Rating: 3.5 Stars out of 5
Jason and Spencer have been best friends for years, in spite of the atrociousness of Spencer’s mother. The family vineyard is all that matters. Well, that and keeping Spencer under Mom’s thumb, doing exactly what she wants him to do. What she wants right now is for him to marry Lydia, the daughter of a soon-to-be investor in the vineyard. Despite Spencer’s lack of interest in marrying anyone female, he’s going along with it because it’s his mother and that’s what he does to keep the peace and try to make his family proud. His father isn’t as in his face, mainly because his father interacts hardly at all.
What Spencer does have is Jason and the amazing supportive of Jason’s large family. A family who love and care about their members for who they are, getting involved sure but with only each person’s happiness in mind. So it goes that Jason’s family thinks instead of being best man for Spencer’s wedding to Lydia, he should let Spencer know he’s in love with him and see what happens. They believe Spencer loves Jason back and all will be well.
Of course, things are never that simple, even after a personalized bachelor weekend in New York, going to Madison Square Garden and Central Park ends up with the two of them getting together, only to return to the same plan of marrying Lydia. Jason’s brother, Kenny, is a favorite of mine now, and he tried to get Spencer to not be stupid. “I told him he shouldn’t marry Lydia because he’s in love with you and you’re in love with him.” And he understands the why of it, that Spencer tries to make everyone happy except himself. I got Kenny’s frustration – Spencer is 33! It’s time to let go of Mommy Dearest’s expectations.
It got frustrating at time watching Spencer put up with amounts to emotional abuse from his mother and watch his father remain silent about it. Spencer “…couldn’t disappoint her the way he would if he chose Jason.” She has no interest in what Spencer wants or needs, just herself. So frustrating!
I appreciated that Lydia wasn’t portrayed as a bad person at all. She really is another one sort of doing something to please her parents (in her case, her father) although it wasn’t anything like Spencer’s mother. Jason’s family were interesting supporting characters, and in the case of Kenny especially, endearing. Jason’s mom is as far from Spencer’s mom as could be, thank heavens. I was pulling for Spencer to get his head out of the ground before it was too late. I also liked that mother didn’t magically become kind or motherly, no matter what Spencer did because to me that would have felt false. It was an interesting story with some exasperating moments!
Cover art: The cover models appeared the right ages for Jason and Spencer and could have been them. I had a different vision for the vineyard, if only because the house seems so welcoming and inviting and I didn’t picture those parents living there.
Sales Links: Amazon
Kindle Edition, 1 edition, 156 pages
Published February 2nd 2018 by VM Sanford
Original Title Eyes Wide Open
Edition Language English
Series Graves Brothers #1