Note: This book was originally titled Taboo For You, but has now been retitled as There For You.
Sam is turning 30. On the very same day, his son, Jeremy, will turn 15. Sam never finished school and works in a café to help support his son. He has made a list. A list of things he never got to do in his 20s as he had to grow up so fast. He has three weeks until his birthday.
At the age of 36, Luke has finally come out to his family. He has yet to tell Sam, his neighbor and best friend of seven years. He has helped Sam raise Jeremy and loves the boy like his own. He just needs to finally figure out a way to speak the truth and that would include telling Sam everything that he feels. But Luke has found a certain list that belongs to Sam and has an idea.
Jeremy is counting down to his birthday and wants one thing–Suzy. He knows he will never have the opportunity to spend any real time with her as his parents are terrified that he will repeat their mistakes. So Jeremy thinks that he has a brilliant plan. He will pretend that he is gay.
Sam and Luke have a past built on friendship, trust, and respect. They may also be able to have a future too, but they just may have a few things to sort through first.
Sometimes a book just works for you and this is that book for me. This book has three points of view and a fairly simple plot. In less capable hands, the entire story could have gone off in a different direction. But, Sunday navigates all of the view points and makes a fairly simple story something much more.
Sam is kind of stuck in his life. At a young age his life became about taking care of a child. He has a great relationship with Jeremy and with Jeremy’s mother, but he doesn’t really have anything for himself. Since Jeremy was born he hasn’t had a relationship with anyone. He does have his best friend Luke. As for Luke, he really is a great friend to not only Sam, but to Jeremy as well. But, Luke is so in love with Sam and just can’t figure out how to tell him that he is gay.
While the story is about the list that Sam has made, it’s also so much more. Luke will do whatever is possible just to make Sam happy. He is so devoted to Sam in the best of ways and knows putting himself and his heart out there could have devastating consequences. When they add sexual experimentation to their relationship, neither man knows how it will forever change their lives.
Jeremy is a strong secondary character and is a catalyst for many scenes within the story. He is almost 15 and there are brief sexual situations between him and a girlfriend worked into the storyline. His presence is not over done, he acts appropriately for his age, and his character strikes just the right balance to advance the story. Although there is not much talk about Jeremy’s early years, there is a comment Sam makes about not wanting the help of their parents when Jeremy was born. This brief comment opened up a lot of questions for me and if no further information was going to be offered on how they managed at such a young age, perhaps it was not needed since that is not the story.
It takes a while to totally see the full effect that Luke has had on Sam and Jeremy’s lives. Sam is clueless, but he is sweet and clueless. And when Sam finally has his moment of realization, it’s done with a kaleidoscope effect that was so well written.
Taboo for You offers the very best of a friends-to-lovers story: friends who didn’t even realize they had already become a family.