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I'm a hopeful cynic.

Faith & Fidelity (Faith, Love and Devotion)

Faith & Fidelity - Tere Michaels I'm gonna be the odd one out. Again. Because even though most of my GR friends love this story, it was just meh for me. So. Evan and Matt. They're both heteros. At a certain point, they realise they are attracted to each other. Then they realise they love each other. OK. I can buy that provided it's done well. But I didn't buy it here. Not really. I got the emotional/bonding part; both men needed someone to lean onto, someone to count on. They became good friends through their commiseration. Fair enough. Friends is one thing. Lovers though? Errrr ... not so much. The romantic part lacked depth; it felt inadequate and rushed. Where was the spark? The built-up? Plus, I had so little info on Evan's romantic feelings I seriously thought he would blow Matt off. Then I learned he reciprocated, but only because I was told. I didn't feel it. How were they ready to start a serious romantic relationship when they hadn't even had full on sex was a mystery to me; given that the experience was new for both of them, I mean. What if they hated it? What if they weren't "compatible"? In that respect, they acted and felt more like horny teenagers than mature men.Also, maybe it was due to the prologue, or due to Evan's grief over his wife's death (which was there throughout the book and often overshadowed his feelings for Matt), but it felt more like “Evan's story” than “Evan and Matt's” story.Then there was that other guy, James. I understand the author needed to pave the way for the next story in the series but, honestly, the whole scene with Matt and James sharing their stories of heartbreak in a bar, and then heading over to James' hotel and having sex? I didn't know if I wanted to laugh or cry in frustration. Again, if I weren’t told the blowjob Matt shared with James meant nothing, that James and Matt were just in the process of becoming friends, I would expect them to ride off into the sunset and become each other’s HEA. Evan and Matt’s ostensible feelings toward him be damned.The writing was clumsy and there were some issues with the POV shifts. Also, in my opinion, there were too many POVs in the story. Matt and Evan's were more than enough. I didn't feel I got anything substantial from Evan's little son's POV or that of Evan's partner, for instance. There were also typos and grammatical errors, the formatting was poor, the punctuation all over the place. I lost count of how many redundant ellipses there were (yes, Kate, you were right), the use of spaced hyphens instead of em dashes grated on the nerves of my inner editor, the unnecessary extra line breaks confused me.I mentioned Evan's partner and remembered another issue. Her name was Helena. And his sister-in-law was called Elena. Yep. Helena and Elena. I had to stop and think who was who sometimes (when the context didn't help) and it was irritating. Very poor choice in names if you ask me.Overall, it was a decent story—I’ve read much worse—but all the raving reviews had me going in with high expectations. Sadly, they weren’t met.