣 Overall this was a really interesting read, I loved the special bond Carey and Jase had as friends that rolled over into a relationship. It was a long wait for Jase, he was a rock for Carey when he was going through rehab for his injury and stopping his whole life just to help Carey knowing his feelings were not reciprocated. I felt they were on the right track with Carey's visit until Carey decided to throw away Jase's feelings. Not sure he deserved Jase and his forgiveness but I'm happy it finally ended well for Jase.... The flash backs really added to the story and understanding of Jase's problems with PTSD.
Profile Image for Elsa Bravante.
1,101 reviews172 followers
August 8, 2016
Cuatro estrellas fundamentalmente por su pareja protagonista. No es un libro muy original ni con grandes sorpresas, además la autora en ocasiones utiliza recursos demasiado fáciles para sacarte alguna lagrimilla y al escribir tiene una manía algo molesta, utilizar constantemente y de forma repetetita el nombre de los protagonistas. Sin embargo, y a pesar de esto y de que algún fragmento relacionado con la guerra de Afganistán no es lo que más me atrae, hay mucha química entre los protagonistas y su historia es realmente bonita. He pasado muy buen rato leyendo.
Amor,sentimiento, y un protagonista al que le falta una pierna escrito con sensibilidad, pero sin condescendencia o paternalismo.
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