It’s said that time is the great healer, but love can be every bit as powerful when it comes to mending the soul. This is certainly the case for one of the heroes in this poignant coming of age tale by Mia Kerick. Written with real tenderness, and featuring a protagonist whose voice grabbed my attention from the opening sentences, this is one of those novels that made me feel all warm and tingly inside. It left me with the belief that, no matter how damaged or embittered a person may be, there is always hope, the chance that things will get better.

High school senior Kai Manter—talented, confident, and sexy as hell—is unaccustomed to guys turning him down. Moreover, his evening shifts playing gigs at the popular college café, Coed Joe’s, earns him plenty of male admiration. Therefore, when he sets his sights on Jamie Arlotta, his beautiful but unapproachable coworker, Kai fully expects his advances to yield some no-strings-attached sex. Nothing could have prepared him for the vehemence of Jamie’s hostility, or that this rejection would arouse in him a single-minded determination to gain Jamie’s trust.

With the aid of music, his most comfortable mode of expression, Kai reaches out to Jamie. He assures him that he understands he’s in pain, that he wants to be there for him. Little by little, Kai coaxes Jamie into opening up, and soon learns that he has deep-rooted issues, planted there by years of sexual abuse. It also becomes clear that he is fast losing his heart to the broken young man. Kai has no idea whether Jamie will ever heal sufficiently to return his feelings, but the one thing he does know is that he has to do whatever it takes to help him.

What appealed to me most about Intervention was that it’s primarily a story of character development. As the narrative opens, Kai is a cocksure young man whose main concern, besides his music, is scoring his next quick lay. Jamie, on the other hand, is an emotional wreck, who uses his bitchy tongue as a weapon to hold people at arm’s length. The more deeply Kai falls in love, the more I realized the self-assurance conceals a genuine kindness, and the patience with which he draws Jamie out, gradually revealing the sweetness beneath the animosity, truly touched me.

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Written for Rainbow Book Reviews

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