I really shouldn't read two books of the same type in a row. I enjoyed this and probably would have rounded it up to four stars, but then I read a really amazing story in the same sub-genre and this just pales by comparison. I'm going to try to review it based on its own merit, though.
(All specific examples happen early in the book.)Things I did like:
The police captain isn't the angry grumpy type nor the best friend perfect type, but one that makes sense and is realistic.
With a couple of minor exceptions below, Carl is an excellent father. He tries to keep the kids out of the disputes between himself and their mother, even when she's awful. He tells the kids to treat their mom with respect and to listen to her. medium spoiler: When the mom initially freaks that the boy is gay, Carl says not to worry, that she's the boy's mom and she loves him. She'll come around.
Carl's (police) partner is really cool.
They shared being top and bottom.
The couple was very sweet and I liked them both.
The kids aren’t annoying and aren’t perfect.
The love is fast but it’s not instalove.
Pretty good sex.
Good danger, casualty, and professing undying love, all stuff I love.Things I didn't like:
When guy is explaining gay guy to 15-year-old son, he makes sure ten-year-old girl is in her room first and then he proceeds to tell his son that there is no homophobia in their house. Why can't a ten-year-old know that two men love each other just like a man and a woman love each other? It's not about sex. He redeems himself later sort of but still.
In the same scene, he consciously decides it's okay to get drunk with his children at home and awake no less. He says it's okay because they're safe, they can come to him if they need anything, and they're busy doing other stuff. What if there's an emergency? What about modeling responsible behavior? I just don't think it's okay to intentionally get drunk when there are children around. I can understand getting carried away, but intentionally? Statistics show the more kids are exposed to drugs and alcohol, the more likely they are to start using and/or have a problem.
When complaining about his ex-wife, Carl then tries to be fair:
"Don't get me wrong," he added, "She still always made sure dinner was waiting for me and my uniform was cleaned and pressed."
Really? How 1956 does that sound? He could say she always did the cooking and laundry, like they were household chores that she did because he worked, but the way it was worded is so sexist it galled me. Dinner waiting for him, like he couldn't help figure out what to eat or cook on occasion. Just, ick.
Carl has his wife followed by a P.I. because he suspects she's cheating. If your relationship has gotten to the point where you need to hire a P.I. because you don't trust your spouse, then it's already over, and you don't need proof. If I found out my partner had me followed because s/he didn't trust me, I'd leave him/her. That's just disgusting. Later another character admits to following his partner when he suspected cheating. That's also bad, but it's a hell of a lot better than hiring someone else to do it.
A fireman thinks that a family was being stupid by not putting out a grease fire with baking soda and instead leaving the house. Every fire safety thing I've ever read says to use a fire extinguisher if it's close, otherwise get out. In order to use baking soda, you have to get much to close to the fire, and you need a hell of a lot of it. The people should have had an extinguisher by the stove but if they didn't, what they did was right. What they did wrong was not make sure everyone was out of the house as they left.
In the same scene, a guy is overcome in the fire and is found unconscious. Once he is dragged out and woken up, he is deemed okay. Uh, no. If he ingested enough smoke to knock him out, he's in trouble. He would already show signs of respiratory distress. But even if he didn't, the smoke damage might exhibit itself later, so he would need to go to the hospital right away and get checked out.
A homicide detective is called to a traffic accident with a canine unit because someone is high. Seriously?
One character's "shaft" is nine inches long. This kind of ridiculousness just makes me think I'm reading porn.
Hazel eyes are referred to as a mood ring. I can't tell you how many stories I've read where hazel eyes change color with mood. It's bullshit. I have hazel eyes and they remain the exact same color all the time. They look different depending on what color I'm wearing or in front of a colored wall because they contrast. That's the other thing books do wrong. They say someone's hazel eyes look greener when they're wearing green. Nope, they would look more whatever other color(s) they have in them. I am lucky in that mine are blue and green with specks. (It's my favorite part of my lackluster body.) When I am wearing blue, they look green. When I am wearing green, they look blue.
All the powerful characters in the book, with the exception of a doctor are men. All.
The boy is taking Driver's Ed and doesn't have a learner's permit yet, but says his dad is going to let him
get it. A learner's permit is required to take Driver's Ed. His father, the cop, allows him to drive in a parking lot without anyone in the car.
Continuity: At one point someone says Carl hasn't taken a vacation in forever. He had just been on a fishing trip a few days before. Even if "vacation" can only be used to describe going somewhere fun instead of work, it couldn't have been on his off day because he talks to his partner who asks why he's calling in when he should be fishing.
In the book, a trial for attempted murder lasts a month and a half. Seriously. Not even a plea bargain would happen that fast. One of my foster kids had a minor in possession charge, a victimless and less serious crime, which took a year from the time of the infraction last summer to sentencing last week. The officials would need time to gather and process evidence, and then the attorneys would need time to evaluate that evidence, prepare arguments, and locate witnesses.
Big spoiler: The MCs go a month and a half without any kind of sex because one guy is recuperating from an injury. No freakin' way. These are men. No blow jobs or hand jobs? Nuh unh. They hadn't even had intercourse before then and still waited. Update: A family member just had open heart surgery--a quintuple bypass--and six week's later, he's already hassling his partner because he wants to have sex.
Big spoiler: One of the men tells the other he loves him while the second guy is in the hospital but he’s kind of loopy. A month and a half later he tells him again and the second man is surprised and thrilled, like he hadn’t heard it before. Maybe it didn’t sink in, but why didn’t the first guy say it again in all that time?
Minor spoiler: Straight guy adjusts to his attraction to another guy way too easily.
Gay guy is WAY too impatient for straight guy to come out. He wants it almost right away. Doesn’t he remember how hard it was to come out? The guy’s a cop! He needs to take a chill pill and be WAY more patient.
Now, with all this negative stuff you’d think that I’d hate the book but I didn’t. I really did enjoy it. 3.5 stars rounded down because of the sexism and having a fireman character and not researching properly, making major mistakes around that. Also, because it was so inferior to the book I read after it--which was incredibly good and still only got 4.5 stars (rounded up, of course).