Rating: 4.5 stars
Buy Links: 
 Amazon | All Romance
Length: Novel

Cherish is the fourth book in Michaels’ Faith, Love & Devotion series. In Book 1, Faith and Fidelity, we were introduced to Evan Cerelli and Matt Haight. Evan, a New York City police detective and Matt, a former homicide detective, got through the most difficult times of their lives with the support of one another. Evan had just lost his wife and Matt was going through some big changes in his life as well. They began a friendship that turned into something more. When they realized that, much to their surprise and shock, they were falling in love, they then had to face the big obstacles: their careers, families and, most importantly, Evan’s four children, who had only ever seen their father with their mother. It was a difficult transition all-around, but Evan and Matt found their happily ever after.

In Cherish, Tere Michaels gives her readers a glimpse into the domestic lives of Evan and Matt a few years down the road. Matt continues to work as security for high-profile clients and Evan is about to be promoted to a captain. But this book is not about their careers. It is first and foremost about their role as fathers. Twins Danny and Elizabeth are the only ones living at home and Katie and Miranda are off at college. When Evan hears that Miranda is dating a young man named Kent and is already talking marriage he 1) hits the roof and 2) invites Kent and his parents to their home for Thanksgiving dinner.

Most of this novel takes place during this ill-fated Thanksgiving dinner. Upon the arrival of Kent’s parents, Blake and Cornelia, Evan’s fear that they might not approve of his gay partner becomes replaced by the realization that Miranda hasn’t told any of them about her family situation. Feelings are hurt, words are said, and epiphanies are reached, all within the span of 24 hours.

Some great things are happening in this book.  Michaels doesn’t pull punches when it comes to representing life with teenagers and young adults. Yes, it is dramatic. There are a lot of doors slamming and yelling and stomping feet, but this is what makes it feel realistic, because life isn’t always pretty and tied up in a bow. Sometime your kids hate you. Sometime you have a really difficult time not feeling the same. And sometimes it takes a big ugly fight to realize that you both have some work to do and that, underneath it all, is a deep abiding love that is the cause of all of the fiery emotion.

The relationship between Evan and Matt continues to make the reader believe in the power of love and connection. Matt has become a father to the kids in every sense of the word, and his devotion to them is awwwww-worthy. His love for Evan, however, is the tether in the storm. He keeps Evan grounded and is his calming influence. Michaels continues to write sex scenes that are erotic and steamy without being explicit, and helped to remind me that sometimes the best bedroom scenes leave a few things to the imagination.

Essentially, this is a longer than usual prologue. It is a love letter to Michaels’ readers, who adore Evan and Matt and want to know everything there is to know about them. It isn’t groundbreaking. There’s no major catastrophe or murder or death-defying car crash. It is a glimpse into the life of a normal, imperfect family. I appreciate this about Cherish. I get tired of reading about scenarios that seem contrived in order to bring about the declaration of love that would have otherwise have remained hidden. In Cherish, the love is out there and on full display and, while it doesn’t mean life is all smooth-sailing, it does show that, with the help and devotion of family and friends, it can be made a little bit easier.

Obviously, you don’t want to read this book if you haven’t been following the story of Evan and Matt. If you have, however, you will be extremely pleased with this well-written, engaging, domestic tale.