Review: Until September by Chris Scully

Review: Until September by Chris ScullyUntil September by Chris Scully

Genres: Contemporary Romance, M/M Romance
Published by Riptide on February 8, 2016
Pages: 298
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
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four-half-stars      four-flames

As a teenager, Archie Noblesse clawed his way out of the poverty, heartache, and abuse of the reservation and left his family behind. Desperate to shake the shadow of his past, he reinvents himself as Archer Noble, an outspoken blogger and controversial author who lives only for himself. But when his beloved sister dies, Archer is saddled with guardianship of his niece and nephew.

Elementary school teacher Ryan Eriksson is devastated when his best friend Marguerite is killed, leaving her two young children orphaned. Helping Archer with his new responsibilities eases his grief, but when Archer offers him custody of the children, Ryan's left with an impossible choice: get the family he's always wanted, or respect Margie's wishes and convince Archer to give parenting--and his heritage--a chance.

To buy time, Ryan promises to stay for the summer, hoping that Archer will change his mind and fall for the kids. But Archer's reluctant, and the growing attraction between him and Ryan complicates matters. Legal decisions must be made, and soon, before Ryan returns to school. But with hearts involved, more than just the children's future is on the line.

The Delight

I picked this one for the moving storyline the blurb offered.  It hints at so much going on beyond a simple romance and I love complex stories.  And I was right on the money.  This one starts in a dark, sad place with Archie’s history, the death of his sister, and Ryan’s situation, too.  It continues there only slowly hinting at blue skies in the distant part of the book.

Review

Originally, I set this one aside after six chapters.  I was just not in the right frame of mind to appreciate it and I was getting distracted.  I know my reading habits well enough to see that it was a passing mood.  If I waited, this was likely to become a compelling read that pulled at my emotions.

And happily, nearly six months later, this was true.  I loved what came in this tough fought romance that focuses on a damaged man finding his way back to healing and accepting that he is worthy to love and be loved and another man finding that getting a relationship and family are closer than he things if he is willing to take a chance on the longshot.

I appreciated how the author did not make change happen overnight or easily.  Life is messy and complicated.  The set up, character development, and relationship was all drawn with depth and rawness that rang as authentic and engaged me completely.

Incidentally, the handling of the Native side and the issues of missing persons and murders in that area seem well-researched and were a compelling part of the story.

All in all, I found Until September to be aching and heartwarming and triumphant.  I can highly recommend it to those who enjoy character-driven M/M Contemporary Romance.

My thanks to Riptide Publishing for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Challenges

Romance Roundabout #258
LGBT Blogger Shame #32
COYER #36

Recommendations

  It's Complicated by L.A. Witt

Preview

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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.
  • Ok..reading the sypnosis and looking at the cover, this one isn’t really my usual read..but my! I can’t deny how curious I am with this story. I’ll definitely checking this one out. Awesome review Sophia Rose 🙂

    • Glad I got you curious, Vanessa. 🙂 Hope you like it when you get the chance.

  • RO

    I like the way this sounds Super Sophia because it gives some depth to the romance. Happy Labor Day! Hugs…RO

    • Yes, exactly. There was so much complex depth to it. It was a splendiferous Labor Day. 🙂

  • That blurb would have pulled me int too. I might be putting this one in my wish list because this sounds good.

    • It was quite a story, Mary. I was definitely glad that I could pick it up again and finish in a much more engaging frame of mind.

  • Karen

    I really liked this one too. It was very emotional.

    For What It’s Worth

    • Yes, I gulped back the feels several times, Karen. 🙂

  • You had me at character development. I love a good book like that. It has been way too long since I read a M/M romance. Adding this to the wishlist.

    • This my second book by the author and I think her character development is a gift. Hope you like it when you get the chance, Melissa. 🙂

  • I love that you were able to really enjoy this one the second time you picked it up. Sometimes it is picking the right book at the right time. This one sounds great. Glad you enjoyed it!

    • I am discovering that it is much better not to force a book when I’m in a mood. It is soooo much better to wait and give it the right attention.

      Thanks, Carole!

  • Well you sold me! I just went and bought it. It all sounds good, the Native aspect, murders, romance, the tragedy(not good, but you know what I mean)and last but not least the children. Thanks for sharing!

    • Really? I do hope you ‘enjoy’ it. Yes, I do know what you mean.

  • I don’t know why, but the cover made me feel sad. Then you said you had to set it aside, so I expected you to say how depressing it is. It definitely sounds good, though, and like something I’d need while I’m in a certain mood.

    • That’s interesting that you caught the sadness from the cover- maybe its the fall coloring and the people looking away. There is a lot of sadness in this one for a few reasons. It was definitely a story that needs to be read when you’re in a certain mood.

  • I love when damaged characters see growth. I love the moving aspect as well, although based on the cover I thought maybe it had to do with a death. Is there a sad undertone to the story Sophia?

    • You would be very right. The catalyst for this story is the death of Archie’s sister, Marguerite, who is one of Ryan’s best friends. Marguerite, from even beyond the grave, used what she had to help fix her damaged brother, her heartsore friends, and make sure her children had a good home.

      The story feels more angry and bitter than sad, but yes, there are moments of sadness. It’s only as they grow and heal that more positive emotions take over though the heartwarming aspect is there all the way through.