Author ~ Felice Stevens
Published ~ 10 December 2015
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance, Holiday
After five years, Alex Stern and Rafe Hazelton have what seems to be the perfect marriage. Alex is entering his last years of residency and Rafe’s veterinary business is busier than ever. For Rafe, all that is missing is a child, but Alex, afraid of ending up to be a man like his father, isn’t as sure. He doesn't want to make any mistakes.
When a new patient enters the hospital, Alex is drawn to the young, desperately ill single mother, who shares her fears for the future of her young son. Rafe worries about the toll on Alex becoming emotionally invested in a patient, yet he too can’t walk away once he meets the little boy, and together they vow to help in any way possible.
Families are not always born of blood— love is a gift no one can plan for. And sometimes from the darkest of tragedies, the brightest light will shine.
There are two kinds of holiday stories, the lighthearted fun, happy ever after stories and the touching, tear jerking, bittersweet stories. This falls in the latter category and you’ll need that box of tissues handy, but it is also beautiful and uplifting and a lovely step forward for this wonderful couple.
The story picks up three years after the end of One Step Further. Rafe and Alex have been together for five years and Alex has just started a difficult oncology residency. While they are still as in love and as strong a couple as ever, Alex’s work keeps him away from Rafe more than he’d like. Rafe has made it known that he is ready to take the next step and add a child into their family, but Alex is hesitant. While outwardly his protest is that he is too busy finishing his residency, it’s really his fear of failing to be there for his child like his father failed him and hurting Rafe in the process. The issue is obviously weighing heavily on Rafe who has no doubt about what a good, loving father Alex would be. When Alex becomes involved in the life of Jude, a young single mother who doesn’t have long to live, and her son Dylan, both Alex and Rafe can’t help but to fall in love with the child whose life is about to be torn apart.
I loved Rafe and Alex when I first met them and my love for them was cemented here. It was so nice to see them following their dreams and still as hot for each other as before. Rafe has become confident and now has a full-fledged family of his own, bringing them all together hosting his first Chanukah celebration. Alex is living his life on his terms and has fully repaired his relationship with his mother. The one sticking point is having a child, but even their disagreement over that isn’t going to break them apart.
Felice Stevens did a wonderful job with the story. It was great to catch up with everyone from the series and even Micah seems to be mellowing with age. If you loved Rafe and Alex’s story you’re not going to want to miss this update. If you haven’t read their story, but like an emotional holiday read, you can jump right in. At the end of it all you’ll be smiling through your tears, knowing that two men who grew up each yearning for a happy family have all of that and so much more.