Liam is not a family man. He’s learned to avoid the entanglement and its mire of expectations; expectations he’s destined to crush. Unfortunately, his usually placid boyfriend is pushing him into the arms of his new family and he’s fighting every step. When a person he never expected to see again reappears, Liam finds a reason to make a few concessions for the sake of real love and the only man he is willing to call family.
Book four of the Saving Liam Series
I haven’t read any of the other books in the series and I was worried I’d be lost or miss things. I’m happy to say there was enough information to keep me from being confused. Watching Liam try to deal with Justin’s family and meeting the parents was heart breaking. He was out of his element but he tried so hard. I thought it was interesting how Liam put on a whole persona at the club. He talked about the persona, Damon, as if it was a different living person. The connection between Liam’s past and the owners of Sparks was fascinating. I didn’t see it coming and was floored right along with Liam. I felt bad for Justin when Liam kept telling him no to marriage. However, I understood Liam’s reluctance. The person from Liam’s past (not going to spoil it with who!) was surprising. They had nothing but bad intentions and was happy with how Justin and Liam handled it. I fell in love with Blue as well and can’t wait to read his story.
I asked DP Denman if Liam could tell us how he would describe family. What she sent is amazing. Read and enjoy!
This subject made me laugh because I knew what Liam would say. I could imagine the heavy sigh and exaggerated eye rolls followed by a mournful groan when he realized he had to write something anyway. I bribed him with a trip to the deli for lunch when he was finished and left him alone to write. What came out was more thoughtful and contemplative than I expected.
DP said I could be honest as long as I didn’t answer the question with ‘scathing hostility’. That’s difficult considering recent events, but I’ll try because there is a sandwich at stake!
I don’t think anyone can accurately define family. I think it’s like beauty. Everybody has their own definition based on what they know or what society tells them. The closest we come to a universal definition is in agreeing what it shouldn’t be.
My family is everything it shouldn’t be: lies, phony affection, and unspoken expectations. It’s the product of two people, terrible at love, who had kids for dumb reasons. I think failed birth control played a bigger role than an honest desire to be parents.
To me, family is pain, manipulation, and emotional extortion wrapped in a pretty little bow to keep up appearances. They say “I love you” because it’s expected. Nobody cares whether they mean it. Families criticize and tear each other down with no thought for the emotional damage it does because they don’t have to respect each other. They just have to put up with each other’s nonsense. Anything less makes them a traitor to their own family tree.
I am one such traitor.
If you ask Justin, he’ll tell you a different story about love, support, and unconditional acceptance. The same one he tells me all the time. His family and mine have nothing in common. I’ve only seen a glimpse of his. I’m not sure how much is real, and how much is an act, but the man he is makes a convincing argument. He loves without the lies. Someone taught him how to do that and I doubt it was his kindergarten teacher. He’s the most convincing argument family ever had.
Optimism and anxiety sparred in his head, pulling his eyebrows into a knot while he transferred clothes from his suitcase to one of the drawers in the dresser.
“What?” Justin sat on the edge of the bed while Liam grabbed a pile of socks for the second trip.
He looked at Justin. “This isn’t going to work.” He stuffed the socks in a drawer.
“Avoiding the truth all weekend.”
“What truth?” Confusion wrinkled Justin’s brow.
“That I’ll be wearing more clothes in the next two days than I do in a week and a half at home.”
Justin took his hand when he was in reach, using it to pull Liam into his lap. “Nobody’s avoiding anything.” Justin wrapped arms around him. “It’s not that big a deal. So, you dance for people. I’ll admit, it’s an unusual career choice but, they’d treat you the same way if you were still waiting tables.”
He nodded at a speech he’d heard before and scowled at the carpet unconvinced. Fingers touched the side of his chin and turned Liam’s head leaving him no choice but to meet Justin’s eyes.
“If you plan to spend all weekend anticipating judgmental bullshit you’ll be disappointed.” Justin caressed his chin with a thumb. “They don’t blame you for something that wasn’t your fault.”
He stared into warm brown eyes and read the rest of the speech. This wasn’t his house or even his town. The hateful people he expected to confront lived one province over and they weren’t coming to dinner. Justin pulled him closer by the fingers on his chin and kissed him.
“Once they get to know you they’re going to love you just like I do. Okay, maybe not just like I do but you know what I mean.”
He smiled at the attempted humor and draped an arm around Justin’s shoulders.
“That’s probably for the best,” he said.
“Probably. Let’s finish unpacking before they wonder what we’re doing in here.”
“I could bounce on the bed a little to answer the question.”
“Always the tease.” Justin pushed him from his lap. “None of that this weekend, okay?”
“It’s not like we can’t be quiet about it.”
Their first apartment had taught them about muting the volume during sex.
“I doubt anything you do could inspire an erection with my parents in the next room.”
Liam cocked an eyebrow at the challenge.
“No.” Justin shook his head and opened his own suitcase. “If you want to get your rocks off you can do it when I’m not in the room.”
“Not even a little of this?” He raised his arms over his head and rolled his hips to an imaginary beat.
“Not even a lot of that.” Justin carried shirts to the closet and swatted his ass on the way by. “Behave yourself.”
Award winning author DP Denman writes character-driven contemporary romance about gay men. Her stories are real and intense, but resolve in endings that make people want to read the book all over again. She is from the Pacific Northwest and bases all of her stories in Vancouver, British Columbia.
In her spare time, she is a dedicated LGBTQIA rights activist, fighting for those who have been marginalized and abused. To that end, 25% of the royalties from every book go to support LGBT charities.
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