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New York City Vice Detective Evan Cerelli has lost his wife, the only person he ever loved and slept with. He's trying to get on with his life, build a life for his children. Former Homicide Detective Matt Haight is a ladies’ man, all sex/no commitment. He's depressed, having a midlife crisis, and not sure where his life is headed.
The two find friendship in the bottom of a shared bottle. When the friendship turns to love, it shakes two straight men to the core and flips their lives inside out. Kids, families, careers that are not gay-friendly -- can all the love in the world overcome the obstacles to faith and fidelity?
This is how I have found many of my favorite authors - We attend a YA event or author signing at our favorite Indie bookstore and meet authors that are such lovely engaging speakers that I walk out the door with a new BFF (at least in my head) and a stack of their books. And when I go home and read said stack, I find that their writing is just as lovely as the person. These authors have included Maggie Stiefvater, David Levithan, Amy Garvey, Libba Bray and Heather Brewer. Just to name a few. And I have a new author to add to that list. Tere Michaels.
When we were at The Romantic Times Convention, Bel and I attended a reader event called Rainbow Pride: Over the Rainbow. It was set up with a number of large round tables and at each table was an author or two that sat with the attendees and chit chatted. We had no idea where to sit and somehow found our way at a table with L.A. Witt/L. Gallagher and Tere Michaels. These ladies were AMAZING. So kind and so willing to chat about their genre and their own books and even recommended other books for us to read. Tere was closest to Bel and I and she chatted with us the entire time. One particular piece of that conversation had us in such giggles that we will be repeating it for years to come. Unfortunately it doesn’t translate well to the written word but if we ever meet you in person and give you a poke in the arm and then start laughing and laughing just shake your head and humor us. Much like Shel does.
So that’s how we met Tere Michaels. And that is how we came to buy two of her books - Faith and Fidelity and Duty and Devotion. And then I read those books and I fell in love. With Tere. With her heroes. With everything.
We first meet Detective Evan Cerelli at his wife’s funeral. His pain and grief as well as that of his in-laws and children absolutely spill off the pages. You just want to hold this family and take all that pain onto your own shoulders so they don’t have to feel it anymore. Fortunately we aren’t forced to dwell on that scene for TOO long (although it’s impossible to forget). Fast forward a year or so and Evan is barely getting by emotionally. If it weren’t for the help of his oldest daughter and his mother-in-law…well he doesn’t even want to think about that. The constant attention of his co-workers, particularly his partner, is grating on him. While attending a retirement party that those annoying co-workers and partner drag him too he meets ex-detective Matt Haight.
Thanks to having a sense of honor and unwillingness to protect law-breaking co-workers, Matt was “demoted” from his detective position to being a beat cop. He eventually ended up leaving the police force and started working for a security firm. A number of years later he is still depressed over the fact that he was forced to leave a job he loved and is now living day to day with no focus and only alcohol as comfort.
Both Evan and Matt recognize each other’s sadness and end up hitting it off right away. They become fast friends that spend their spare time together at a bar eating wings and sharing a pitcher of beer. As the months go by, they are both surprised to find that since being friends they have both become happier. Having someone to unload on without the weight of pity and scrutiny has been good for both of them.
What neither of these men expect is for their friendship to turn into attraction. An attraction that confuses the hell out of both of them. But they decide to act on it and see where it goes. Matt finds that after all those years of shallow relationships he is capable of finding love in the unlikeliest of places. And Evan realizes the he is being given a second chance at something that he thought he would never have again.
Have you ever read a book where once you are done you just can’t stop thinking about it? So much that you have to re-read and re-read to purge it from your system? It is safe to say that Evan and Matt will be with me forever. This is a story about love and relationships and family. It’s not a simple story. The characters are not perfect. They will both piss you off and then make you smile on the next page. They are messy just like real life and because of that I will love them forever.
Thank you Tere Michaels. For chatting me and Bel up at RT. For convincing us to buy your books. For writing something so wonderfully moving and meaningful. Thank you, thank you, thank you.