Rating: 4 stars
Buy Links: Amazon | All Romance
Length: Short Story
In the wake of his father’s death, Tate D’Angelo mourns the man who was his loving father, a caring physician, and an attentive husband. When an old friend of his father’s approaches him before the funeral with a mysterious message and a USB drive, Tate’s curiosity gives way to confusion days later when he finally sits down to read the files. His father had always been his rock, and now when he’s gone Tate discovers another side to his father, a surprising side Tate never knew but wishes he did.
This is not your average romance. It’s a precious story of two men who lived in a time when being gay was not acceptable, and the decisions they make that shape their lives. It’s a beautiful dedication to the men of that time and their families as well. The format of this story is one of old love letters from both men, Randy and Mark. It’s beautifully told. A man with his own family discovers that his father, also a family man, had a secret he would have never guessed. The emotion of this story is great. The ups and downs, the happiness and sadness, the confusion and acceptance. It’s really a wonderful read.
I loved getting to know these characters. Randy and Mark are great. Their lives, told through these letters, are amazing. I only wish that in the long space of time between each set of letters we could have had more of their lives. I love Randy’s determination to be himself and not hide. I love Mark’s honor and loyalty even when it meant denying himself. Most of all I adore Tate – his struggle in finding out his father’s secret and trying to reconcile that with the man he knew and loved, his desire to be like his father. And I’ll let you know these tricky authors throw in a little twist with Tate that I didn’t see coming, but it makes this story that much better. It unexpectedly brought tears to my eyes.
Overall, Family Obligations is a beautiful, wonderfully written story. I adore the characters and the setup is creative and perfect. I have read both authors’ in the past, so I’m not surprised that this short is one that I couldn’t put down. It’s angsty, emotional, and heartwarming. I recommend Family Obligations by Vivien Dean and Rick R. Reed.