“And that is how change happens. One gesture. One person. One moment at a time.” ― Libba Bray
Blurb: Aislin was surrounded by his extensive, but close-knit, family his whole life. He was the younger brother or the cousin they needed to protect and the kid’s favorite uncle, but he was never just Aislin. His overbearing family rarely listened to him, so sure they knew best. His adult years had all been about proving that the accident that damaged his leg as a teenager didn’t limit him.
He started a microbrewery business, bought a winery and decided to have… a baby.
The news shocked his family and friends, but he was determined to be a single parent. Not that Aislin wouldn’t love to have a partner, but dating never really worked out for him. It didn’t matter if he was gay, or single, or had a handicap. He was more than prepared.
He was not expecting the drastic change the next nine months would wreak on his life.
Review: Once in a while, after reading several books about the trials and tribulations of growing up gay, a book will slip into my inbox and give a change of pace that is both welcomed and whole-heartedly appreciated. Introducing Alicia Norwell. A reader turned writer from the Pacific North-west, Nordwell has taken the m/m genre by the horns, and produced one of the finest adult novellas I have read in an age.
This book held a lot of different themes, all embracing the homosexual relationship as standard. While I love to read about the struggle for equal rights, or how oppression of our lifestyle cannot be crushed in our fearless protagonists, this story held an equally potent message; that we are just good, hard-working folk trying to live our lives like everyone else. In this riveting tale, we meet Aislin, the gay son from a big family who spent most of his life trying to measure up after an accident that left him handi-capable. There was a fire in this character that I admired greatly, a stubborn streak that left him determined not to be left behind or treated differently because of his disability. And in a family of siblings and cousins with little ankle-biters running around causing havoc, Aislin felt he deserved no less and found himself a surrogate. I loved reading this story because it was one of hope for single gay men who might one day choose to be a parent, even if on their own. I was inspired.
The family were bold and loyal, his employees were kind and humble and I’ll be damned if Nordwell didn’t write the deceptive antagonist with a panache like no other. The skill of penmanship was admirable, easy to read prose dripping off the page in wonderfully constructed sentences that had me finished with the book in a matter of hours. I can honestly say I could not put the thing down.
Lander was a particular treat to read. A younger man, abandoned by his own family and taken into the arms of his employers’ family, showing again that there is some good left in this world. The slow burning and denied romance between Aislin and Lander was beautifully crafted, the reader feeling every twist and turn, every spike of trepidation, every fear and excitement between the two men, thrust into a pressure cooker of flawless storytelling. The way the two MC’s handled themselves under the pressure of a new baby on the way, the arrival of said baby and the drama of the workplace was gripping from start to finish, and I was rooting for their HEA (which thankfully I was gifted with in spades).
This book comes with a sincere thanks to the author for such a vibrant and fresh addition to the genre, and a sincere recommendation from this reviewer. If you want a good-natured, light-hearted romp through an unconventional gay adult’s life, then look no further; Alicia Nordwell has got the goods for you. Four and a half golden stars for an author to pay attention to. Now if you’ll excuse me, I hear she has some free reads up on her blog that I am dying to dive into.