I couldn’t really get into this book. It read like I should know things that I just didn’t already know. The title lead me to believe it was a part of a world but not a next in series if that makes sense. Basically, a stand-alone set in the same town or place as previous books. But I spent a good bit of time wondering if one character had died in a fire and the importance of the agents going to this house full of so many characters who only pop up again at the end of the story whose names I don’t remember. I read that entire scene like what is the importance of this?
When I finally found out how long the main character had gone without his mate, this is a mate mpreg story, so many questions. Where did Drew work? How was he surviving alone for a few months? If he was surviving why, after the fire, was he now so helpless he needed another man’s credit card to shop? Were the neighbours taking care of him? Did he work from home and if so why not attempt to get himself back up and running? Basically, Drew’s state of helplessness seemed way too large in comparison to the length of time he’d been surviving pregnant and alone. How was he now suddenly magically helpless?
As far as slow burns go the levels of guilt Shane had also seemed too big. I still don’t know how much Drew lost in this fire considering how long he’d survived alone, but even still it didn’t seem big enough to be like he lost so much that falling for him was so big a thing it be taking advantage of him to like him. Especially when so many people picked up on the tension and had Zero problems envisioning them as a couple so why did he?
On another confusing note, the author never gave a real reason why Shane still had his childhood best friend other than we’ve been friends since childhood. It’s clear they have nothing in common, no one likes him, not even Shane, so if only for the sake of good plot and reader information some sort of solid backstory should’ve arisen. It didn’t so when the ‘friendship’ went under all the anger, excitement, relief, anything that the reader should’ve felt wasn’t there cause the friendship itself was never there to begin with. It read like it was just there to give Shane’s character some tension or character development but I never once got invested in this plot-line because they never got along so it didn’t ‘go’ bad. It was always bad right from the moment he couldn’t be quiet enough to not wake a guest who just lost their house and was finally sleeping well.
Even with the mild ‘adult’ stuff that happened in the book: the Shane and his not so best friend stuff, the type of conclusions Drew kept coming to about his own feelings, and the bad tensions, the good tension I actually enjoyed a lot which is why this got three stars, but the bad tension read kind of juvenile. I dunno maybe I’m just going in with some sort of adult bias but considering how adult this book was, everyone seemed too flighty. Like they belonged in a fluffier book but the whole point of the story was a romance centred around two characters thinking a fire and forced circumstances was the reason for their feelings. That acting would be taking advantage and this kept up quite literally until the baby was born. So if it’s that serious why aren’t the characters adultier? Seriously the only character I was head over heels in love with was Carter, Shane’s partner. He was all sorts of awesome.
This last bit def contains a spoiler or two:
Finally, after they give in to their desires Shane assumes that not wanting to talk means Drew doesn’t love him back. Romance books are forever doing this. Can’t he just want to bask in the moment and enjoy it? He lost his husband months ago, has not allowed himself this for so long, this is a big moment for him. A nice adultier inner monologue about how Shane recognises this and is willing to wait until Drew was ready to address it would’ve been better. Before this everyone in the park assumed they were together and congratulated them on the baby. And then at the ‘house’ that I’m still a bit confused by one of them points out a hickey and also assumes they are together. Sigh, 75 percent in and even after a night of passion we are still on the angst ride of ignoring our feelings. I know why, because a big after birth professing of love monologue is coming. I was secretly hoping this wasn’t going to happen but, yeah. With the Doctor in the room and even naming the girl after the doctor. You could see this one a mile away. Romance requires a certain amount of belief suspense for it to work, but after all of the previous angst and true feeling avoidance by this point It had to be at least somewhat believable cause I’d passed my suspense of belief quota at about 75% which was around the trip to the park.
So when you add up the best friend who just took up page time, not finding out how long Drew had been widowed until the middle or third cant remember, of the book, also still not knowing the connection to the case involving this house full of people I assume was in a previous novel but clearly had nothing to do with this one, and a whole host of other things I mentioned above, why three stars? The angsty flirtatious they almost gave in but let the moment pass bits fit well for this genre. I genuinely enjoyed them and the other stuff distracted me from digging into that cause if I read the book without them the story still made perfect sense. Furthermore, if you made it this far, I’m not really a fan of people being so helpless the only way they can be saved is with an alpha. It’s part of why so many books with Heroines who def would not have made it to the end of the book without the man to save the day bug me. I keep trying to convince myself that if I read Mpreg this won’t happen because of the MM dynamic, but it happens like ten times harder. Drew came across as so helpless and lost yet he had survived for months as a widow on his own. I just wish he had a job was self-sufficient and was emotionally lost. That, that was why he needed romance. To wake him up to the man he once was with his husband. Not that he was literally helpless and served no other purpose than to make babies and take care of home.
So stupidly long review aside, I’m going to hardcore recommend this for anyone who reads mpreg stories. It meets the brief in more ways than I can count if an alpha saving an omega is your thing. Especially when that omega is the stay at home type who literally isn’t anything without the better half. I’ve read enough of this genre to know a lot of them are like this. When you put it into perspective this book is probably an 11 out of 10. I personally just felt it could’ve been much, much more.