Where the Allegheny Meets the Monongahela is a complex, bittersweet and thought-provoking novel written by Felicia Watson. The content within the novel was portrayed realistically; I also thought the author was pretty brave to tackle a subject as difficult as emotional and physical abuse as well. Ms. Watson is a new author to me, and after reading this book, she’ll be one that I’ll keep my eye out for in the future.
When Logan Crane had a rare fit of temper and accidentally harmed his wife. Now he’s labeled as a ‘wife beater’ and his life as he knows it has changed drastically around him. To make amends and to pay the price for his error in judgment, he has been enrolled in counseling program for abusers and abused people. Even though Logan does not see himself as a man who batters women, he’s aware that there are issues he must work through before he can regain the trust of his wife and family back, so he can return home.
Since he’s a mechanic and as part of the program, Logan is instructed to help abused women become more knowledgeable with maintaining an automobile. He will be supervised by their counselor, Nick Zales, as he teaches the women how to do everything from changing a tire to changing the oil with confidence. Soon Logan is faced with another problem he’s been living in denial about…his sexuality. The immediate attraction and friendship that develops between Logan and Nick is something that they both try to ignore, but as the men get to know each other, Nick and Logan are unable to fight the feelings they have for one another.
Nick himself is fighting his own demons. He comes from an abusive childhood and constantly lives with the guilt over not being able to help his domestically abused mother. Now, he does what he can to help other women gain the strength to leave and have a good life without being with their abuser. Even though he knows his feelings for Logan is inappropriate, he can’t help but see the warm and caring person Logan is inside.
As their relationship progresses, many problems face the couple. Both men must fight many obstacles in their path if they want to have any kind of happy life together. Will they find the strength and courage to work through their past and present issues for they can have a bright future?
I really liked this book. I thought Logan and Nick were both likeable men, who were both realistically portrayed throughout the book. I liked the inner strength and determination both heroes had to get past the many issues that faced them. Both of them go through much character development and growth as the story progresses and I liked how they learned to not only communicate and lean on each other for support, they also learned to deal with things on their own. In the end, I thought both men came out stronger and better men because of it, and they were better partners to each other because of it, too.
There were just a couple of niggles I had with this book. Even though Logan has fought his homosexuality all of his life, he didn’t put up much of a fight when it came to sleeping with Nick. Both Logan and Nick were super stubborn at times and I wanted to talk some sense to both of them, but this is also a positive aspect to the story as well. Nothing comes easy for either of them, so they appreciate everything they’ve had to fight for. There is quite a bit of angst in this book and there are a lot of twists and turns to the story that I thought might have bogged it down a little. I found myself wishing for both Logan and Nick to get a break after a while, but it’s a very well written story that I highly recommend if you are looking for a heavier read.
Logan Crane's life changed dramatically the day a blind fit of temper resulted in him accidentally injuring his wife. Although he's now in an abuser counseling program, Logan cannot face the real source of his unhappiness: he's always been attracted to men but has refused to accept it since witnessing an act of violence. During his therapy, Logan meets Nick Zales, a counselor at a shelter for victims of domestic violence. Nick is understandably suspicious of Logan despite an immediate attraction to him. Logan feels the same attraction and faces a critical internal struggle as he finds himself falling in love with this enigmatic man. Both men are haunted by unacknowledged ghosts and abuse in their pasts. How can they help each other heal if they continue to ignore their own wounds?