The San Capistrano series is the continuing story of Alex and Ben. The books flow one into the other and are meant to be read in order. Spoilers may naturally be seen in reading the reviews for this series.
Ben and Alex are trying to find a new normal after Ben was shot at work. Ben is healing, but Alex is struggling and his anxiety is flaring up again. The men also have to face Allie’s health decline and Ben is understandably having a hard time. When Claire and Matt reach out with a proposition for Alex and Ben, there is something new and good to hold onto. But not everyone will be happy for them and Ben and Alex also still have to get through several painful months as life changes once again.
Winds of Change is largely a transition book in this series. I really appreciate how long we get to know these men for and how we follow them through various times in their life. They should be happier than ever as they recently got married, but Ben getting shot and Allie’s cancer have the men going through a lot of hard times. Ben is incredibly close to his mother; she’s a good and generous person, and Ben cannot imagine what life will look like without her.
The book moves the men forward in their relationship, which is an accomplishment as you would think being married, they are solid. But, Alex’s care and dedication to Allie during the most difficult time has Ben falling in love with him even more. The story is mostly all about Allie and how the family deals with it. The author accomplishes showing the impact of her illness, but for me, the notes of the disease went on a little too long. As the disease progressed, so did the descriptions, and while it was an incredibly important aspect to the lives of the men, I would have preferred it to be dialed back a little bit. The book had a heavy tone and while Ben’s relationship with Allie was a cornerstone of who he was, it was a little much for me in this setting.
Alex’s mother makes an appearance again here as well, and she will continue to appear, as her hatred for her own son, because he is gay, is out of control. Alex is finally realizing that he deserves more and there is a shift in the dynamics between him and his mother. There is still more story here to play out as well.
While there are a lot of serious issues that the men deal with, the book never goes into full on angst as the love between the men is ever present. Despite all the turmoil, this series has an almost soothing effect and I am glad there is still more story to tell for Ben and Alex.