Acts of Faith
Title : Acts of Faith
Series : Cost of Repairs, Book #4
Author : A.M. Arthur
Publisher : Samhain Publishing (BUY HERE)
Genre : M/M, Contemporary
Length : 245 pages (e-book)
Published : December 17, 2013
Rating : ★★★★★
Rey King has settled into his new life with Samuel Briggs, and his catering business has taken off to the point he’s brought a business partner on board. Yet something is missing. He’s still haunted by the pain of losing his daughter, Faith, in a custody battle six years ago.
Then, one month before Christmas, Faith’s grandmother passes away, and Rey gets a shocking offer he never saw coming.
Samuel knew loving Rey wouldn’t be easy, but then again he’s no walk in the park either. Still, for eighteen months they’ve thrived as a couple…until a shy seven-year-old girl shakes his belief that he and Rey can overcome anything.
Settling Faith into their chaotic lives would be a welcome challenge, if things weren’t complicated by Rey’s too-cute, overly attentive new business partner. As misunderstandings, miscommunications, and unresolved tensions escalate, Rey begins to wonder if the best Christmas gift of his life could cost him the man he loves.
Warning: Product contains one overprotective (and slightly jealous) police officer, an angsty chef whose heart is in the right place (even when his actions backfire), and an adorable little girl who turns their lives upside down. Added bonus—hot man-on-man action and the inappropriate use of a washing machine.
Eighteen months after meeting, Reign King and Samuel Briggs have not only survived the eventful start to their relationship, they have settled into a strong and loving partnership. But between Rey taking on a (hot) new business partner to help expand his catering business and Sam’s work hours as a Third Shift beat cop, life is starting to get a little complicated. Then Rey gets the unexpected, exciting and somewhat scary news that his dream of being re-united with his daughter may finally become a reality.
Faith had been taken from Rey in a custody battle by Phyllis and John Jones, the parents of Faith’s mother, Carly, after Carly lost her life long battle with depression. Now, over five years later, Faith’s grandmother has died of a stroke and John contacts Rey to offer to right the wrong he was too scared to do while his wife was still alive. “So you didn’t agree with Phyllis taking custody from Rey?” Sam asked. “No.” John heaved a sigh that deflated him a little more. “The one time I spoke against the idea, she broke two of my fingers in the oven door.” John himself is dying from cancer and wants to see his granddaughter where she belongs – with her father.
Faith’s life with her grandparents, specifically her grandmother, has left her a serious child, used to trying to fly under the radar and keep out of trouble. Despite that, she is a sweet and affectionate little girl once her a wariness is replaced with trust. Her addition into their lives is very much welcomed by both her father and Sam and their only wish is to provide her with a safe and loving home. However, when Rey sees her standing alone in a hall while in Sam’s care at their friends’ Christmas party he catering, his assumption and over-reaction prove that his desire to be the perfect father to Faith is clouding his judgement and creating a rift in his relationship with Sam. The combination of stress from expanding his catering business, Sam’s jealousy of Rey’s business partner, trying to adapt to the changes when Faith come into their lives and a complete lack of time to connect as a couple in any than a perfunctory way result in a series of miscommunications and misunderstandings, along with the building resentments they cause, threatening to tear Sam and Rey apart. There is no doubt that these two men love each other with all their hearts, but will it be enough to hold them together?
I really loved this book. Re-visiting a couple later on in a series can sometimes be a bit of a risk. Will the characters have the same impact? Will their story be just as interesting? I loved Dam and Rey in Cost of Repairs, and I loved just as much in this book as I did in the first.
The first half was a fairly gentle-paced exploration of the adjustments needed when a child suddenly joins their relatively new family. But it never became boring. There were credible obstacles, situations and reactions for them to find their way through. The technique of using the character’s full name when it was from their POV made it really easy to work out and remember who’s head you were in. The chemistry between the two MCs is as sizzling as ever and, even through the rough patches, you are never in doubt of just how much they do care for each other.
The impact of the sudden addition of a seven year old child was believably handled and the build up of miscommunications, stress, work, an expanding business, a grieving child and a lack of time spent together as they tried to adjust to these changes made for a very realistic picture. There were arguments, even a fight or two. There was stubbornness and an unwillingness to admit wrongs. But there was also love, and a lot of it. Faith was an important character and she had a crucial role to play, but she never took over the story. It was very much Rey and Sam’s – their love for each other and how they coped with the changes Faith’s presence brought to their lives. Although this could be read as a standalone without getting lost, I would highly recommend you read the first in this series to get the full picture of Sam and Rey’s past. The other two books in the series are also wonderful, but feature two different couples who’s stories don’t have any impact on this one. The epilogue left me with a heart full of joy for the future of the little family who I had come to care so much about through the course of this book.