Love’s Changes by LaQuette #AfternoonDelight

Love’s Changes by LaQuette #AfternoonDelightLove’s Changes by LaQuette

Series: Losing My Way
Genres: Contemporary Romance, M/M Romance
Published by Small Publisher on June 3, 2016
Pages: 97
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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four-stars      four-flames

Curiously, what drew me to this book was the series title, Losing My Way.  I was unfamiliar with the author or the earlier series Queens of Kings that this one is associated with.  I couldn’t resist a story about these guys who had been married and together a long time only to stumble and be on the brink of parting.

The novella is associated with the other series and I believe the characters- at least Bryan- were in the earlier series.  That being said, I had no trouble reading this as a standalone.  However, I am now interested in going back for the others after meeting the broader cast of characters.

Lt. Bryan Smyth of the NYPD was shot in the chest and recovered enough to be home and ready to start doing what he needs to get back on the active duty roster.  He also did some soul searching about his personal life.  But right when he’s ready to take things in hand including his marriage, his husband, Justice Amari, slaps him with divorce papers accusing him of being ashamed of his marriage and always keeping Justice a dirty secret not to mention Bryan’s own wavering desire to stay married after the loss of their baby daughter.  The accusations and the divorce announcement hurts, but he knows he wasn’t there for Justice and Justice probably deserves better.  Give up or fight for his marriage?  The Amari family helps him fight for love.

Justice has been holding his marriage together for five years.  He and Bryan had been in love and together since Marine boot camp.  They both served and he still serves while Bryan is a cop.  Separate dangerous careers, deployments, Bryan’s hateful parents, the loss of their child and now Bryan nearly dying have taken their toll.  Bryan has held him at a distance and all along has kept him secret at his work.  Justice can’t do it anymore.  But right when he actually signs and hands over the legal papers, he is brought up short by the fateful decision he is making to walk away from love.  And his family all caution him to consider carefully.

This one is a novella so it develops fast.  I have no way of knowing if the characters got much page time in the earlier series, but I was well satisfied with the development and plot of this one.  It is sad to see a long-time marriage on the brink and even sadder when the reasons why start to come out.  Neither man are completely wrong or right.  It’s like the series title says, they’ve lost their way.  This story was the process of them finding their way back.

Now it wasn’t all doom and gloom.  Whether it is a pairing of a hot and fit Marine and Cop (scorching hot bedroom time) or the antics of Justice’s sister plotting to help Bryan keep the marriage together, this was an engaging read.  Justice comes from a remarkable, close and loving family.  Bryan does not, but he has the Amaris at his back.

All in all, I enjoyed this fast and heartwarming read that is full of heat, but also an engaging story.  Easily recommended to M/M Contemporary Romance fans.

I received this book from Net Galley in exchange of an honest review.

Challenges Met:

Romance Roundabout #265 LGBT
New to Me #92 author/series
Diversity #37

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.
  • Wow, that’s a lot of negativity circling around them. I can understand why the marriage fell apart.

    • Yeah, it was really sad at first and my sympathy swung back and forth, but then when they started talking, my heart really broke for them. I was really cheering them on to hang with it and recapture what they once had.

  • Seems like a very emotional read for what they went through. Thanks for the review.

    • Oh yeah, they had a lot to work through. More than it seemed at first.

  • oh wow this sounds like quite a roller coaster here!!! I do like seeing a couple after years of being together having to work through their struggles.

    • That’s what caught my eye, too- the amount of time they’ve been together.

  • First thing I want to comment about – the cover! He looks yummy but I must admit, bald guys are SUCH a turnoff, for me. I can’t stand a guy without hair! It’s so shallow of me, I know. I’m Indian, and so literally everyone in my family (male or female) was born with heads of thick hair, and everyone has luscious locks… bald guys repel me, in terms of attraction. Ahh! I can’t. LOL. 😀

    Second – I’m glad you enjoyed this one! Novellas are often hit or miss for me, so it’s always great when you read a novella that mixes everything just right.

    Wonderful review, Sophia! =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    • What a hoot, Alyssa! To hair or not to hair can be a big deal, I know. Personally, I don’t mind if the guy has the shape of head that can pull it off. 🙂

      Yes, same here. Novellas are hit or miss for me, too. This one definitely had the depth and development to engage me.

  • What a lovely, lovely cover. 🙂 Sounds like a nice little read, too.

    • For sure, Christy. Two delicious guys in this one. 😉

  • Ahh I was into that cover but yeah not m/m. Darn! but glad it worked out for ya! The ones where they’re already in a relationship can be so interesting seeing them try to keep things going.

    • Yeah, that cover is tricky b/c it’s just one guy. I enjoy seeing a romance when the pair have been together a while and face the long-term issues.

      • Yeah I got hit with that earlier this summer with one since I don’t read blurbs and it was marked as regular contemp and just had one guy on the cover. Erms.

        Have you done the Tara Sue Me books? I can’t remember. I love the series because it follows a couple from meeting to marriage and beyond with different issues popping up in books. It alternates books with them then a book on a couple they know then another with their romance. It’s kinda fun 🙂

        • No, but after reading your reviews on her series, I’ve got it on my list. They offered me an ARC for like the third book, but I said no b/c it looked like a series that needed to stay in order. Glad I went with my gut. I do like what you’re saying about it following their lives for a while.