Cherish by Tere Michaels

CHERISH

Cherish by Tere Michaels
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (104 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Sex
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Cactus

Several years after the end of Duty & Devotion, Matt and Evan are living quietly in their Brooklyn home with the twins, Danny and Elizabeth. The older girls – Katie and Miranda – are off at college, Evan is about to be promoted to captain and things are calm.

Briefly.

Evan accidently learns that Miranda has a new boyfriend and is talking marriage after just three months of dating. After peeling himself off the ceiling, he demands a conversation with his eldest daughter, which erupts into, as Matt calls it, “a steel cage match”.

Miranda indeed has a boyfriend (Kent), a business major (from Connecticut) and they are most definitely serious. In fact, Miranda wants to bring him to Thanksgiving dinner – along with his parents, Blake and Cornelia.

There is much debate but Evan agrees – mostly because Miranda’s part of the bargain is that she won’t get engaged or elope until the parents have met.

Thanksgiving descends into madness before the turkey is cut.

Who said holidays were easy? Just when Matt and Evan think they have a little breathing room, Thanksgiving comes rolling around the corner. With Evan’s oldest daughter still acting out, she’s decided to bring home her newest boyfriend and his parents for the holiday. To add to the chaos, Evan’s partner and her boyfriend invite themselves over as well. Struggling to keep the family together and the drama down, Matt and Evan discover all the “joy” and joy of a crazy holiday.

Cherish is the fourth book in the Faith, Love, and Devotion series. Books one, three, and now four all deal with Matt and Evan. Newcomers to this author and series don’t necessarily need to read the previous books to understand and enjoy this fourth one. The author does a commendable job giving enough background for the novice reader to keep up but reading the previous books will give a greater breadth of knowledge and appreciation for the couple and their struggles. This time around the focus is on Evan’s oldest daughter Miranda and her ongoing grief over losing her mother and her father’s sudden new boyfriend. Matt and Evan have been together for a few years but Miranda is still trying to find her place within the new-formed family.

The characters may seem chaotic with such a big cast but delightfully none of the cast blends together. Everyone feels distinct and unique in their own way. That’s quite the feat considering the sheer number of people dominating any given page- Matt, Evan, the four kids, the boyfriend, his parents, Evan’s partner and her boyfriend, Matt’s employer and wife. Due to such a big cast the pace is pretty quick. All the drama is interpersonal and there’s more than enough to go around. The conflicts feel genuine and real. Emotions are honest and sometimes heartbreaking with an overall feeling of frustration and deep love as only families can seem to create. There’s a nice sense of hope at the end without every problem being resolved neatly.

If there’s a downside, I’d say the story is largely predictable with a feeling of nostalgia to it. Having read the previous books sometimes the same issues repeat themselves, as expected in complex families, but as a reader sometimes it feels a little bit stale. However even if these issues have been brought up I found myself speeding through the pages, more than happy to revisit Matt and Evan and loving the story every step of the way. The ending also offers a few teasing possibilities for more of the couple in the future. Fans of the series will not want to miss this one and it’s easy to recommend.

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