Truth & Tenderness is this sixth installment of the Faith, Love, & Devotion series. If you haven’t read the series, you need to start with book 1 as this is not a stand-alone novel.
Evan Cirelli is promoted to police captain while Matt Haight’s security firm is taking off. With both their careers requiring longer hours away from home and each other, Evan and Matt’s home life begins to unravel.
Meanwhile, Griffin Drake’s movie is wrapping up and he is eager to build a life with his fiancé, Jim Shea. Jim gets a break in a cold case as he hunts for a man he’s been eager to take down, and he finds himself pulled between his career and his relationship with Griffin.
As both couples watch the marriage of Daisy and Bennett disintegrate, can they stop themselves from following down the same path, or can they figure out a way to manage to have their “happily ever after?”
The Faith, Love, & Devotion series was my “first” in M/M romance, so with each new release I eagerly devour it to see how Evan and Matt’s relationship has progressed, how the children are adapting to Evan’s and Matt’s relationship, and what new challenges this couple will face. This book did not disappoint!
In this book, the story begins with Evan reflecting on his relationship with his late wife as he is promoted to police captain. Little does he know that later on he will be reflecting on his own career motivations and how they affect his relationship with Matt when Matt’s security business begins to take off. For those of you who haven’t read the previous books in the series, Evan lost his wife in a traffic accident. His late wife’s family blamed Evan for the accident because he was never around helping his wife raise the children. In the years that he has been with Matt, Matt has stepped in and taken the place of his late wife by being the primary caretaker of the children. Initially, Matt’s security business was small-scale, allowing him opportunity to juggle both career and family. Now that his business has taken off, Matt and Evan struggle with finding a balance between their careers, family, and each other.
With Jim and Griffin, they have planned on getting married and living a life together, just the two of them. Now as the wedding date is getting closer, Jim realizes that Griffin wants a family, something Jim doesn’t want. When their friends Daisy and Bennett’s relationship disintegrates, Jim and Griffin find themselves watching their toddler daughter. What I loved about this was seeing how Jim, who likes everything to be neat and orderly, finds himself dealing with a toddler living with them. Though he loves Griffin, Griffin’s desire for a family may be the dealbreaker in the relationship.
This story also follows the relationship of Daisy and Bennett, both of whom were secondary characters in previous books. Daisy and Bennett’s relationship was “perfect,” Bennett adored Daisy and would give her the moon if he could. Watching this relationship fall apart, both couples (Evan/Matt and Jim/Griffin) are forced to look at their own relationships and decide whether they have what it takes to go the distance.
True to the typical style of this series, explicit sex scenes between Evan and Matt are limited, most of them fading to black, while the sex scenes between Griffin and Jim are more explicit. As a reader of this series, I would have liked to have seen more intimacy between Evan and Matt at this point. Let’s face it, I love this series because of Evan and Matt, and it’s Evan and Matt I’d rather be reading about.
Which brings me to my only complaint about this book. I felt as if the book was more a Jim and Griffin story than it was an Evan and Matt story. While the blurb suggests that it is a story about both couples, I felt as if Evan and Matt were a “back burner” storyline rather than a main story line. I, personally, fell in love with this series because of Evan and Matt, and it’s Evan and Matt that keeps me reading. So, in a sense I felt cheated.
Overall, this book was a nice addition to the series and gave readers some sense of how these couples who we’ve read about manage to keep their happily ever after. If you haven’t read this series, I highly recommend it!
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.