Monday, 2 November 2009

Review – Faith & Fidelity © Tere Michaels

Title: Faith & Fidelity

Author: Tere Michaels

Publisher: Loose Id, LLC

Main Characters:

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?

Matt didn’t know about Evan but it was the highlight of his week, sitting in the near-dark, just talking, listening, drinking. They created a little cocoon of their misery, a safe haven in which to feel like a piece of garbage. To be tired and bitter and a failure, with no apologies.
How exactly that moved to daily “shoot the shit” phone calls, he couldn’t exactly say.
“So I got Giant tickets for this weekend -- you game?”
“Where the hell did you get those?”
“Grateful client with box seats. So?”
“Yeah. Kids are away again. My sister-in-law is taking them pumpkin picking.”
“Why don’t you go too?”
Matt could practically hear the shrug over the phone. “Can’t seem to work up the energy I’d need.”
“I’ll pick you up at ten a.m. on Sunday then.”
“You got it.”
After hanging up the phone, Matt got back to making dinner (two Lean Cuisines in the microwave) and nursing a bottle of Coors.

He couldn’t pinpoint when he’d started noticing the little things, like the odd silver-blue color of Evan’s eyes, or the way he moved…in control. The way his body moved under his unassuming button-down shirts as he sprawled in his chair, tipping his head back to work out the kinks. He couldn’t remember when he’d begun moving his chair a little closer during their weekly drink fests, catching the subtle scent of soap and cologne from his skin.

Matt imagined one of his children bought it for him, for Christmas or Father’s Day. In his mind’s eye he could picture Evan standing in front of the bathroom mirror, splashing it on, rubbing his face with damp hands. He tried not to spend too much time dwelling on any of it, because it posed a much larger question than Matt was willing to ponder.
Of course the not pondering didn’t help the situation once the dreams began.


The first one was just…strange. The only thing he remembered was the USMC tattoo. At first, Matt thought he was dreaming of the bartender at O’Malley’s, which was frightening in and of itself. But they weren’t in the bar, they were…in the squad room. Matt’s old squad room at Homicide. He was at his desk, typing, and when he looked across to talk to Abe, he saw…it was Evan. Smiling.

Faith & Fidelity © Tere Michaels

 

 

Review

A year ago Evan Cerelli lost his wife and since then life has not been the same. With a high pressure job on the police force as well as four kids to take care of he is barely keeping his head above water.

Lucky for him he has support from in-laws, colleagues and friends who are willing to do just about anything for him. Even now a year down the line since his wife’s death Evan is still not over the fact that the woman he had hope to spend the rest of his life with his gone.

When he starts taking tentative but reluctant steps into the social scene at work, he does it more for show than for the enjoy of the act itself. With cops - they can be a friendly sort or they can be a judgmental set – but one thing is certain there is never too much of them with baggage and most will roll out of the woodwork at some point or the other.

He meets Former Homicide Detective Matt Haight at one of these social occasion and for Evan,  Matt was just another name and another face. Over the next few weeks one thing leads to another and they soon start spending time together, not because  they had anything of such in common, but they were lonely, going through issues and looking to just set their life back on a path that they each can manage.

With shared confidences and tears as well as finding that bond that makes true friendship Matt and Evan naturally gravitate towards each in the trust department as well. Soon this mushrooms into something neither men were looking for or expected to be honest.

Just as they were getting a grasp of what was happening between them – the fact that Evan is a father, part of a less than accommodating family , and work in a anti gay environment hits them both squarely in the face and life becomes more complicated than either ever thought it would.  

FAITH AND FIDELITY  is without a doubt one of the best read of the year for me, The book starts off on a sad note and to be honest  I was not sure what to expect – as the main protag was experiencing what would without a doubt be one of those experiences that anyone would consider the worst moment in his life.

But from there it only get superbly better…

 

 Highlights

This is one of those books that surpassed my expectation and then some. My first hetero to gay book and it could not have been a better introduction.

Evan and Matt started off as the most unlikeliest of protags and it was either by design or just plain luck on the authors parts that this not only  work in their favour but also in gelling the other layers of the book together.

I met Evan as this broken man – both in spirit and in drive and all from the lose of his wife, the woman who meant the world to him and was his partner in every sense of the word. Beyond that however, I could see a father, a lover, a friend and a solid force in the Cerelli families life. This side of him did not change because even after a year and major changes in Evan’s life he was still the solid stabile man that any man or woman would be proud to call their own.

Matt comes across at first as a smuck and I admit I was not his biggest fan when I met him – he not only grew on me but with his personal need for growth and his ability to take a chance irrespective of who that chance is with.

Ms. Michaels could not have put them into a better scenario – as there is no other set of people that are as set in their ways as cops, and Matt and Evan certainly broke the mould and did the unexpected.

The support cast, which included Evans partner and mother hen, as well as his kids and in laws were just perfectly created. Their personality made the angst work and they lend that bit of realism to the plot.

Ms Michaels has a catchy style to her writing, it’s minimalistic and I am very impressed with how much she actually got across with so few words.

The pace of FAITH AND FIDELITY moves at a gradually grade but not in a way that allowed me to get bored, because along with this pace, the mood of the book is quite emotional and I was easily caught up in the drama that was affecting Matt’s and Evan's life at every turn.

Any book with  kids is a winner with me and the four kids in this books are as different as day and night, but at the core of their being they were a family and they knew it. They made for some of the more emotional aspect of the book and as well as some the moment of absolute pleasure for me as well.

The storyline of this book was so full on and intense that it was the book, even the side stories were not enough to take away from what Evan and Matt had together.

 

Lowlights

For me – not enough to mention. You just have to read it yourself and see if the grey areas are grey or only there to make FAITH AND FIDELITY the powerhouse that it is.

 

Bottom line

FAITH AND FIDELITY is a book that I was so ready for. After being on a spate of pretty decent books lately – I was in a rather picky mood when I picked this book up. I am pleased that I read it and read it again since then, because not only was I introduced to a new to me author, but in a genre over run with the mundane and the everyday sort of plot Ms. Michaels really put some thought and some grit into FAITH AND FIDELITY. I enjoyed the protags, the plot that the author went with and of course the setting that she places them in. 

One of the plusses of this book is the timing or rather the gap between each major event in the protags life. This wasn’t a weekend love affair, or a flash in the pan month long thing. Ms. Michaels gave the protags time to deal, time to process and time to come to terms with the direction their life was going and more over it was also time and space for me to see them grow and accept and appreciate them in their new role.

Definately a must read.

 

 

8 Speak To Me:

Mandi on 2 November 2009 at 22:30 said...

You are killing me...one of the best reads of the year.

Off to to get it :)

J. Kaye on 3 November 2009 at 02:01 said...

Sending you an email! :)

Mandi on 3 November 2009 at 12:19 said...

I read it all last night. LOVED it!!!

ann marie on 4 November 2009 at 15:19 said...

Adding to the buy list, thanks for the heads up on the book :)

Lily on 5 November 2009 at 04:45 said...

Wonderful review, EH

I've had this in my TBR for ever. Sounds like I really need to move it up.

Erotic Horizon on 5 November 2009 at 08:21 said...

@Mandi -..

So please you loved it - I am just about to start on the second book, Jim's story...

Love & Fidelity

E.H>

Erotic Horizon on 5 November 2009 at 08:21 said...

@Annmarie...

Hope you like this one - it was such a change of pace for me..

Love the author voice as well.

E.H>

Erotic Horizon on 5 November 2009 at 08:23 said...

@Lily..

Same as me - I have had it for awhile on my shelf.. and I just started a few paragraph and was hooked...

Definitely a keeper..

E.H>