A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Personal Challenges (Personal #4) by K.C. Wells

Standard

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

This book is the culmination of the series which started with Making It Personal, the story of Will and Blake that served as the foundation for the characters and situations in the rest of the series. In book two we met Rick and Angelo, and in book three the focus was on Ed and Colin. I enjoyed most of the books, giving four stars to the early ones and five stars to book three. However, at least two years have gone by since I read that last book, and I have to be honest—the specifics of the characters and couples didn’t stick with me over the course of that time—understandable since I’ve read at least 500 more books since then.

That leads to my word of caution—this is not a standalone, and not only should you read the first three books before this one, but if it’s been awhile since you did, it would be in your best interest to reread, or at least review, the previous books before starting this one. I did not do that and my enjoyment of the early part of the book was compromised by my lack of recall. Of course, once I started to really get into the story, I did remember the situations in which the couples met and my enjoyment of this story increased exponentially.

Each couple in this series faces a personal challenge, or crisis, during this finale. For Will and Blake, it’s a medical problem with their newborn son, for Angelo and Rick, it’s simply a lot of interference from Angelo’s mother as she “helps” plan their wedding—for two years now—and it’s time to finalize everything. For Ed and Colin, it’s a voice from the past—Colin’s ex who contacts Colin to say goodbye as he’s dying and that leads to deep secrets being revealed and multiple heartstrings being pulled.

The story was interesting and I found myself looking forward to the next step in the process for each of the couples. At times humorous, most often serious, the author took the time to explore each couple’s issues in depth, and toward the end of the story it became highly emotional. And as luck would have it, I was in a waiting room surrounded by other people when I got to the last chapters. I had to furtively sneak a tissue out of my purse to wipe my eyes as I quietly sobbed through both the heartache and the heartwarming events as each couple came to closure in this story.

On a lighter note, aside from the main storyline, the author seems to have planted the seeds for a new couple to appear in a future book—Franco the ex-priest and Anthony, the wedding planner. I enjoyed their dynamic and would indeed like to see them get their own story.

So overall, yes, I recommend this to lovers of MM romance, and if you’ve enjoyed any of these couples’ stories in the past, by all means, pick this up.

~~~

Cover art by Meredith Russell depicts two men, both with bowed heads, one man with his arms around the other—a good symbol for the couples in the story without trying to depict any one individual couple. The sepia tones are fairly subdued and not necessarily attention-getting but the somber color scheme goes along with the seriousness of the issues the couples face.

Sales Link

Book Details:

ebook, 250 pages
Published April 7th 2017 by Island Tales Press
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesPersonal #4

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