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.
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.
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.
Romance Roundabout #258
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