Reviews

Digging Deep by Jay Hogan

mdg1502's review against another edition

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emotional hopeful medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.5


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kirstificous's review against another edition

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emotional hopeful informative slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

mschaeff's review against another edition

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5.0

I thought this book was so phenomenal. It was an unflinching portrait of chronic illness and what it takes to navigate it, with thoughtfully crafted characters who really had to work (and actually communicate) to make their relationship a success.

bfdbookblog's review against another edition

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4.0

Wow, this book is one wild, angst-filled ride. This is Ms. Hogan’s third book and I’ve read all three of them. I very much like her writing. Each book is unique and very well written with well developed characters. In this book I especially felt every emotion of not only the main characters but a few of the supporting characters as well.

This story covers a lot of ground and I’m not sure where to start so I think the best thing to do is to cover the things I liked/loved and the things I didn’t.

Things I liked/loved:
Caleb. Plain and simple, he is the best part of this book. He went to great lengths to win Drake over in the absolute most endearingly unique ways possible. He showed his strength of character, humor, vulnerability and ability to grow as a person while being doubted at every turn. And on a purely superficial level: hello, cop.

The supporting cast, except for Leanne, is in a word OUTSTANDING. Drake’s business partners, best friend and family all showed the support he needed both during his Crohn’s flare-ups and day-to-day needs as well as when disaster strikes one of his patients. Carmen/Daniel damn near stole the show at times without being over the top or frustrating as some queens tend to be written in books. I don’t know if I’ve ‘met’ a better queen in a book and her husband Pete, who we only briefly met, is her perfect partner. Caleb’s family is as great as Drake’s and added as much to the story.

The epilogue was perfect. After the angst filled story, the super sweet ending was much needed and appreciated.

Things I didn’t love:
Let me preface this by noting that ‘didn’t love’ doesn’t mean hate or dislike…it just means I wasn’t thrilled by something.

Drake was…frustrating at times. Caleb continually proved, and I mean he worked HARD to show his strength of character, he wanted a chance with Drake and Drake completely dismissed Caleb based on past experiences, repeatedly. I do understand his illness requires a bit of selfishness and self-preservation, but Drake took this to a whole new level…to the detriment of his potential amazing relationship with Caleb.

Leanne, Caleb’s supposed BFF, was also frustrating to me. Even after Caleb constantly proved himself with Drake, she doubted his integrity and staying power in the relationship. So much so that Caleb began to self-doubt. At what point do your past transgressions not define you? Shouldn’t your best friend know your true heart?

The story is a bit long…maybe too long as it took me longer than normal to finish the book (I usually finish books in a day or two while this one took me a week to complete). Drake and Caleb went back and forth trying to decide if they wanted to commit to each other one too many times.

I’m assuming the next book will be about Aaron (Drake’s BFF). We met him but didn’t learn much about him, only his relationship woes but this author hasn’t disappointed me yet so I’m in until she does!

enayqueerbooklover's review against another edition

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5.0

Easy 5 star read

Swoon /5

bradleyj's review

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emotional funny hopeful inspiring lighthearted medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

5.0

bharmonyauthor's review against another edition

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5.0

I had no idea what I was getting into with this book, this author, this storyline and let me just say I was BLOWN AWAY by the emotional brilliance of this writing.

Drake's chronic illness was perfectly executed as part of the plot, as ugly as it is, Jay Hogan captured the realism of a vulnerable character and provided all the gritty details of making a relationship work.

Watching Caleb's growth as a character was amazing. His emotional jorney, his need to protect, his want to care for Drake and build something real.. it was perfection.

This couple was everything I would want in an emotional, MM romance. It captured the real-life trials and challenges of a couple navigating a relationship with crazy jobs, even crazier friends, and healing in the most basic sense.

And as always from my reviews, my top quotes of the book:

“Are you always this charming?” I snorted. “No. Sometimes I can even be a bit sarcastic. Shocker, right?”

“Let’s see how you behave in here first, Professor Higgins.” I frowned. “Who?” “Jesus Christ. Kids these days. Give me strength.”

“My suggestion is this. How about I strip you naked, very slowly, and then bathe you….” “Bathe me?” I chuckled. “Shhhh. This is relationship romance stuff, I don’t expect you to understand.”

ccreadsbooks_'s review against another edition

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5.0

Can you write a wonderful, funny and sexy book starring a character with an illness that is distinctly none of those things? You sure as shoot can if you're Jay Hogan. Digging Deep is a deep yet delightful love story involving Drake, a midwife who suffers with Crohn's, and Caleb, the Playboy detective who arrests him (you'll get there, it's great). While not quite enemies to lovers, this book has that sweet long slow slide in to love that keeps you turning each page. Trigger Warning: there is some loss in Digging Deep which is heartbreaking and hard to read, but it is handled with skill and serves to deepen our connection with the characters. As the parent of a child with severe Ulcerative Colitis, I appreciate the reality of this book . Digging Deep is a fantastic read that I can and will be recommending.

ccgwalt's review against another edition

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4.0

This is the second book I've read by Jay Hogan with a main character who's dealing with a chronic illness. The other book being Off Balance. While I think Off Balance is overall the stronger book, this one does a great job detailing the difficulty of both living with, and also having healthy relationships when you're living with chronic illness. The difficulties in maintaining a healthy relationship fall on both the person dealing with the illness and the non-ill person. Since chronic illness, in this case Crohn's Disease, is stressful and life-altering, the person with the condition can be understandably depressed, snappish, and difficult at times. That means the physically healthy person has to not only be understanding, flexible, and sympathetic, they also need to be able to set their own boundaries. Hogan does a really good job with showing the challenges for both partners and I really appreciate her sensitive handling of the illness.

What keeps this book from being an A was that at times it reads like a Crohn's Disease Awareness manual. It got a bit technical and repetitive about what the disease is like. Other than that, I thought a few of the side characters were either a little over the top (Carmen/Daniel and the way everyone reacts to her), or a little too, something. Perfect? Adorable? Understanding? Anyway, something. But that's minor.

Good book with great representation of a disability/chronic illness and I highly recommend it.

tinkcourtney's review against another edition

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5.0

Fabulous book, but trigger warning applies!

I really, REALLY loved this book. I'm a sucker for prickly characters (hoo boy, is Drake prickly) and the ones who win them over (there was some hardcore wooing). And there are some amazing side characters, too! Jay handled the topic of Crohn's disease empathetically and (to my very limited knowledge) realistically. Both characters had to be sure what they were willing to deal with and take on, and I feel like they were stronger in the end for having carefully considered and talked through that.

Now, about the trigger warning thing. At the point I bought this, there was no trigger warning, but I contacted the author and it sounds like she's willing to put one on. In case you read this review before that happens, though, please be aware that there is a graphic scene (involving a minor side character) that could be very disturbing to some readers (I haven't personally dealt with that kind of loss and still sobbed). I understand why it happened, story-wise, but it was still a little rough to come upon with no warning.

Regardless, this is still a book I'd recommend. I'm always impressed by Jay's writing skill and this is no exception.