Cindi's Reviews > How to Save a Life

How to Save a Life by Sloan Parker
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Nov 16, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: series, sloan-parker, 2013, from-author, m-m, favorites, faves-published-in-2013

Kevin Price is a klutz. If he's not tripping over his own feet, he's tripping over someone else's. He's an accident waiting to happen. He is, however, a very good investigative reporter. He goes undercover at The Haven, a popular gay sex club, to investigate the disappearances of several men. The police (who Kevin has zero respect for) aren't taking the disappearances seriously so Kevin is determined to find out what happened to them and to expose the club publicly if it turns out that the owner is involved. He is convinced that he is. There is talk of drugs, thefts and other things that could also bring the club down.

Kevin is gay but is deep, deep in the closet. He has had one sexual experience with a man and has promised himself that there would never be a repeat. The night of this one experience is the night a major tragedy occurred so a promise was made to himself to stay away from men and to deny those feelings and urges. He is only in the club for a few minutes before he can no longer deny his sexuality to himself. After (literally) stumbling over ex-cop and security specialist Walter Simon, that closet door practically slams shut. Walter is at the club to help the owner with his own investigation of the disappearances when Kevin trips over his foot and practically lands in his lap. When it turns out that Kevin has more information about the missing men than Walter does, he agrees to work with Kevin to find answers. What Walter doesn't expect is to start feeling something for a man again. He lost his partner, Gary, five years earlier and never thought he would find another man that he might want to share his life with. The one thing that Walter cannot get beyond is the fact that he is 19 years older than Kevin. Walter is 48 and Kevin is almost 30.

Walter and Kevin are in a race against time to find the missing men. With each step forward in the investigation, they are forced several steps back. The kidnapper is always one step ahead of them as he is leaving no clues. More men are disappearing directly under their noses. The young men are making their way to one of the club's private rooms only to disappear without a trace. No one can figure out how they are being taken from the crowded club as they go up the stairs to the private area and never come back down. There is no security footage showing who these men are going to the rooms with. Walter and Kevin are baffled. As they work their way through the investigation, they get closer. The night they meet something happens between the two men in the bathroom of the latest missing person's apartment. This was hot as hell.

If you've read Sloan Parker's first book, More, (and if you haven't, why not?) then you have been introduced to Walter. He played a huge part in bringing together Luke, Richard and Matthew who all met and fell in love at The Haven. Walter spent time at the club during that time but he never participated in any of the 'activities'. His character was extremely reserved. The reader learned very little about him other than the fact that he worked in the security industry and that he did not do random hook-ups nor was he looking for any type of relationship. It is obvious (at that time) that something had occurred in his past that kept him from opening up in all ways. For him to fall so hard and so fast for Kevin was shocking. He wants the man from the minute he lays eyes on him and it scares him. As the relationship slowly progresses, it terrifies him that much more. The massive age difference between the two causes serious problems for Walter. Kevin does not understand what the big deal is. Walter, on the other hand, is convinced that if he allows himself to fall too hard for Kevin that Kevin will walk away because he's so young and that he may want to get out there and explore with other men. Then there is the fact that Walter will grow old and he does not want to hurt his younger lover as time takes its toll on his aging body.

The mystery of this book was quite interesting. You find out relatively early on who the kidnapper is but not who he works with, even if (looking back) the other person was pretty obvious. I didn't see it until much, much later. There are a few uncomfortable parts of this story in regards to the victims though the author does not give graphic details. You do not need the details laid out in order to get the gist of what is going on in the background. The author handled that part of the story very well and with sensitivity. I applaud her for that.

Walter and Kevin are slowly developing a relationship. Kevin can no longer deny his feelings and he knows beyond doubt that he is 100% gay. He is gradually falling in love with Walter but Walter can not seem to get beyond the fact that he is old enough to be Kevin's father. This almost destroys them before they even become a true couple.

I absolutely loved this book. More was my very first full-length M/M novel so I have a special love for this author's work and for the characters in it. Richard, Luke and Matthew (who will go down as one of my all-time favorite m/m characters) are in this book sporadically. I always love catching up with favorite characters so it was a pleasure to see them again. While you do not have to read More in order to get this book and it really does make a very good stand-alone, I would recommend it if you would like to see a little bit more about Walter. As mentioned above, he played a big part in bringing Richard, Luke and Matthew together so you get introduced to him and can get an idea of who he is. There is a secrecy about him in that book that made me very eager to read this one. You also will understand more in regards to Richard, Luke and Matthew and what led to their unique relationship.

Everything comes together very well. The mystery of the disappearances is explained well. Walter and Kevin have to work for their happily-ever-after but they definitely find it. The sex, while infrequent compared to More, was written perfectly. It's not on every other page but when it is there, it's hot. I am a huge fan of books where the two main characters have a substantial age difference. Kevin and Walter's was perfect for this reader because it had the typical problems of those types of relationships and Walter made those known... often.

I had every intention of buying and downloading this book on the day of release as I do this with every book Sloan Parker puts out. I was lucky enough to receive a copy from the author when I won a contest on her blog a few weeks ago. I want to extend a sincere thank you to her for that and for the gift card that I also received as a result of the contest.

Overall, an excellent read. I enjoyed revisiting my favorite characters from More. I loved watching Walter finally find the man who would help him to overcome the losses of his past and his insecurities over having a much younger lover. Then there's Kevin, who has battled intense guilt over a tragedy that was not his fault and who denied who he was for a long time as a result. It was also great so see the bad guy finally be brought to justice and the way this was done was handled perfectly. There is a bit of humor here as well as the seriousness (Fred, Wilma, Bam Bam... lol) and then there is the klutziness of Kevin that I thought was cute (as well as his ridiculous boxers).

Another outstanding read by one of my favorite authors. I can't wait to see where she goes from here in the series as I have already fallen in love with quite a few of the secondaries in this one. She gives the reader an idea of who the characters will be in an upcoming book in the series. I can not wait to see those two have their happily-ever-after. I am curious to see how that will work considering what one of those characters has been forced to endure. I have no doubt that this author will do it well.
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Reading Progress

November 16, 2012 – Shelved
November 16, 2012 – Shelved as: series
November 16, 2012 – Shelved as: sloan-parker
November 16, 2012 – Shelved as: 2013
January 4, 2013 – Shelved as: from-author
January 15, 2013 – Started Reading
January 15, 2013 – Shelved as: m-m
January 15, 2013 –
57.0%
January 15, 2013 –
100.0% "Loved it. Review to come."
January 15, 2013 – Finished Reading
January 16, 2013 – Shelved as: favorites
January 27, 2013 – Shelved as: faves-published-in-2013

Comments (showing 1-17 of 17) (17 new)

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Kazza Same here :)


Kazza OMG this has been sent to me in a zip file and I can't effing unzip it. No more Loose Id for me!


message 3: by Cindi (last edited Jan 14, 2013 09:19PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Cindi Kazza wrote: "OMG this has been sent to me in a zip file and I can't effing unzip it. No more Loose Id for me!"

Why a zip file? I think I've only ever gotten a zip once when I bought a book and it was ZP's but I had no problem unzipping it. That's strange.


message 4: by Kazza (last edited Jan 14, 2013 09:20PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kazza Cindi wrote: "Kazza wrote: "OMG this has been sent to me in a zip file and I can't effing unzip it. No more Loose Id for me!"

Why a zip file?"


I don't know. All I'm getting is the front cover then on the next page a small man or something then the end there's no book. I'm so pissed right now.


Cindi Kazza wrote: "Cindi wrote: "Kazza wrote: "OMG this has been sent to me in a zip file and I can't effing unzip it. No more Loose Id for me!"

Why a zip file?"

I don't know. All I'm getting is the front cover th..."


I wish I knew what to tell you. I've just always clicked "unzip all" and it comes up without a problem.


Kazza Cindi wrote: "Kazza wrote: "Cindi wrote: "Kazza wrote: "OMG this has been sent to me in a zip file and I can't effing unzip it. No more Loose Id for me!"

Why a zip file?"

I don't know. All I'm getting is the ..."


Not for me. It acknowledges it's mobi prc but it loads three pages onto my Kindle. I have never had this happen before. I'm about to send an email to Loose Id but it's probably late there so.....


Kazza Good to hear. I'm loving it too!


message 8: by Natalija (new)

Natalija Wonderful review, Cindi! How many pages does it have?


Cindi Natālija wrote: "Wonderful review, Cindi! How many pages does it have?"

Thanks! I'm not sure of the 'page count' but it's 5,678 on my Kindle. If you've read More you'll already be familiar with a lot of the characters. If not, that's okay too because it's an outstanding stand-alone.


Kazza I'm getting towards the latter part of ther book - bloody time differences :) I'm loving it. I'm not sure I can say anything more in a review than you have. Great review, Cindi.


Cindi Kazza wrote: "I'm getting towards the latter part of ther book - bloody time differences :) I'm loving it. I'm not sure I can say anything more in a review than you have. Great review, Cindi."

Thanks, Kazza. I tried to be careful with my wording because I knew you hadn't finished it yet. Even then I kind of had a hard time not adding spoilers. I look forward to reading your review.

(.. and yeah, 'bloody time differences'... lol)


Purplegirl Great review


Cindi Purplegirl *the curious one* wrote: "Great review"

Thank you. It was a great book. :)


message 14: by Gigi (new) - added it

Gigi *stands up and claps* Wow, what a review! Fuck yeah, I'm buying this book after this.

Thanks Cindi!


Cindi Gigi wrote: "*stands up and claps* Wow, what a review! Fuck yeah, I'm buying this book after this.

Thanks Cindi!"


Thanks, Gigi! When I really love a book I tend to get a wee bit long-winded when I type the review. :) It really is a great book. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.


message 16: by Gigi (new) - added it

Gigi Cindi wrote: "Gigi wrote: "*stands up and claps* Wow, what a review! Fuck yeah, I'm buying this book after this.

Thanks Cindi!"

Thanks, Gigi! When I really love a book I tend to get a wee bit long-winded when..."


Oh, I hear ya sister! Totally works for me! :) I'll let you know how I like it! Like you, I loved More and it is an absolute favorite. I just didn't want to spend $8 and have it be crap. $4, I can do. It's a recession, ya know. ;)


Cindi Gigi wrote: "Cindi wrote: "Gigi wrote: "*stands up and claps* Wow, what a review! Fuck yeah, I'm buying this book after this.

Thanks Cindi!"

Thanks, Gigi! When I really love a book I tend to get a wee bit lo..."


Yes, I do know. :) If you loved More then you should love this one because you are already familiar with Walter. It doesn't have near as much sex in it as More did (though it's there). Some folks are okay with that... some not. I thought it was just right.


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