Title: The Foster Family
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publication Date: February 14, 2018
Length: 330 pages
Reviewed by Erin
Growing up in foster care has left Kerry Grey with little self-esteem or hope for his future. A college dropout, Kerry scrapes by on a part-time job at a garden nursery. His friendship with his boss and working with the plants are the only high points in Kerry’s life. He’s been dating the man who bullied him at school, but when his boyfriend abandons him at a party, Kerry wanders down the beach to drown his sorrows in a bottle of scotch.
Malcolm Holmes and Charlie Stone have been together for fifteen years. Despite Charlie's willingness to accept Malcolm's unspoken domination in bed,something is missing from their relationship. Early one morning, they rescue a passed out Kerry from being washed away by the tide and Charlie immediately senses a kindred spirit in the lost younger man. When Kerry’s roommate kicks him out, Malcolm and Charlie invite him into their home. As Charlie and Kerry bond over Charlie’s garden, Malcolm sees Kerry may be just who they have been looking for to complete their lives. All they have to do is show Kerry, and each other, that Kerry's submissive tendencies will fit their dynamic.
But someone is sabotaging Kerry at every turn. As he struggles to discover the culprit, he fears for the safety of his new friends. If Malcolm and Charlie cannot help, their lifelong search for their perfect third may not end with the happily ever after they imagined.
One of the best things about doing Flashback reviews is falling in love with old favorites all over again. When I was looking through my "read" shelf on Goodreads to pick my book for this week, I saw so many that I'd love to revisit and it reminded me of why I love reading, and MM in particular. Jaime Samms has long been a favorite of mine. One of the highlights from the past few years was meeting her at GRL. She is every bit as gracious and incredible as I hoped she'd be (and then some) and it truly is an experience I treasure. She's written some fantastic books that I read and recommend all the time but The Foster Family remains my all-time favorite work of hers.
I remember when I first read this years ago. Each page left me more and more enthralled, and as I got farther and farther along, I realized that what I thought would happen, didn't, and that nothing was like I expected it to be. From the blurb you can tell that this is a book that focuses on a menage' relationship and that there are going to be some BDSM elements thrown in as well. All true, but The Foster Family is SO much more. There's a bit of drama and suspense but it's the emotional upheaval that will rip your heart open. Never fear though, Jaime puts it all back together in the best way possible. This is a story about finding yourself, about looking deep inside and figuring out what you want. It's about family and sacrifice.
Jaime has this incredible way of writing characters who are broken, flawed, and boy do they ever make mistakes. But that's life, yeah? It's human and real and it's why all of her books are on my re-read shelf. In The Foster Family, Kerry will tug at your heartstrings, no doubt. He's a hot mess, sure, but he's endearing and snarky and his heart is huge. Malcom ... I don't even know where to start with this guy. He's not the easiest to like but if you can get past his somewhat cold and aloof demeanor, underneath you'll find a man terrified of losing the love of his life, Charlie. You'll find a scared, broken man surviving the only way he knows how. Malcom really got to me. He's fierce and direct and one of those characters you will either love or hate. As for Charlie, well, he's pretty awesome. Living with Malcom, loving him as deeply as he does hasn't been easy, but these two have been together for more than 15 years. Marriage is hard, especially when you bring others into your bed.
Guys I really can't recommend this book enough. Menage (and BDSM) isn't for everyone, I know, but The Foster Family is so, so much more than that. Take note my friends, this is no light and fluffy read. It's deep, REALLY deep. It's got everything....great characters, incredible writing and pace, so much emotion it'll make you cry and laugh and take deep breaths, and some pretty hot sex scenes, too. Give this one a try ... I promise you won't be sorry. Oh and if audio is your thing, this one is ACES! The fabulous and crazy talented Greg Tremblay narrates it and it's swoon worthy from beginning to end!!
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