Life as a deaf person isn’t easy and for Kyle Benson it’s been more than a little challenging as he’s not only dealt with being deaf but he’s faced losing his family…the grandmother that his mother and he lived with since his father’s death and finally his mother. Moving to Gilead was supposed to be another step in living the life he’s dreamed about. He’s got his dream job practicing law, he’s found his dream home in Gilead an adorable little bungalow with a yard that gives him the room he needs to indulge his passion for flowers and he’s got his sweet little dog Jasper. There’s just one more thing on his list that he needs to truly be happy…a family, more than anything Kyle wants a family to call his own. He’s been alone in the world long enough and he’s more than ready to share his life.
Appearances would seem that Forrester Giordano has a lot going for him. He’s living his dream now that he’s opened up his own bookstore/café with his best friend Holly by his side as the manager. He’s got a large, noisy and nosy Italian family that he knows he’s loved by…even if they do keep calling him Frankie because it sounds more Italian and he gets to see his favorite customer Kyle Benson several times a week.
Ssssooooo….what could possibly be wrong…well for beginners he’d really like for Kyle to be more than a customer but that’s both a challenge and a complication that Forester’s not really sure how to deal with but one that he knows he wants. Forrester’s gay and while his family doesn’t know that doesn’t mean he’s so deeply entrenched in the closet that there’s no coming out…it’s more like he’s standing with the door open just waiting for the right reason, the courage and the right time to step across the threshold and maybe just maybe Kyle’s that reason.
Kyle’s been going into Forrester’s shop, A Novel Idea, for awhile now he loves to read but books aren’t the only thing he’s been looking at in Gilead’s bookstore. Ironically, it’s Forrester’s first book signing that truly brings these two men together when S.D. Howe…that’s right everyone that book signing that was first discussed between Scott and Kyle when they met in ‘The Rhubarb Patch’, the first book in this series, is finally about to occur and Phin’s there too, so we get a peek at Scott and Phin as they’re living their HEA!
I really liked both Forrester and Kyle, but I have to admit, for me, Forrester was the character that I related to the most. Like Forester I grew up in a large family…seriously I even had Forrester beat…7! That’s right there were 7 children in my Famiglia! and we weren’t Italian. However, when you got us all together we were loud totally overwhelming at times and my father came from a family of 9 so add in aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews and I absolutely understand Forrester’s need for piece, quiet and a place that’s far from the madding crowd in order to preserve his sanity. I even shared Forrester’s dream of owning a bookstore…so like I said for me Forrester was a very relatable character.
Even though I didn’t really have a lot in common with Kyle other than we both love to read and have small dogs…different breeds, but both small in size and both belonging to the terrier group. I still really liked Kyle. There was a lot of good stuff about this character. I loved reading a story with a character who even though he was born deaf was so wonderfully independent and in charge of his life. Kyle was a very strong and self-sufficient character. He’s dealt with more than his share of challenges and I’m not just speaking about the loss of his parents and grandparents either. When it comes to Kyle and Forrester the relationship that develops between them is balanced and there’s no sense of Kyle being less of a partner than Forrester is and this was a big win for me. I’ve known more than a few people with challenges and the strength that they display in their day to day lives is both humbling and amazing so reading a book with a strong character like Kyle in it was simply delightful and while it’s not the only book to portray a character that’s physically and/or psychologically challenged in a favorable light it was one of my favorite parts of this book as well as just simply something worth mentioning.
The story struck me as more of a case of insta-lust than insta-love but I have to admit it did shift from lust to love a little faster than I would have liked. However, that wasn’t enough to keep me from enjoying the story and all of the craziness that comes with a large family that has it’s own ‘Spaghetti Hotline’…see I told you they were nosy and yes, I do love that term…‘Spaghetti Hotline’ lol!!! I’m totally hoping that the author won’t mind if I borrow this sometime in the future.
Together Forrester and Kyle face the challenges of a getting to know each other as they nurture their fledgling relationship, dealing with the issue of Forrester only being a little bit out of the closet and more than a bit of family drama, thankfully without a lot of unnecessary angst. All this along with Kyle’s struggles to overcome events of his past so that he can have the future he wants with the man who’s determined to show them both that they can have their happily ever after as long as they work at it together.
‘The Rhubarb Patch’ was cute and I liked it and it left me thinking that I should probably see what and who was going to happen next in the town of Gilead and then I checked out ‘Welcome Home Soldier’ even though it’s not listed as a part of this series, it’s about the mayor of Gilead so really how can it not belong in here somewhere and while it can definitely be read as a standalone story I decided to sneak it into my Gilead reading adventure. It turned out that I actually liked it a tiny bit more than ‘The Rhubarb Patch’ but I still wasn’t 100% sold on whether or not I’d be sticking with this one but after reading ‘La Famiglia’ I’m convinced I definitely need to see what and who’s going to happen next in the quaint little town of Gilead.
A copy of ‘La Famiglia’ was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.