Title : Spring Affair
Series : Seasons of Love, #1
Author : B.G. Thomas
Publisher : Dreamspinner Press (BUY HERE)
Genre : M/M, Contemporary
Length : 350 pages (e-book)
Published : April 25, 2014
Rating : ★★★★1/2
Sloan McKenna is going through a tough time. His beloved mother has recently passed away, leaving him her house and beautiful garden. But should he keep the house? Sell it? To make matters worse, he’s in love with one of his best friends, Asher, a man who can’t (or won’t) love him back.
Sloan’s neighbor, Max Turner, is married to an ambitious woman with far-reaching dreams, including moving the family to France. But Max is happy teaching at the local college and living in their nice, quiet town. Then he discovers his fourteen-year-old son is not only gay, but out and proud as well. That throws him into complete disarray, for more than one reason….
When Max’s wife leaves on a two-month business trip to Paris, circumstances throw the two men together. As they become friends, Sloan finds himself falling in love with Max, who is completely unavailable… just like Asher. As for Max, he is discovering that both his son’s coming out and his new friendship with Sloan are stirring up feelings he thought buried long ago. Spring is a time for rebirth—Is there any way the two men can find happiness and a new beginning?
One of the fun things, for me, about reading B.G. Thomas’ books is that he tends to have characters and places appear from one book in another even though they are not actually a series. I love this. Now we have this first in a series, Spring Affair, from the new Season’s of Love series and this book focuses on Sloan McKenna, who we met briefly in the book Hound Dog & Bean.
Sloan’s mother has recently passed away. They were very close and her passing has been difficult for Sloan. He lives alone in the house now and sees his mother everywhere, from the floral sofa to the lovely blooms just now appearing in her gardens. Luckily, Sloan has his three best friends who, along with himself, make up the Fabulous Four. They get together regularly and while this has been wonderful for Sloan during his grieving, at the same time even they can feel overwhelming. There is Asher, the gorgeous aspiring actor that, unfortunately, Sloan made the mistake of falling in love with after a brief fling years before. Somehow, they have remained friends even with Sloan still carrying a torch for Asher knowing all the time that Asher will never commit to a relationship with anyone (but secretly hoping). Then there is Scott. He is one that comes across as the pessimist in the group, unhappy with himself and life in general. He tends to put other people down and tries to buy his way into happiness with designer clothes, glasses and a fancy car. Lastly, we have Wyatt. Good-hearted, always ready to lend a hand, tell a corny joke and is usually wearing something outlandish.
When they all meet at Sloan’s one evening, the friends spy Sloan’s neighbor, Max. Max approaches Sloan the next day, asking him if he would like to go running with him. Sloan is surprised but flattered until Max’s wife, Lauren, reminds him they need to hurry to get to the airport. Of course, he would be straight and married. Not someone to get interested in, just friends. Maybe running together would be okay.
It is after Lauren leaves for France for her job that Max accidently discovers something that leads him to believe his fourteen-year-old son is gay. He has so many mixed feelings about this. He has all the concerns of a parent worrying about how their child will be treated by others, but more than that, Max is forced to deal with his own past and the conflicting emotions this brings with it.
Of all the books I have read by this author, this one seems to be the one most introspective for the characters. It is a complex look into what being gay means to each man in the story. What they think it means in our current society and how it was for them during their childhood and teen years. At times, it was difficult to watch Max struggle with his feelings, dealing with guilt from his childhood and doubts and indecision. He knows he has not been honest with himself or those he loves about who he is and taking that leap is frightening.
His relationship with his brother Dennis and Dennis’ husband, Armel, provide a nice balance as a happily married couple, with both men comfortable with who they are. The story explores different types of relationships, both open and monogamous. I admit that it felt like there was a fine line on what would be considered cheating, outside of actually having sex with someone other than your partner. I thought this dilemma was handled realistically, and left the reader to decide how they felt about the decisions the characters made.
Max’s character is very spiritual and relies heavily on his Buddhist beliefs for strength, searching for answers, and finding peace through meditation. Max’ son, Logan, seems mature for his age but not unrealistically so. Although it may seem like a heavy story, it really isn’t. It is filled with humor, light moments, witty banter and friendships. I enjoyed the moments that Sloan draws on his memories of his mother when he needs guidance. Max’s wife is not very endearing but neither is she painted as a villain, although she has her moments there, too.
Overall, I enjoyed this book very much. The characters are engaging and the storytelling pulled me into their lives. I was pleased with the conclusion and I am happily looking forward to the next book in the series.
Rated 4.5 stars by Deb