Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Archie Noblesse, a Cree native from a remote area in Canada, knew nothing but pain and heartache when he was a child. Emotionally and sexually abused, he found himself responsible for the care of his younger sister, Marguerite, when his drug-addicted mother abandoned them. He managed to claw out an existence by working the streets and through shoplifting and other minor crimes. Thankfully he never got caught.
Now an adult, Archer Noble is a well-known and respected author, though he’s not loved by all. He manages to offend the gay community with every word he writes, being outspoken against gay marriage and long-term commitment. He accuses gay men of trying to fit into the mold set by heterosexuals and goes out of his way to disprove the possibility of gay men having loving, committed relationships. So when his sister, Margie, dies and he’s informed that he’s been named temporary guardian of her two children, he freaks out before eventually showing up to help settle her estate.
He loved Margie more than anything else in the world and even knowing she has no other relatives to care for her children doesn’t make him want to be there for them. When he learns that her friend, her son’s teacher Ryan Eriksson, was named backup in case Archer couldn’t, or wouldn’t, assume responsibility, he breathes a sigh of relief. Now he only has to convince Ryan that he would be the best caretaker. But Ryan, knowing exactly who the despicable Archer Noble is, refuses to take responsibility for the kids. The two compromise and decide to give it until September before a final decision is made. And, of course, both men are determined to show the other just how much the children need them.
But what they don’t realize is that they are also going to learn just how much they need each other.
I loved, loved, loved this audiobook! It’s the first I’ve read from this author, and I was attracted to it by the narrator, Michael Pauley, whom I’ve heard previously and enjoyed. But what a double whammy I got! An extremely enjoyable story told by an extremely talented narrator. It’s been well over twenty-four hours, and I can’t get these characters out of my mind.
The story was an emotional, poignant family drama and dealt with the grief of losing a mother, sister, and friend. The author took the time to fully develop the characters—all of them, including the children—and to weave a very believable story. I am so invested in this family now that I am going to have to listen to this one again in the near future. Watching Archie heal and watching Ryan’s awareness of his own needs unfold was beautiful. The voices the narrator gave to the characters were varied and interesting, and the children’s voices were amazing. I especially loved eight-year-old Dillon. Oh my gosh, this story was so good, I highly recommend it to all lovers of MM romance, particularly to those who enjoy family drama or stories about men with children. And I most definitely recommend the audiobook. As I said before—Chris Scully and Michael Pauley are a winning combo and pack a lot of punch!
Cover art by Lou Harper depicts the back view of two men, each with an arm around a child, sitting peacefully on a grassy area with autumn leaves gently falling at the top of the page. It captures the essence of the hard-won cohesiveness of this family.
Sales Links: Riptide Audiobook | Audible | Amazon | iTunes
Audio release: June 13, 2016
Original TitleUntil September
ISBN 1626493553 (ISBN13: 9781626493551)