Thursday, June 27, 2013

Duty and Devotion (Faith, Love and Devotion #3) by Tere Michaels

Duty & Devotion  (Faith, Love, & Devotion, #3)* * * * *

After their happily ever after in Faith & Fidelity, Matt and Evan move forward to a new chapter of their lives -- inside the bedroom and out -- with some surprises in store for both. Evan struggles with labels and feelings even as he wants to give in to his baser desires. Matt, now the ideal househusband of Queens, New York, has his own set of struggles -- who is he now? What does he need and want?

A visit from his friend and one-night stand Jim Shea (of Love & Loyalty) throws everything into disarray as Evan's jealousy and unease push Matt's buttons -- and not always in a good way.


Remember how I got all gooey over Matt and Evan in Faith and Fidelity?  Well lucky for me they get two more follow ups.  Duty and Devotion (Faith, Love and Devotion #3) and Cherish (Faith, Love and Devotion #4).

Faith and Fidelity took us through the rocky beginnings of Matt and Evan’s relationship.  Leaving us with hope that these two men will be together for the long run.  But love and relationships never come easy.  They require work and dedication.  And thankfully these guys are willing to put the work into a relationship that is proving to be just as difficult as it is rewarding.

Duty and Devotion begins months after the end of Faith and Fidelity.  Matt and Evan are out.  They have bought a house together and Matt has become an honest-to-god house husband…grocery shopping, cleaning house, cooking, laundry, childcare…you name, he does it.  And you know what?  Even though it surprises him still, he LOVES it.  He loves Evan.  He loves the kids.  He loves his life.  But there is still that little tickle of doubt.  The fear that he has assimilated so much to Evan’s life that he is missing out in pursuing something that is just for him.

But that fear is nothing compared to his concern over Evan’s homophobia and jealousy.  Evan is struggling to define their relationship in public and in the bedroom.  He is in a committed romantic relationship with a man but can’t even say the word gay without turning red and having a panic attack.  He maintains that he just doesn’t want to put a label on their relationship but even Matt can see Evan is just using that as an excuse to avoid addressing the discomfort he still feels being in a gay relationship.

When Matt’s one-night-stand-turned-good-friend (Jim O’Shea) comes out to visit, Evan’s discomfort and jealousy come to a head.  Due to an unexpected series of events, Matt is given a chance at a new career.  And Evan is thrown into further contact with Jim and his boyfriend and in turn forms a tentative friendship that helps him face his insecurities head on.

In my review of Faith and Fidelity I mentioned how realistically messy these characters are.  In Book 1, Matt’s pushy and overly demanding attitude made his imperfections stand out.  In Duty and Devotion, Evan’s ridiculously uptight passive aggressive self is given a chance to shine.  But there is now doubt that they balance each other out.  And there is no doubt that these two people will get their happily ever.  Because despite their imperfections and failings they are willing to put in the effort to make it work.

Yet another 5 stars to Tere Michaels.  Her portrayal of relationships is too wonderful to deserve anything less than the very best rating from this Bibliojunkie.


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