Love’s Legacy now available for FREE! Read David and Nate’s story!

One of the most consistent comments I’ve received about Love’s Magic is that David and Nate’s story needed to be expanded. People wanted to know how this dynamic couple came to be. I  will now begin to answer those questions.

Truth is, David and Nate’s story was my first novel. But it remained unpublished, primarily because I didn’t feel the writing was up to par. But because so many of you wanted to hear about how David and Nate got together, I’ve been re-working it a bit and I now want to present it to you for FREE as an online novel.

You’ll get the full story of how they met and how their relationship developed up to the point where Love’s Magic begins. Their story is called Love’s Legacy and Chapter One is up NOW! I’ll be adding new chapters once a week or so.

CLICK HERE TO READ LOVE’S LEGACY.

Why two gay couples? And why assault?


I was asked by someone who read Love’s Magic why I tackled the subject of campus assault in my manuscript. They commented that the subject matter seemed tricky and further added that writing a book which featured TWO unique gay couples seemed like dangerous territory for a first-time novelist. In fact that one aspect of Love’s Magic has drawn more attention than almost any other, which rather surprised me.

I can only say this. As someone who has been an assault victim I felt the subject needed discussion. And since I was attempting to offer as many viewpoints as possible on how victims and the persons close to them experience and deal with such a dreadful ordeal, I needed the perspective of both my couples in order to best explore the full range of possibilities.

But Love’s Magic is also a love story. These four men have each found someone who has become… or is becoming… the most important person in their lives. For David and Nate, it’s an already established relationship that gets rocked to its core when Nate is attacked. For Colin and Joshua, it’s working their way past some incredibly high, deep emotional barricades, particularly in Colin’s case, which make finding and keeping that relationship damn near impossible. And all of these issues revolve around the personal experience each of them has had with some form of abuse.

The four main characters in Love’s magic had to deal with assault and abuse, each in their own unique way, and no one of them handles it quite the way the others do. Each of these four men are stumbling toward their own healing and eventually share the best of what they’ve learned along the way with the other three. I needed every single one of these men in order to tell the story that needed to be told. Each of them saw the issue from a different perspective. But before they could find the healing they needed they each had to learn to see it through each other’s eyes.

I wanted to talk a bit about each of the four main characters.

Colin is the cop. He deals with every kind of assault on a daily basis as the man charged with finding and arresting the perpetrators of these crimes. But it also is a deeply personal issue for him for reasons which he will discuss with no one. There is pain buried deep within Colin that no ones sees, feelings he has suppressed for most of his life. But when Joshua cracks open his heart everything comes pouring out, and not all of it is good.

Joshua was abused as a child. He was physically assaulted by a drunken father who broke Joshua’s arm when he was eight. He knows what it’s like to be locked in a dark closet and left alone for hours with no food, no light, no help. He became a Doctor of Psychology in order to help others who had suffered as he had, but also to find his own healing. He could see more easily into Colin’s heart than he could into his own. And in helping the man he loved find healing, he also found healing within himself.

Gay themed romance novel cover images for a special collection.

David was never physically abused. But he was assaulted emotionally and verbally by a cold and critical parent and grew up completely unable to believe in his own worth. These issues haunted him for most of his life and were the primary reason why his marriage failed. His father’s voice was still in his ears, directing his life through constant criticism of everything David did and became. The psychological damage David suffered kept him closeted for many, many years. His relationship with Nate led him to the therapy he needed and at least a partial healing.

Nate was never abused in any way. He had an almost ideal childhood. But he fell in love with a man whose self esteem had been badly damaged by a father’s coldness and constant criticism and had to learn how to cope with David’s resulting insecurities as their relationship grew. When Nate went to the rescue of a student who was under attack on the Tog, a park on the university campus, he was badly, though not critically, injured. The trauma he suffered then was the catalyst which eventually drew all four men together.

No two people experience life in the same way. It’s a unique journey for all of us. And when it comes to dealing with abuse in any form, and there are many, it often takes more than one perspective to lead us to the healing we need. Love’s Magic explores many of those pathways through the lives of four exceptional and dynamic men. I hope you’ll get to know them all. I think their stories will touch your heart.


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Meet Nate Reese! Trying to save Love’s Magic!

Nate Reese was not pleased when he was sent to Charlottesville, Virginia to secure the services of Professor David Gardener as a consultant for a documentary film about the Revolutionary War. As an Associate Producer at Paramount Studios he had better things to do.

But at thirty-five Nate was growing tired. The frenzied Hollywood pace had taken a toll, and since he had fallen into the niche of documentary film development rather than the more visible genre of the big feature film, the upward slant of his career was less than dramatic. His time with David Gardener living the slower, more graceful pace of David’s life at the university had made him even more keenly aware of how chaotic his own existence had become. He loved the creative aspect of the work he did, but he longed for a more peaceful and meaningful lifestyle. Returning to Hollywood after their meeting only served to reinforce his unhappiness and increase his desire to return to Virginia… and David.

The time they’d shared in Virginia quickly became a treasured memory in Nate’s heart and each meeting which followed drew them closer together. When David asked him to take an Associate Professor’s position at the University of Virginia, and become his live-in partner, Nate happily agreed.

The idyllic life they share is shaken to the core when Nate is injured struggling to protect a student under attack. Traumatized by the incident, Nate seeks answers and resolution by becoming a leader of activist group called ‘End Assault’, a decision which David refuses to support.

Angry and confused by his reaction, Nate struggles to understand his partner’s decision but feels he has been betrayed and abandoned just when he needs David most.

Understanding that David’s steady, solid personality can easily transform into an obstinate, fearful refusal to face the facts, Nate tries, unsuccessfully, to keep his association with ‘End Assault’ from intruding on their lives. But David appears more focused on the damage Nate’s activism may do to his career than he does on Nate’s commitment to finding solutions to the university’s on-going problems. His refusal to heed David’s warning and leave the ‘End Assault’ movement eventually shatters their relationship, leaving both men alone and heartbroken.

Nate is committed to the militant path he’s chosen and David refuses to support his choice. Both men are right. Both men are stubborn. Both men remain desperately in love. Can they grow into a deeper acceptance of each other’s viewpoint and find Love’s Magic again?


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Meet David Gardener…

David Gardener found Love’s Magic late in life. Until then he stepped through his journey in an emotional daze, living by rules laid down by others and building his self-image around his career success as a University of Virginia Professor. His insecurities, developed in childhood through a cold, critical father, made faith in himself  hard to find. The kind of happiness offered by the incredibly handsome Associate Producer, Nathaniel Reese, seemed a hope beyond anything he deserved.

David was a man pursued by demons. His father’s critical voice echoed in his ears even years after the man’s death. But day by day Nate’s voice gently coaxed David forward, assuring him not only of his love but of David’s worthiness to be loved. David still struggled to find the self-acceptance he needed in order to release his fears. But Nate’s voice was now the guiding force in his life and David followed that voice toward the love and healing he now knows he deserves.

The years after David’s divorce were devoted to his career. The satisfaction he took from the success of his teaching strategies had helped distract him from the emptiness inside. But meeting Nate shone a bright light onto that emptiness making it impossible to ignore. Working up the courage to tell Nate exactly how he felt required months of soul-searching and reaching deep inside to find previously undiscovered courage. But when Nate agreed to move to Virginia as his partner David knew it was worth any struggle.

Nate saw in David the inner strength and steady, solid reliability he yearned to put at the center of his life, and their partnership proved to be everything Nate had hoped for. He excelled in the academic environment David provided and loved the slow, graceful rhythm of the life they shared. Both men were incredibly happy until Nate was attacked on the Tog in a brutal on-campus assault.

Nate coped with his trauma by joining an activist group devoted to changing university policy on such attacks, a group David is reluctant to support. Fearful that Nate’s activism will endanger his hard-won position as an Associate Professor at the university, he withdraws, refusing to participate in ‘End Assault’s’ upcoming Rally. Traumatized by how close he came to losing the only real happiness he’d ever known, David couldn’t bear any reminder of Nate’s attack and ‘End Assault’ makes it the central issue of their lives. Afraid of appearing weak in Nate’s eyes, David foolishly hides his real feelings which only serves to widen the gap between the two men until their once-idyllic life teeters on the brink of complete destruction.

Love’s Magic is almost lost and both men will be forced to acknowledge previously hidden flaws in their thinking before they can find that magic again. Will they choose to be right? Or will they choose to be happy?


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David and Nate struggle to recapture Love’s Magic!

David Gardener, Professor of Revolutionary War History at the University of Virginia for over twelve years is beloved by students, admired by faculty, and sought out by university administrators. He has moved past the pain of a cold and critical father and his own fears about his sexual identity to become one of the most popular figures on campus.

Before meeting Nate, David avoided romance, building his life has around his two daughters and his successful career. A quiet and unassuming man who loved his garden and kept to himself, David had learned to live with loneliness.

But the beautiful and talented Nate Reese awakened the long-buried spark of attraction with frightening force. David’s yearning to form a relationship with the young associate producer was matched only by his fear what this new attraction might do to his now-settled life.

But Nate possessed the kind of open and loving heart that David instinctively knew could lead him to healing and peace. Struggling to find a way to safely connect to Nate, David is repeatedly torn between the safety of solitude and the frightening thought of embracing his needs in spite of the potentially threatening consequences. Eventually though, he begs Nate to take a position at the University of Virginia and Nate happily agrees.

Their differences resolved and more in love than ever, they embark on their life together only to have their new-found happiness threatened by forces almost beyond their control. Nate’s traumatic encounter with a knife blade during an on-campus assault moves him to a position of leadership in an activist movement called ‘End Assault’.

David is devastated by Nate’s attack, but can only see disaster for his career if he pursues this militant course. Frightened of the potential consequences he is reluctant to support Nate’s efforts while Nate, feeling abandoned by his partner, sees David’s aversion to his involvement as indifference to the trauma he suffered.

Both men have valid points of view, but peace between them will require one of them to care more about being happy than he does about being right. Will the love they share be enough to see them through the complex and divisive issues with threaten not only their relationship, but the university they both love? Read Love’s Magic and find out!!


Reach me at: jjarrell@lovesmagic.online
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