There are lots of things that brighten Joel’s life. His three-year-old daughter, Evie, is one. His close relationship with her mother, his best friend from university, is another. Joel’s boyfriend, Dan, adds spice to his child-free nights, and Joel is pretty happy with how things are.
Then one cold and rainy night, everything changes. Joel’s life is turned upside down when he becomes a full-time dad to Evie, and his previously carefree relationship with Dan cracks under the strain.
Meeting Liam, who acts as if getting hurt isn’t a foregone conclusion, shakes Joel to the core. Their attraction is mutual, and Liam makes no secret of how serious he is about Joel. But Joel is wary. He tells himself he’s keeping Liam at a distance for Evie’s sake, when really he’s protecting his own heart. Taking a chance on this new relationship with Liam may seem a small step—a little thing—but is it one Joel can take after losing so much already?
Personal journey. This is an in-depth look at a young man’s personal journey. If you are expecting a romance story, chances are likely you will be disappointed. While there IS some romance, it clearly takes the back seat in this tale. We have to survive a great deal before the romance can begin. It’s also quite different from my treasured bookshelf holding my Northcote collection. I absolutely adored her deeply moving story, Passing Through, and though this is similar it is also quite different.
We meet Joel a few years after he steps into fatherhood. During his college years when he was still discovering himself, he conceived a baby with his best friend. They are masters at co-parenting despite not having a romantic relationship. Bravo to Joel and Claire for continuing to love one another even when they weren’t in love with one another. I truly enjoyed Claire and consequently her tragic accident cut me deeply. Funerals are hard. They are hard to attend and they are hard to read about.
Joel discovered his true self before their daughter was born but barely had a chance to explore his burning sexual desires and dating due to his hectic schedule. Luckily, he still manages to score himself a young, hot, sweet boyfriend. His relationship with Dan is rather spontaneous. Dan is fresh out of school, beginning college and loves to party. Joel has just finished his first year teaching and spends every possible moment with his pride and Joy, Evie. They make it work. They honestly care about each other and want to be together but face challenges from simply being on polar opposite paths. I liked Dan. I didn’t necessarily like the conflicting ideas on open and closed relationships, but it was just as much Joel’s fault for not expressing his needs and wants. When they separate both were relieved, as was I. And here we have yet another stumble in Joel’s journey.
His path finally straightens, levels out and becomes less treacherous. Suddenly, he is swept off his feet. It’s not from stumbling but from flying. He finds himself soaring and he’s elated with the person that gives him this ability, Liam. I LOVED Liam. Joel realizes he could love him too and panics. People do stupid things when they panic. This stupidity hurts. So here we are, hurting again. I wish that Joel did not have to suffer so much. I wish that his life wasn’t so hard. But I adored watching his path change direction. It certainly was not an easy path but it was necessary to take him where he needed to be.
Genuine life beautifully written in spite of its ugly truths. There are toddler tantrums and snotty noses. There is funeral planning and picking up the pieces of your life when it’s been unexpectedly touched by death. There are single father dating obstacles and family challenges. This is real life. It couldn’t get any more honest.
Great characters. I loved all of them! How often does that happen? Joel is an amazing father. I loved how he handled Evie in the midst of their turmoil. Liam is absolutely perfect…for Joel. Joel deserves a long spell of happiness. I always enjoy the British ‘sprinklings’ Jay brings to her stories, it’s undoubtedly her unique stamp. And I love the new cover too!
Death. Single parenting of a charming little girl. Fate causing two men’s paths to cross over and over again, until finally a crossroad intertwines them into one.
Anyone looking for a break from routine romance & erotica and wants something exceptional with a rigorous trek to the finale. As well as those readers who do not shy away from death and loss in their books. It was very well written, it contained amazing characters but it was…hard. Life’s little things add up to beautiful big things!