Shell Shocked by Angelia Sparrow & Naomi Brooks

Pink Petal Books

Gay Romance / Pagan

ISBN: 9780982543566

Reviewed by Cassie




Sean came back from Iraq with two replacement knees, a lot of scars, and a bad case of PTSD.  Now he survives due to his weekly trips to the clinic to get his pills, and his budding career as a romance novelist.  At one trip to the doctor, he strikes up a conversation with Gabe, a double amputee in a wheelchair.  Gabe is fascinating: funny, kind, understanding, and easy to be with.  Sean has a whole host of major issues to deal with—more than even a patient man like Gabe may be willing to deal with.  Can a broken down veteran and a pagan phone psychic find a way to conquer their pasts and be together?

Shell Shocked was one of those books that occasionally comes along and really surprises me in a good way.  I wasn’t sure what to expect from a book about an injured veteran and an amputee, but Angelia Sparrow and Naomi Brooks did a great job of showing the trials and the triumphs of Sean and Gabe without being patronizing or trying to paint too rosy a picture.  In the beginning of the book, Sean’s barely holding it together.  His PTSD is so bad he can barely make it to the clinic for his meds.  Meeting Gabe is a stroke of luck for him, because it gives him something to think about besides the horrors he faced in Iraq.  He discovers that he likes being with Gabe, and that helping Gabe helps him too.  Gabe is less developed, but his outward happiness covers a dark, painful past.  I enjoyed learning about his pagan faith, something I knew very little about prior to reading this book.  Shell Shocked is actually billed as a pagan inspirational romance, and that’s not a bad description.  Gabe and Sean have a lot against them, from their own situations to the outside world, yet they persevere.  Gabe’s strong faith helps him see the beauty in his life, despite the adversity.  I really enjoyed Sean and Gabe’s journey to find love, and each time they met a new problem I hoped they’d be able to overcome it.  Open-minded readers will find a lot to like in this sweet, unusual story.


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