At the age of fourteen, Aled met the woman that would later become his wife. Aled is now thirty-three, he is separated from the woman he wants to love forever, and he is not handling the separation well.
Aled has been trying to avoid everything for the past year. His best friend is in love and he feels a little out of place hanging out with her and her boyfriend, and Aled is not interested in doing anything anyway. When his friends finally coax him to go out for the night, they take it a step further and connect him with a hookup on Grindr. The guy is gorgeous and just Aled’s type and Aled thinks that maybe a hookup will get him out of his rut.
At first meeting, Gabriel is a whirlwind. Gabriel’s flirty submissive nature is a magnet to Aled’s dominant side. Gabriel has an incredibly high sex drive, and the shots he takes as he is transitioning ramp it up even more. There isn’t much that will quiet Gabriel’s libido, but with Aled, Gabriel finds so many of the things he is looking for. Gabriel does not do monogamy and Aled is completely fine with the relationship the two of them are putting together on their own terms. As the two become closer, they realize that happiness comes in the package they can create together and maybe there is something special happening between them.
With a title like The Divorce, this book may not seem like a romance up front. But it is Aled’s divorce that leads him to meet Gabriel, which sets his life on a completely new path. When we first meet Aled, he is miserable. He cannot get over the fact that his wife left and he is just waiting for her to come back. He hasn’t seen her in a year and hasn’t done anything to get her back and their issues are fixed and unchanging. But that doesn’t stop Aled from gripping tightly to the smallest amounts of hope that she will return. She does finally come back, but only to give Aled divorce papers.
When Aled became aware of his dominant desires years ago, he was afraid and thought there was something wrong with him. But in having the right partner, Aled was able to have the relationship he wanted. Aled and his wife had an open relationship and understood each other’s needs, but there is more to why Aled is resisting the divorce and his character is well layered and defined as the story progresses.
Gabriel is a refreshing character for me. He has an extremely high sex drive and knows what he wants, and he wants a lot. He also knows what he doesn’t want and has no issue letting his partners know where he stands. Gabriel is upfront about not being monogamous and he and Aled create their own space. But the two of them are great together and they enjoy each other when they are not having sex, as well, and their relationships starts to become more for both of them. Gabriel needs to have the right partner to continuously play with them and he needs to fully trust them and he and Aled discuss their wants and test each other and it was cool to see the open discussions that were on page.
Gabriel though, is not quite as confident as he makes Aled believe, and being gay and transgender comes with concerns for his safety. He finds strength in Aled and although by the end of the book he still isn’t looking for monogamy, Aled fills places for him that no one else ever has as he feels cared for and loved for the first time.
The scenes in this book are all about trust and building a relationship and the characters have an incredible amount of depth to them. Gabriel is not monogamous and is open about it and he is with other people on page in the book. I greatly appreciated that Metzger took these characters in a direction that is not always expected for a romance novel. The author wrote an interesting blog post on the series for Joyfully Jay that you can view here. While Metzger calls this book “another run-of-the-mill erotic romance,” as the reader of this book, I found the characters to be incredibly interesting and well layered with great chemistry between them and the path they have been set on to be anything but run-of-the mill. The Divorce starts this five-part series and I am so looking forward to seeing more from Aled and Gabriel.