I don't think I've ever read a book where a couple deserved a 'happily ever after' more. "Unquiet" is the third book in Melanie Hansen's 'Resilient Love' series and I've enjoyed each of these stories so very much but this one...damn, it seriously broke my heart. It's one of the few books where I can honestly say I think I spent at least as much time crying as not. Sometimes it was happy tears...othertimes not so much.
We first met Loren in 'Signs of Life' book #2 in this series. He's the former boyfriend of Kai, who was one of the MCs in that story and while he and Kai are very good friends who still care for each other a lot. What they share is a strong and secure friendship and they've each moved in. Kai's story was in 'Signs of Life' and at the end of it we were given the indication that Loren was going to go after the man who held his heart.
Loren and Elliot have been friends all their lives and they've loved each other that long. Unfortunately love's course is never easy and when one of the people involved is a cop and the other deals with mental health issues...you see Elliot is bipolar...if you're not familiar with this condition...take a minute before reading this book and remember google is your friend. I was fortunate in that because I've worked in health care for over 15 years, during that time I had the experience of working with several clients who were bipolar and the one thing I know from that experience is that it takes an incredibly strong person to be the partner of someone who's bipolar and it takes an even stronger person to not just survive being bipolar but to thrive, to make a good and productive life for themselves and that's what Elliot wants but it's not easy. It's so far from easy there aren't even words.
There's no perfection between these men they both make mistakes such huge mistakes but it's never done with the intent to hurt the other person. Loren struggles to be the supportive partner that Elliot needs while still trying to pursue his career goals as a police officer. Elliot fights so hard to manage his condition and be what Lauren needs...they both stumble and have to find ways to pick themselves back up and put themselves and their relationship back together...it's heartbreaking, gut wrenching and seriously if you can read this book without shedding any tears, without feeling their pain...well, you're a tougher person than I.
I had times when I was frustrated with Loren and Elliot but honestly never was there a point at which I didn't want them to find a way to be together. Melanie Hansen has created two incredibly amazing men in this story...not perfect but strong, resilient men who were willing to do what it took...anything it took to be together because when you love someone whose bipolar..."You're either all in or all out."
All of this was made even more vivid for me with the addition of Michael Stellman's voice narrating this story. He gave such depth and emotion to these men and to the people in their lives allowing me to connect with the story on an emotional level that I'm not sure I would have felt had I just been reading the book. I'm not saying I wouldn't have still loved this book no I think it's more a case of Michael Stellman took a book that I would have loved regardless and simply made it that much better.
An audio book of "Unquiet" was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.