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?
Joel is a young father, in a casual relationship with Dan, and spends half his week with his three-year-old daughter, Evie, and every other weekend is split with Evie’s mother, and his best-friend, Claire.
A tragic car accident that ends Claire’s life, changes everything, and suddenly Joel is trying to battle his grief, while helping his daughter adjust to life without her mother. As a result his relationship with Dan starts to drift.
We get a glimpse of the relationship with Joel and Claire before she is killed, to support the best-friend claim. This works to ensure that the grief matches the loss. I appreciated that these two had a good relationship while they parented their daughter, and more so, that the author didn’t demonise the woman, which happens a lot in M/M romance.
The story dragged a bit for me, in the day to day happenings of Joel and Evie’s life. Some of it was necessary and some was overkill. It was believable to a degree. I just wished there wasn’t so much of it.
The slow drain on Joel’s relationship with Dan was easy enough to believe. Dan is nineteen, and in party phase, not in that headspace to support a grieving man and his daughter. What did surprise me was how long it took to end. I was expecting something quicker, but they didn’t actually break up until about halfway through the story.
Enter Liam. We meet Liam at the hospital when Joel is first told about Claire’s accident and death. He is a nurse at the hospital, and re-appears after Evie gets sick and Joel takes her in to be checked out.
Liam is older, and is past game playing. He fits perfectly into Joel’s routine, not asking for a lot, but slotting in somewhat seamlessly. Evie loves him, and Joel feels an intensity toward him that scares him. This makes him blunder a bit and cause some problems.
There was a fair bit of angst. Some was easily put down to grief and struggle, and some seemed fabricated to drive the story. It was unnecessary and a bit annoying. I liked the way Joel’s sister was a big part of the story. Miranda was a pillar of strength and support for Joel, and her character was well developed.
The characters were all well developed and the writing was well done. The editing was tight, and the plot was consistent.
I thought overall this story was sweet and even with the few mishaps with over dramatising things, and slight drag of day to day stuff, it had a nice flow to it. I didn’t get overly excited about it, but it was an enjoyable read.
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