I am writing this review with a heavy heart. Because…..
It’s been a little over a week and I haven’t read a thing. Thank you Marshall Thornton! You’ve ruined me.
Its the end guys, and I don’t really know what to do with myself. I keep replaying scenes in my head. I’m at a loss on how to function properly now. How do I do it? How do I go back to normal after reading this series?? I can’t get passed it. I am wrapped in this bubble that is stuck in the 80′s and I can’t get out of it. And truth be told in a way I don’t want to leave. I wanna stay there. With this heartbreak that I am feeling from book 3 to the end of book 6. With this humbled feeling all through my chest. With my love for all things Nick Nowak.
I’m that HEA girl. Give me angst, and heartache and grief, great kisses and HOT sex through 95% of the book. But that last 5% needs to be a HEA for me to feel fulfilled. That’s just me. But, I am pretty sure that’s about 95% of female readers. We read to escape reality. We read to feel good. In the end our lovers/boyfriends/husbands/fuck buddies all get the good end of the stick while, during and after. You know its true. We want the romance. So at this point I would tell you if you want Romance then this series isn’t really for you. BUT. And here is the BUT. You would be dumb not to read it. It is such a great series. Marshall Thornton is an amazing story teller. He keeps you wanting MORE MORE MORE. There is love. It may be a bit unconventional, but it is there woven in the pages.
So I will start at the beginning. I won’t go into what each book is about ~ Cause you just gotta read them.
Nick Nowak series is set from 1979 (Little Boy Dead) to 1984 (From the Ashes)
The premise of all books follow a gay PI. Nick Nowak. His work; the genre is mystery, and throughout the series, GRID or AIDS is starting to become and epidemic. A bunch of supporting cast members that are in all the books. Some you will grow to love and some who are just meh.Book 1 & 2
: We meet Nick Nowak. At 1st I just kept thinking W.T.F. Is this guy for real??? I think btwn book 1 & 2 my man slept with… You know what. I can’t even tell you. I just stopped counting. And the threesomes. Yah. Those threesomes.
The sex was just, it was to bust a nut really. No connection. No nothing. And yet, I couldn’t stop reading about this broken man who is missing his 1st love, Daniel, who outed Nick for being gay. Nick becomes a PI because he can longer be a cop. Why? Cause he’s gay and treated very differently from family to peers. And then we meet Harker in book 2. Harker who is a closet case gay cop. Who shares a name with my husband. Obvs I liked him even more for just that.Book 3
: OK. Now I’m so invested that I can literally feel my heart wanting to crack in half and by the end I want to vomit everything I just ate. Because a unknown disease is happening and people are starting to die. And we find out that that unknown disease is called GRID. And Harker is sick and I want to throw my e-reader across the room and kill anyone who thinks they can disturb me in this world. Nick is caught btwn is 1st love and the love he feels for Harker. His time with his ex Daniel. All of it hurt me. All of it.
Gay-related immune deficiency (GRID) was the name first proposed in 1982 to describe an “unexpected cluster of cases” of what is now known as AIDS, after public health scientists noticed clusters of Kaposi’s sarcoma and pneumocystis pneumonia among gay males in Southern California and New York City. “My lover. I’d never called Harker that before. But it was true. That’s why I’d never been able to tell him about Daniel. That’s why I hadn’t left him for Daniel. And that’s why I couldn’t return Daniel’s call. I loved Harker. Without planning to, without even thinking, I’d chosen Harker over Daniel. I’d decided weeks before and never owned up to it. I could have kicked myself for being such a lug. I loved Harker. Loved him fully and completely. He was mine. And he was slipping through my fingers.” Book 4
: OMG my heart. My heart. My fucking heart. I don’t know how much more of this I can take. Harker. GOD. I can’t imagine how everyone felt when their loved ones starting getting sick and not getting better, dying. My heart just hurts. And I have been humbled. Marshall Thornton does grief amongst the pages really really well. We meet Christian who has a thing for Harker. I don’t like Christian. At all. No I don’t. Harker’s mama. I loved her. I did. Even though she was a homophobe she loved her Bertram and accepted Nick as a good “friend”. The grief they shared in his illness and doctor visits hurt. And throughout this book I have a severe case of love/hate with Nick. His random sexcapades are pissing me off. Immensely. I want to throat punch him and then hug him.“Fucking is primal. Instinctive. Necessary. It is life. Or at least, that’s what I was thinking when I came deep inside this strangers ass.”
“Everything works out for the best.” I struggled to smile. I didn’t believe it for a minute. Things did not work out for the best unless you bent logic into a pretzel.” Book 5:
OMG. I wanted to throat punch Marshall Thornton (sorry, not sorry). He stole my grief. He and the Bughouse Slasher. HOW DARE YOU. I wanted/needed more time with Harker. I hated the way this book started and it was a 5 star read. Cause the emotions evoked in this book would drive a sane person insane. I couldn’t even cry. I was just so bloody angered. Angry doesn’t even cut it. Page 1 sliced me deep and I didn’t even recover. I was given no time. AT ALL. I felt everything Nick felt in this book. EVERY LITTLE THING. Throughout this book I kept thinking it was Christian. I wanted him to die. Don’t ask me why. He bothered me to no extent. I didn’t like him. At all.“Grieving is like being set afire. Except when you try to put out the flames they disappear; when you try to salve your wounds you find your skin unblemished. You take a breath, thinking the worst has passed, and then grief bursts into flames anew. It rages, it roars, it smolders, all at its own unfathomable whim. You can’t shake it; you have no choice but to burn.” Book 6
: Book 6 is both Nick and I trying to move on after we have lost Harker. Nick’s relationship with Harker’s mom makes me laugh. I liked the way they moved with each other. The way they both tried to pick up the pieces. How Harker’s mom helped Nick move on, somewhat. She brought him back to himself. We can all thank her for that.
This series is hands down the most thought provoking, immense feelings, how do I go on read that you will ever have. I now know what “empty nest syndrome” is all about because I am suffering from it. I would like to thank my co-blogger Silvana for helping me and understanding exactly how I felt as I tried to come out of this world and back to reality.
Thank you to Marshall Thornton for giving us a series that is so well written, thought provoking and eye opening.