This is one of my all-time favorite books. I realize I’ve said this about other books, but this one is at the pinnacle of the all-time favorites pile. I’ve read it multiple times and if you ask me why, I’d have to say it’s because the characters are beautifully rendered and the story line so compelling it wraps itself around your heart and pulls you in.
…As you read this book you will fall in love.
…Probably more than once.
The story unfolds in alternating viewpoints beginning with Rue, a cosmetology student who works in a gay club. Way back before the story begins, like nine months ago, Rue goes on a drunken adventure in heterosexuality, definitively confirming his homosexuality, but… Yes. You can guess where this is going. Fast forward nine months and voila – bebe! The mother declares she’s not parent material, causing Rue to realize, unexpectedly, that he is. He finds that he very much wants to take home his precious bundle of joy. So, along with his best friend Dusty, Rue sets sail into the choppy seas of parenthood. The two have everything pretty much worked out with the exception of daytime child care while Rue is at school.
Enter retiring neighbor Erik van Nuys, a hero who is completely unaware of his lionhearted nature. Even we, the readers, will underestimate Erik to begin with. Oh yes, he is a good guy and we have no doubt of that, but the challenges he faces are fairly extensive and it is difficult to see beyond them to the strength and courage that hide beneath.
These two men are opposites who, when combined, make a perfect whole. It just takes them a while to figure this out. To begin, they are drawn into a symbiotic relationship based on their impersonal needs, but as time goes by they begin to see more of what they can mean to one another. That is not to say that there aren’t moments when heartbreak is their companion or that we, the readers, begin to lose faith in happily-ever-after, but count on Piper and MJ to come through. They find the happy ending, and it’s no small thing.
There is a companion book about Rue’s best friend Dusty, called One True Thing. It is another successful collaboration between Piper and MJ. I haven’t read it as many times, because one dastardly conflict-inflicting character in that book makes me really angry… But I do read it from time to time, because Dusty is an awesome character, as is his love interest, Asher. They are perfect for one another. There is a lot of sexual tension in this book, so the love scenes are, whew! Just be prepared for evil, villainous conflict. (Most people probably like that…I just happen to be fairly wimpy and conflict-averse, so take this opinion with a grain of salt.)
And can I just say, aren’t these the most awesome book covers???