We read and review for the love and joy of books.
Publisher: DreamSpinner Press
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Andrew was raised Catholic and told homosexuality is a sin, as a result, he has hid his true self most of his life. He got married (which can be described as a version of an arranged marriage!), had kids and works hard at his career and refers to his true self as “The Vault”. Then he meets Paul, who is out, proud and after they start an affair, he learns Paul even goes to church – one that does not still follow the fire and brimstone version of religion and sermons. What started as an affair becomes much more complicated, but it also pushes limits on beliefs of what is right, what is true and what is possible.
The story is told from the alternating point of view of Paul and Andrew.
First off, if you’ve read the synopsis of this book or even what I summarized above, you know that this book involves cheating and readers should be aware of that. However, this book is much more than that and I do hope readers who might not normally read books with cheating give it a chance! I would say the first few chapters of the book deal with the affair portion of Paul and Andrew’s relationship, but once their real lives start spilling over into their time together, the story focus changes into all the other topics this book presents!
If you read Safe in His Arms, the first book that was about Lon and Casey, then you are familiar with the character of Paul and that he was an excellent friend not only to Lon, but even to Casey, who he thought was too young for Lon, but backed off saying that when he saw how they balanced each other out. You did hear of Andrew and perhaps, as the author intended, you shared the judgment that Lon and Casey did, that it would not end well and Paul should get out. Interestingly enough, with this story, you are presented with his hesitation about starting the affair for the exact reason that Andrew is married.
I neither condone nor excuse cheating, I am of the opinion that if you don’t want to be with the person you are with, you should break it off before you start another relationship – no matter how temporary. And to that end, the book was a slow start for me, it didn’t help that I liked both Paul and Andrew as characters! Then the cracks start to show in the façade of Andrew’s life and marriage and even though he tries to fix that, his wife leaves – but not for what you may assume, which gave a whole new direction to the story and at that point, I could barely put the book down!
For me, what I got out of the book is not only about being true to yourself, but also to question what people think is best for you, question religion, no matter how strongly you believe, you should question anyone who tries to teach faith through judgment, exclusion or hatred. And I think my favorite point out of the book, if you are in a relationship and you have children, they must always be the most important thing, no matter what you want, no matter what happens to your relationship with your partner, you had children together and they should not have to choose sides or choose who to love or like because the adult relationship has changed. This topic was dealt with beautifully!
So, this book that someone could simply write off because there is cheating, is even more importantly, about faith, love, parenthood, friendship and doing the right thing – for yourself, for your family, for your children. I loved the characters, main and secondary – for example, Andrew’s PA, Erica, is a fantastic character that you both want to have in your life and are afraid to have in your life! I would recommend this for fans of romance, there are some hot scenes between the two lead characters, but it is part of the story.