Author ~ Felice Stevens
Published ~ 31st January 2017
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance
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 unshakeable. A forbidden past is exposed, shocking Ryder to the core, but it means little without Jason by his side. Marriage is a partnership and both men must learn that only by working through their pain and heartbreak together can they achieve a lifetime of love.
I have to say I enjoyed this follow-up even more than the first book. Jason and Ryder have been married for 5 years and love each other even more than when we left them at the end of Rescued (which you really should read first). Like every couple though, not everything is perfect. Jason is working long hours to provide for his family and Ryder just wants Jason home at night to spend time with him and their daughter. Jason is concerned about providing Ryder and Gemma with the life Ryder was used to, having grown up with money. Ryder just wants their daughter to grow up with her father around, unlike the way Ryder grew up with a father concerned more with making money than with raising his children. Unfortunately, Ryder has a tendency to just give in rather than risk a confrontation or disagreement. Another gift courtesy of his dysfunctional family.
When an author can bring me to tears with concern for a character, even knowing a happy ending is guaranteed, that’s always a good thing. Felice Stevens really captured the constant evolution a relationship goes through and how outside pressures and perceived roles can cause cracks and distance. In Ryder and Jason’s case, it’s not the complacency that can come with a long-term relationship nor the sudden medical crisis they are facing, but their unresolved personal issues that are causing strife. These two are still as hot and heavy and in love as they ever were. Little things that came up in the first book, that may have seemed resolved, but were really just pushed aside for necessity’s sake all come to a head here.
As with any of the author’s stories, family plays a big part here. All of Ryder and Jason’s family, by blood or love, are affected by a sudden medical crises. While the majority come together without batting an eye, the distance between Ryder and his mother becomes even more of an issue. Ryder’s mother’s actions are finally explained but are still, to me, unfathomable. The character is cruel and heartless and though the relationship she has with Ryder and his family changes somewhat, I was happy to see that it was dealt with in a realistic manner. The illness storyline was not a magic cure-all for the broken bits of that relationship.
I was completely emotionally invested from the start and it wasn’t the life or death situation that had me shedding tears, but the manner in which Ryder and Jason were struggling to keep themselves and their family together throughout the story. The men handle their medical crisis incredibly well and it showed just how deeply they love, support and rely each other for strength.
Felice Stevens catches us up on the whole cast of characters we first met in Rescued, and I’m sure I won’t be the only one clamoring for John’s story after his brief appearance here. Whether you wanted more of Ryder and Jason after Rescued or you’re a fan of seeing a committed, long-term couple work through tough times in their lives and come out even stronger for it, I can absolutely recommend this story.
Meet Ryder and Jason in Rescued
Amazon Global Link -> http://bit.ly/2j0VELv
Ryder Daniels is all too familiar with rejection. His parents cut off contact because he’s gay and his boyfriend left him, choosing drugs over love. Aside from his rescued pit bull, his only joy is hanging out with his younger brother. Then his mother does the unthinkable and forbids them to see each other, leaving Ryder devastated and alone. His friends urge him to date, but Ryder would rather throw himself into working at the dog rescue and figuring out a way to see his brother again.
When Jason Mallory’s girlfriend gives him an ultimatum to get married, he shocks everyone by breaking up with her instead. He believes he's too busy for a relationship now that the construction company he started with his brother is taking off. When he discovers a group of abandoned pit bulls and calls the local dog rescue group to pick them up, an uncomfortable encounter with Ryder causes Jason to question feelings he’s hidden deep inside for years.
Jason and Ryder build a friendship, until an unexpected kiss sparks the attraction they’ve been fighting. Jason gives Ryder unconditional love and helps him reconnect with his brother while Ryder shows Jason the passion he’s always missed in relationships. Together they must battle through their family differences and ugly prejudices. Only then can they prove that once you find the right person to love, there’s no turning back.
This is a re-release of the original edition published in 2014. It has brand new content as well as the entire book being revised.
Meet Felice Stevens
Felice Stevens has always been a romantic at heart. While life is tough, she believes there is a happy ending for everyone. She started reading traditional historical romances as a teenager, then life and law school got in the way. It wasn't until she picked up a copy of Bertrice Small and became swept away to Queen Elizabeth's court that her interest in romance novels was renewed. But somewhere along the way, her reading shifted to stories of men falling in love. Once she picked up her first gay romance, she became so enamored of the character-driven stories and the overwhelming emotion there was no turning back. Felice lives in New York City with her husband and two children. Her day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass or two of red wine. Although she practices law, she daydreams of a time when she can sit by a beach and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there is bound to be some angst along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.