Digging Deep Book Cover Digging Deep
Jay Hogan
Contemporary M/M Romance
Dreamspinner Press
August 6, 2019

Drake Park has a complicated life. As a gay male midwife, he’s used to raising eyebrows. Add Crohn’s disease and things get interesting—or not, considering the sad state of his love life. Experience has taught Drake that most men are fair-weather sailors when it comes to handling his condition—gone for dust when things get rough. Staying healthy is a full-time job without adding in any heartbreak, so a little loneliness is a small price to pay. If he says it often enough he might even believe it. One thing for sure, the cop who arrested him isn’t about to change that.

Caleb Ashton does not have a complicated life. A senior detective with the Whangarei Police Department, he likes his job and is good at it. He works hard and plays hard, happy to enjoy as many men as he can while he’s still young enough—or at least he was. These days he feels adrift for the first time in his life, and the only thing sparking his interest—a certain prickly young midwife.

But can Drake find enough faith to risk opening his heart again? And does Caleb have what it takes to cope with the challenges Drake’s condition presents?

Reviewed by: Linda Tonis

Member of the Paranormal Romance Review Team   

Drake Park is gay, a midwife and suffers from Crohn’s Disease so needless to say his life is anything but easy. At a March Against Mining his Crohn’s hit full force forcing him to find a bathroom ASAP; in spite of the sign on the Council building door stating, closed to public. He had absolutely no choice, desperate times call for desperate measures and he was desperate. When he finally got to the bathroom a knock on the door advising him that the police were outside, and he should open the door immediately. This did nothing to help his present situation since stress is not good for his condition.

After finishing his business he is handcuffed for trespassing and in spite of showing the policeman his medical card he was taken into custody. Caleb Ashton is a Senior Detective with the Whangrei Police Department and he promised to ensure that Drake would be allowed to go to the bathroom only a call distracted him from that promise and Drake found himself begging the officer at the desk to let him go. The officer decided it was in the best interest of everyone to allow it since Drake was in the act of removing his pants and pulling a wastebasket over.

When Caleb returned he immediately apologized to Drake but Drake was not going to let him off the hook. Caleb was not going to just go away because for some reason he was attracted to Drake in spite of his snarky attitude and medical condition and an offer to have coffee was immediately turned down. Another attempt by Caleb led to the same result only this time when he left Drake’s office Drake had second thoughts about meeting with Caleb. Drake has been hurt over and over again when every relationship ended with his partner realizing that they did not want to deal with Drake’s problem. There was no such thing as a spontaneous date because he always needed to be sure a bathroom was available. Restaurants were also a problem because he had to watch a specific diet and sex, well that was a whole other story.

I had a hard time liking Drake since everything he did revolved around his Crohn’s and his constant refusal to have a relationship with Caleb started to get tiring. There was also an incident involving one of Drake’s patients that just didn’t seem to belong in the story since there was enough drama with Drake’s Crohn’s. I also found the book to be a little long and drawn out and after a while all I was able to focus on was Drake’s condition. I appreciate how life altering Crohn’s can be and the book brought to light the reality that people who suffer from the condition have to be aware of everything they do on a daily basis.

In spite of everything I must say that the secondary characters in this book were wonderful and played a big part in finally making Drake see what he would be missing if he allowed his Crohn’s to totally rule his life. I also learned a lot about a disease I know effects people in my personal circle and although I knew they had the disease I got a firsthand account of what it really is like to live with it.