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Affairs of M/Men

M/M Romance Reviews by Maybedog

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The Rebuilding Year - Kaje Harper I mostly loved everything. The love was sweet, good suspense, the action sequence excellent, the characters delightful. The characters were delightful and I would love to spend more time with them.

Even though this was a GFY/OFY which I usually abhor, I didn’t really have a problem with this one because both are just coming to this realization and one eventually acknowledges that he really is gay, he just never had a chance to even think about it because he married his high school sweetheart who he was totally devoted to.

I do agree with other reviewers in that the mystery was so far in the background it didn’t really fit. I would like to have seen more about it or none at all. I feel like it was more of an excuse for the action sequence and to show the men’s personalities. I think that could have been done a different way, but the mystery was a fine way to do it if it had just been more fleshed out.

I really like how Harper handed this: “With John, he could… discuss the ethics of using embryos for research, and get an appropriate response.” What a great way to have the characters discuss volatile ethical issues without asserting one side or another.

Ryan tells John’s daughter “Do you really want two guys like your dad and me to be your main source of information about clothes..boys…makeup…tampons?” Well actually, except for the last one, um, yes. They’re gay men after all. ;) But I suppose a mom would be better. Overall they handle talking the daughter about staying with the mom really well.

At one point John says, “She has custody she calls the shots.” No she doesn’t. She can’t keep them from him. He has legal rights unless he signed them away. In my state, she can’t move the kids out of state without his permission.

A woman is described as a parasite because she is a stay at home mom who lives off her new husband’s wealth. I like what the author is going for: a woman who defines herself by her husband’s career and lays around all day is not someone to admire. But this is someone who is “a great mom” to the kids. A great mom is not laying around eating bon bons. Being a mom is a lot of work and not being a parasite.

All rooms in a science building should have fire extinguishers but especially a lab. This isn’t even mentioned.

At one point a doctor asks, “John I have your permission to speak to your son?” That is very real and a great touch.

The one thing I really hated was that I don’t like that son thought that since his father was gay, his father might molest him. I don’t think that would even occur to the boy. It’s his dad who he knows all his life. It’s something he might yell out and try to hurt his dad, but that’s something families still deny even when presented with proof. I can see him worried about it with Ryan, someone he barely knows, but not his dad.

The stepfather is vilified, very black and white, but I do like how John says the mom is a good mom and that his daughter is doing well with her. I like how he was careful never to badmouth the mother in front of the kids and that the kids found out about the mother not letting him see the them by accident, not by him telling them.

I LOVE the detective. She seems mean but she kicks ass. But She wouldn’t tell them all that she does tell them, especially a suspects’ name.

I love how Ryan knows it’s stupid to go up during a fire and really pushes the point. He has good fireman skills (at least they seemed like to me), although stairwells would be black if they were smoky, especially with the power failure. I’ve read in a couple of places that inside of a house on fire you can’t see anything, it’s pitch black.

Doctors don’t bandage patients in an ER.

I really like that they admit that Patrick’s testimony would be thrown out because he was on a drug that causes hallucinations.

The author is Canadian and uses some Northern language that is odd in a story that takes place in the US. (Have these things take place in Canada! We are WAY too US oriented.) Uses “snog” which is more British and says “in hospital” instead of “in the hospital” another thing that isn’t American but Canadian/British. I like these things; I just wish the story took place in Canada. I’m American but I’ve lived in Canada and I like to see stories that take place there.

The negatives are really just nitpicks. I love Kaje Harper and all of her work. 4.5 rounded up to 5 because although this isn’t my favorite work of hers, I still loved it.