Between Love And Hate (Part of the Brand Me series)
Amber Quill Press
ISBN # 978-1-61124-545-5
This story begins with Si Helms and three girlfriends going to his old place to get something of his. You see, Si is recently released from prison from drug charges. On top of that, he used to be a terrible junkie. Now he’s on the straight and narrow but he knows if he doesn’t want to go back to what he used to be, he needs to keep those people and things out of his life. Pauly was one of those things. The girls kept watch while Si went to his old room and opened his secret hiding place to retrieve the one thing he didn’t ever want to lose. They all left and he continued on. Not only had he been in prison, he rehabbed there. He had also been to therapy and joined a Narcotics Anonymous Group where he found a ‘sponsor’ to help him through some of the difficulties. That sponsor was Kip. Si called Kip several times in the last year or so when he had the cravings to shoot up and didn’t want to fall back on those habits. Kip was there for him every single time, no matter what time it was or how long it took to talk him down. On the way home from Si’s old place, the girls see a movie poster and say they want to see the movie. Si looks at it and is shocked. The star of the film is Kipper James, his Kip!
The girls are all agog and they get tickets to the premier. Kip and some of the others from the film will be there. When Kip sees Si, he immediately wants Si to go inside with him. This is sort of a problem and sort of not. Kip became an addict for many reasons, he was a child actor and everything that came with it. After that, he was always stressed about having to do all the press junkets to promote his work… the green room is full of people drinking and openly doing drugs. It was all Si could do to not suddenly be begging for a hit. Now that you all have a vague idea of what’s going on, I have to say how cute Si and Kip are. If Kip hadn’t been his sponsor Si would totally have tried to make some moves. It was the same for Kip. After putting his phone number in Si’s phone, Kip sends him home after making a date to spend time with him. And what a fun time it was! Yes, I’m not only smirking, I’m smiling as I finish typing that. The two of them, now that they are not in their official Sponsor-Sponsee roles, are in the getting to know you phase, without the singing from The King and I. And they both had dark times which led to their heroin and other addictions.
I will admit I am a huge T.A. Chase fan and have many books of hers, most of them published with Amber Quill Press. I was not disappointed reading this one. Ms. Chase does not glamorize drug addiction or heroin either. She wrote about the ups and downs of an addict, or in this case addicts, and some of the things they go through that we wouldn’t necessarily pay any attention to. I love that this issue was handled with sensitivity and candor, which isn’t always easy to do at the same time. Si is just a great character, I liked him a lot. And really, I loved the Kipinator, the Kip-O-Rama, the Kipster, Kipatollah, Kiparino, Kipper…oh wait, that’s actually his real name. Kipper. You see how I had a hard time not channeling the Copy Room Guy? This is a great read and T.A. Chase, as usual, has given us a very good story!