From the BLURB:
New York City Vice Detective Evan Cerelli has lost his wife, the only person he ever loved and slept with. He's trying to get on with his life, build a life for his children. Former Homicide Detective Matt Haight is a ladies' man, all sex, no commitment. He's depressed, having a midlife crisis, and not sure where his life is headed.
The two find friendship in the bottom of a shared bottle. When the friendship turns to love, it shakes two straight men to the core and flips their lives inside out. Kids, families, careers that are not gay-friendly -- can all the love in the world overcome the obstacles to faith and fidelity?
This is Tere Michael’s first book, and it’s very, very good.
Ever since Josh Lanyon’s ‘Adrien English’ series I have had an insatiable craving for M/M romances… and this certainly hit the spot.
The book starts out quite sombre. We meet Evan at the lowest point in his life – his wife, Sherri, has been killed in a car crash and he is left to raise four children alone.
Matt Haight is also at a low point – he retired from the police force years ago after ‘narcing’ on some crooked cops, but he still feels the gaping loss of his blue family even now. He hates his job, is nearly 50 years old and he doesn’t do long-term relationships.
Matt and Evan meet at a mutual friend’s retirement party – they hit it off, and start meeting for casual drinks. Over these drinks they spill their guts – Evan about how much he misses his wife, Matt about how much he misses the force. At some point their platonic friendship becomes something… more.
The first half of the book concerns Matt and Evan separately freaking out over their feelings for one another. Both are ‘guy guys’, and have always previously been attracted to women. Evan’s only sexual partner was his wife, who he met when he was 14. Matt was always a one-night-stand kinda guy, a self-confessed ladies man. Separately they are completely floored by their homoerotic dreams and the pulse-racing feelings they have when around each other. But after a late-night profession, everything comes out in the open…
“Just tell me next time, okay? You can say whatever you need to man, more than anything else, we’re friends.”
“Friends in a beer commercial sort of way?”
Matt laughed. He moved gently until they were both on their sides and facing one another.
“That’s exactly what I was thinking. Wanna go out and rebuild your engine block?”
They laughed, moved their bodies in tiny increments, until the right parts were aligned. Matt watched Evan’s eyes darken with arousal – this was better. This didn’t feel like guilt. No, this felt like – a hard-on.
Evan and Matt are great. They’re both Alpha males, but in their sexual relationship they never try to one-up each other. They are both navigating this new and strange relationship as best they can, with the utmost decorum and understanding. It’s thrilling to watch, and very, very sweet.
It’s all made doubly complicated by Evan still being a grieving widow… and further by the fact that he has children to ‘come out’ to. If you thought Adrien English and Jake Riordan were complicated… they’ve got nothing on Evan and Matt!
At times I felt a little squeamish at how difficult the men’s situation was. There were moments when reading this that I literally gasped and thought “how the heck will this work out?!”
There were also times when I found the whole concept quite unbelievable. Evan being gay wasn’t so much a stretch – when you consider that he found his wife when he was 14 and they were each other’s only sexual partners, there’s a bit of wriggle room for believability because Evan never got to ‘experiment’ with his sexuality. But Matt Haight is in his late 40’s, and an ex police officer. He’s a ladies man and very Alpha. Yet he takes the whole dormant homosexuality thing quite calmly and reasonably. I thought, given the situation, Matt would have been more outwardly confused – manifesting in anger and self-loathing? That was my only real qualm with the story – that Matt wasn’t more destabilized by his feelings for Evan.
I loved this book. Apart from the fact that Matt and Evan are completely hot-to-trot and smouldering… this is actually a real page-turner. The stakes are so high, there’s so much on the line for these characters that I could not stop reading. I was totally sucked in.
Tere Michael’s second book is about a character that briefly appears toward the end of ‘Faith and Fidelity’.