Title: Duty & Devotion
Author: Tere Michaels
Narrator: JP Handler
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Run Time: 5 Hours and 21 Minutes
At a Glance: A really engaging and enjoyable follow-up for Evan and Matt from Faith & Fidelity, as they – and their relationship – continue to evolve.
Reviewed By: Sadonna
Blurb: After their happily ever after in Faith & Fidelity, Matt and Evan move forward to a new chapter of their lives — inside the bedroom and out — with some surprises in store for both. Evan struggles with labels and feelings, even as he wants to give in to his baser desires. Matt, now the ideal househusband of Queens, New York, has his own set of struggles — who is he now? What does he need and want?
A visit from his friend, and one-night stand, Jim Shea (of Love & Loyalty), throws everything into disarray as Evan’s jealousy and unease push Matt’s buttons — and not always in a good way.
Review: Note: Duty & Devotion is book three in what is, so far, a five book series. I don’t recommend reading/listening to this one until you’ve at least read book one, as there are numerous spoilers. It’s not completely necessary to have read book two, but I would recommend reading that one before reading/listening to book four.
Let me start by saying that Matt Haight is one of my favorite characters in the genre. I love, love, love his personality. The contrast between Matt and Evan is part of what makes this couple so much fun. Evan is still, in some ways, very uptight, but Matt, with his wit and charm and ability to push Evan, keep them going. While I think both of them have some fears about their relationship and what it means – for their careers, the kids, the future – Matt is able to sense Evan’s reluctance and help him over the humps of living.
In this book, Matt and Evan are together, they have moved to a new house, Miranda is in college, and Katie and the twins are at home and taking the majority of Matt’s focus. He has built pretty solid relationships with these kids. Evan continues to work too much, and in some ways he takes Matt for granted – realizing, even as he’s doing it, that he is repeating the patterns of his relationship with Sherry. He also seems to have a pretty jealous streak that comes to the fore when it comes to Matt and his friendship with Jim Shea. He can sort of deal with it when Jim stays on the West Coast, but when he comes to town with his boyfriend Griffin, this brings up all kinds of issues for Evan.
While he agrees to dinner with Jim and Griffin, he definitely doesn’t deal well with the situation. He’s jealous of Matt’s relationship with Jim, and finds himself dealing with other very new emotions when he’s around Jim and Griffin. A crisis that confronts everyone leads to a lot of revelations and epiphanies for Matt and Evan – some that will change their relationship entirely.
There continues to be a lot of humor and warmth in this series – mostly centered around Matt and his relationships – with the kids, Evan, his friends and new friends. Evan’s coworkers are still supportive and also add a good dose of reality checks and humor. Heavy moments, and especially Evan still dealing with so many mixed emotions, the chief of them being guilt, add to the drama of the story. But, as usual, there is a great balance of light and dark, humor and pathos, and fun and games.
The narrator continues to do a good job with the characterizations in this series. I particularly like his way of conveying Matt’s playful side, but he also imbues him with both serious and realistic traits as well. Highly recommended for lovers of this series.
You can buy Duty & Devotion here: