Rating: 4.75 stars rounding up to 5 out of 5
Dan White is trying to acclimate to civilian life after a long career in the military with multiple combat deployments.
Now he’s home in the Austin area, living with his brother Dixon, Dixon’s husband, Audie, and their two nine-year-olds. During the New Year celebration, Dan meets Abraham Weldon, and the connection is instant.
There’s a kiss. There’s a dance. There’s a proposition.
Then Dan finds out Weldon is bisexual.
And a dad.
With five kids. Five kids, one of whom is a blind fifteen-year-old.
Weldon has been in love twice in his life—with his high school best friend, Blake, and with his wife, Krista, who he met in a Dairy Queen as she was crying over a positive pregnancy test. Love number three hits Weldon like a hammer when he meets Dan.
But since Dan isn’t interested in a guy with kids, they might only get one night together.
When I read Ever the Same (Love is Blind #1), I fell in love with the families and characters that B.A. Tortuga created for that story. I certainly couldn’t wait for this series to continue. Real World (Love is Blind #2) brings us back to those families and couples with Dan White, ex soldier adjusting to civilian life and brother to Dixon, blind musician who we met in the first story. Dan’s not adjusting very well, but he’s living with Dix and his husband Audie and their kids so civilian life is up front and in his face every day. So are the connections to Dix and Audie’s friends and the community which brings a meeting to Weldon and a “oh so hot we might combust” connection. Until reality sets in when information is exchanged and Dan finds out that Weldon is a dad of five and bisexual, way more than a man who feels he’s not ready for commitment can handle, leaving a very disappointed Weldon in his wake.
How I love a story where a couple must over come obstacles, inner obstacles they create for themselves, in order to be together. This story is chock full of those. Here in Real World those barriers feel so completely authentic and believable when it comes to the characters who are trying to work through their feelings and doubts about their relationship and walls they built up around themselves. And no one here has walls higher than Dan White. Walls against dating bisexual men, walls against men with families, and one by one…we watch those barriers fall…prey to the charm and love of Weldon and his brood of kids. What a group of kids they are too. Snarky, drama filled, lovable, not so lovable, crying, every adjective you want to throw in here. In short, a very realistic family of children that will grab at your heart, especially the eldest who will have his own heartrending story thread to go through.
I haven’t forgotten Weldon. That character…well, he’s a man that will tug at you all the way through the story. He’s a loving father, a vulnerable man, who’s trying to balance his families needs with his own. You just end up aching for him when Dan turns away time and again. Trust me…there are places you will want to shake that man! Isn’t that great writing? Yes, I say it is.
B.A. Tortuga has a way, whether its by her ear for the vernacular or locale or just knowing people and family dynamics, of being able to create characters that are so real, so believable that they pull you into their story and lives that you ache for them, get mad at them, yes, want to shake them and finally rejoice in their happiness at the end when they pull together and realize they can make it as a couple and as a family. That happens here in Real World, a book I loved even better than the first story in the series. That’s saying a lot.
Do I recommend this story? Absolutely. Grab it up and the first in the series too. I can’t imagine what’s coming next but I know I can’t wait to see what develops. There are more White boys although they are supposedly straight. Hmmm. We’ll see.
Cover art by Bree Archer. I love this cover. Its just perfect for the story and its heartwarming too.
ebook, 290 pages
Expected publication: August 15th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1634773748 (ISBN13: 9781634773744)
Series: Love is Blind
Ever the Same