Caden was a champion pro-snowboarder until a mistake cost him everything. Everything he worked for, his reputation, and his future career opportunities were gone in a blink. Staying in New Zealand near his two close friends, Mace and Rick, isn’t exactly helping because Caden wants both of them. He knows he has nothing but scandal to offer the men, however. Caden has lived his life in the closet, Mace has never been with a man, and Caden has to go to Florida for the birth of his niece as he has no intention of letting his sister down. But, when Caden finds out a secret the men have been hiding from him, he leaves the country with barely a goodbye.
Life is about to throw Caden another explosion and, while he wanted to be involved in his niece’s life, he never entertained the idea that he would be her sole caretaker. Overwhelmed and unprepared to raise a newborn, Caden finally gets in contact with Mace and Rick and the men offer him more than just a life line, they want to be his family. But, Florida and New Zealand aren’t exactly near each other and Caden has his doubts whether three men and a baby can make a true family.
All He Needs is billed as the first book in the My Truth series and for me that was misleading. The acknowledgements in the book state that Caden was a pivotal secondary character in a prior series from the author and that readers were asking for his story, as well as another installment into this world. I have not read any other books from this author. While there is exposition in this book to fill in some details, I felt like I was coming in at a disadvantage from page one not having the full experience of the backstory and it’s perplexing why this wasn’t made more clear as it only served to throw me off course from early on.
Once we get the set up, Caden is off to Florida to be with his sister after feeling betrayed by his friends and he doesn’t stop to discuss anything as his hurt takes over. The scenes with Caden and his sister were well written and her story was heartfelt and dramatic. After that though, the momentum of this story never caught back up for me.
The MCs already have a true connection and my experience was that we were picking up on part two of their story. Caden feels betrayed by actions that seemed to have happened in a previous book and once tragedy occurs, the characters barely discuss the situation and just move on with their attraction and wanting to be a family. Both Mace and Rick are 100% on board with them all moving in together and raising a child together and I was really missing out when they built this relationship that turned them into an instant family. Lots of long-term family and relationship issues get settled too quickly and easily. I found myself losing interest in their relationship because I hadn’t started the relationship with them and it didn’t carry over well for me.
There were also several other areas that threw off the story for me. Caden is American, yet several of his everyday phrases were not American. His sister was also renting a house that needed a lot of repairs and when the owner didn’t get around to it, Caden was spending his own money making the repairs. This isn’t standard for a rental. The owner also gives Caden three weeks to vacate the property when he decides to sell and gives him an “eviction” notice when Caden had a lease and this could hardly be legal.
For me, this book did not read as a standalone and too much was missing for me. If you have read other books by this author that take place in this world, this one then might work better for you.