Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Reunited by Felice Stevens

Ryder Daniels and Jason Mallory seem to have it all but even the most loving marriage takes work. Ryder's past leads him to remain silent yet resentful in the face of conflict while Jason strives to prove he can take care of his family without Ryder's wealth, even if it costs him precious time with his husband and daughter.

When a devastating illness leaves them shaken and helpless, Ryder is forced to face the one person he never thought to see again with a life or death request that even he isn't sure will be granted, but his decisions have far-reaching consequences. Believing he and Ryder have no secrets, Jason is distraught to discover otherwise, revealing yet another crack in their once-perfect relationship.

Adrift and uncertain, both struggle to hold onto a love previously thought unshakable. A forbidden past is exposed, shocking Ryder to the core, but it means little without Jason by his side. Marriage is a true partnership and both men must learn that only by working through their pain and heartbreak together can they achieve a lifetime of love.

I love when I fall so in love with a couple and they have a happy ending.  I love it even more when that some couple comes back to me unexpected and has lived life the way that I wanted them to.  That is pretty much what happens with Jason and Ryder.  After all of the bad, I was so happy to be able to reunite with them and get a little more insight into their lives.

Life has been good for the both of them since the last book.  They got married, moved into Jason's house, still have the 2 dogs who are like children to them, and Oh Yea.....had a baby.  A little girl named Gemma who is the perfect angel that they deserve.  Unfortunately we know how life goes. Things can only go so good and eventually you get a dose of the unexpectedness of life and hope that it doesn't break you along the way.

Before we can even get to love Gemma, we find out that she is a very sick little girl.  The only thing that can save her is a life saving event and there is only one person that can help her.  Unfortunately, it is that god awful mother of Ryder's that we hoped we had seen the end of. Really, we knew that was not going to happen and somehow she was going to turn back up one way or another.

Honestly, I didn't know how this was going to work out.  Jason has the perfect family.  His parents are the ever present treats that we all wish that we had in our lives.  His siblings are amazing and always there whether they are wanted or not.  Ryder has had a much better relationship with his dad (for whom you get a TOTALLY different perspective on) and his brother is still one of the highlights in his life ( Landon is still dating Jason's sister, Jessie.  I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to read that story soon....just saying Felice if you are reading this....).  It was fun to see the Ying and Yang of Ry and Jason's families and see a lot of my family in there. I literally want to jump into their house and just be a part of the love that they feel.

If course, I had some issues along the way.  There were times that I really wanted to shake one or both of the guys along the way.  The feels that I got from this book was heartbreaking at times and heartwarming at others.  I can't imagine having to have to live with my child in a situation like that.  I thought that the topic was handled with love and affection and showed what it could do to even the strongest of couples.  I loved that we got to see more of Connor and Emma, Liam, Mark and John along the way.  

I am very much looking forward to reading John's book and I hope we get to see more of Ryder and Jason along the way.  (and maybe a book about Landon and Jessie--please) 

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Four-year-old Gemma’s plaintive cry split the night. Ryder squinted at the glowing numbers on the digital clock next to his bed. Three a.m. Shit. Nothing good ever happened at this hour of the night, or morning, if he wanted to get technical. Maybe it was a bad dream, even though Gemma rarely woke up at night anymore.

He settled down beneath the warmth of the comforter, preparing to fall back asleep. Jason moved closer to him, and Ryder slid his foot down Jason’s calf, relishing the scrape of his hairy leg. As long as he was up, it shouldn’t be a total loss. Ryder kissed Jason’s naked shoulder and licked up his strong neck, the steady pulse of life quickening beneath his lips. Jason’s sighs spurred him on, and Ryder smiled to himself, unsure whether his husband was fully awake, but that didn’t stop him from palming Jason’s ass and giving it a hard squeeze.

“Daddy, please. Come.”

Damn. No use. Fully awake now, Ryder slid out of bed, immediately missing Jason’s solid heat. Longingly he gazed back down at him splayed out in the center of the bed and shook his head with dismay. The man worked too damn hard. Jason had collapsed after they put Gemma to sleep the night before, barely able to stifle his yawns long enough to eat dinner. Mallory Brothers Construction had taken off in the past few years, and though Jason and Liam had hired several other architects and construction engineers to help alleviate the load of work they took on, Jason still tried to be as hands-on as possible. He and Ryder had numerous discussions about his long hours and how they kept him from being home with Gemma, but Jason insisted his presence was necessary, and Ryder backed off, unwilling to argue about it.

The past few weeks, Ryder tried to push dinner later and later, but Gemma had fallen asleep at the dinner table too many times for that to remain feasible. He loved the quiet times at night when they’d sit together and he’d read her a bedtime story, but Ryder missed having Jason beside him, sharing those special moments. The last thing Ryder wanted was for Jason to work so hard he missed Gemma’s childhood; his own father had missed his and Landon’s childhoods by burying himself in his work. Ryder wouldn’t allow Jason to do that, but he had to find a way to tell Jason without him getting upset.

“What’s wrong?” Jason mumbled, his face buried in the pillow. “I had a dream someone was copping a feel.” He turned his cheek on the pillow and mustered a tired smile. “Thought I was gonna get lucky.”

“You were about to, but Gemma woke up before I could make your dreams come true. Go back to sleep, babe.” Ryder leaned down to kiss Jason’s stubble-rough cheek. “She probably had a bad dream.”

“Mmm. Well, hurry back. I was dreaming of the beach, and you were my hot cabana boy.” He wiggled his ass. “I’m ready for my massage.”

Ryder snorted and rolled his eyes. “You’re insane.” But he couldn’t help kissing Jason’s smooth shoulder again. “Be right back,” he whispered against Jason’s skin, but all he received was an answering sleepy sigh.

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I have always been a romantic at heart. I believe that while life is tough, there is always a happy ending around the corner, my characters have to work for it, however. Like life in NYC, nothing comes easy and that includes love.

I live in New York City with my husband and two children and hopefully soon a cat of my own. My day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass or two of red wine. I practice law but daydream of a time when I can sit by a beach somewhere and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there is bound to be a few bumps along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.





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