Zak and Killian are living the dream—or they were living it for the past seven years. The men fell in lust immediately and love wasn’t far behind. They love the home they have built in a farmhouse in rural Pennsylvania with their family of animals in need, but life has thrown them a few major obstacles in a row and while their love is still strong, the communication is non-existent. Both Zak and Killian walk around the edges of their relationship too aware of how tenuous their bond might be.
Liam and Noah became stepbrothers in high school and recently had to flee their home in California. Liam, already in college, was on track as a football player only because his father demanded he play. Noah did not fit in well, and his traumatic past made him an outcast in school and prevented him from moving forward. Forced to live on the streets, Liam does everything he can to protect Noah, but when Liam is beaten up, he’s taken to the hospital and meets Zak, the attending nurse.
As they have nowhere to go, Zak offers the young men a place to recuperate with him and Killian. Only he doesn’t discuss it with Killian beforehand. The relationship between Liam and Noah is fragile and just beginning, whereas the relationship between Zak and Killian is also fragile, but with years of history behind it. Liam and Noah don’t know how to trust Zak and Killian, but when needs begin to shift and boundaries start to blur, the thought of the four of them together forever makes sense to all the men.
I have read so many books by Sloane Kennedy and Four Ever was a good overall read. Kennedy is known to provide pages of angst and trauma for her characters and while there is some of that here, this book is tamer than many others from her. Four Ever is about all four men and their relationships with each other respectively and then how they all might be able to fit together as a group. The book gives us POV with all four men (so much yay for that) and we get to know each of them in this character-driven story.
Killian and Zak are devoted to each other and their group of animals, which includes a toucan and a miniature horse, but life has gotten in the way and they no longer communicate. We are told their story slowly over the course of the book and given small pieces and the delivery kept my interest high.
Liam was on the path his father wanted him on, but when Noah came to live with them all his protective instincts kicked in. Noah also has a past that comes out slowly and his selective mutism makes him not able to verbally communicate with the world and with Liam. When Liam is shown exactly who and what his father is, the guys take off, but there was not much history of their relationship shown on page. The guys recuperate with Zak and Killian and while they have a hard time trusting, the attraction is there.
A few things broke the flow of this one for me. Liam was in college when he and Noah ran. It’s mentioned that he has friends, yet the guys immediately wind up on the streets and it’s never even referenced that they attempted to stay with anyone—even for a little while. Also, Killian and Zak contact a lawyer on behalf of Liam, and they get a lot of detailed and confidential information without Liam’s knowledge or consent that had me questioning if that was possible. Liam and Noah had barely started their own relationship before adding Zak and Killian into the mix and Noah has a lot to work through and spends a lot of time sobbing and he may not have been in the best place to be having this four-cornered relationship. Killian and Zak as well probably should have talked a little more before expanding a crumbling relationship.
Even with some issues, Kennedy writes a compelling narrative of how the relationship works on a physical as well as emotional relationship for all the men and made me believe in their story.