Reviewed by Tori
Cherish & Blessed are actually two separate novellas bound into one book for it’s second print. Cherish was originally released in 2012 and because of that I have decided to review each one separately.
Evan and Matt have been a couple for many years, having built a life and home together with Evan’s children. Though it was rough in the beginning when Evan fell in love with man after his wife’s death, the trials and tribulations seem to have faded.
Or have they?
Evan and Matt get the surprise of their life when the oldest daughter, Miranda, starts talking marriage to a boy she just met three months ago and then decides to invite the boyfriend and his family home for Thanksgiving. When it becomes obvious Miranda hasn’t been completely honest with the boyfriend, his parents, or herself, Evan and Matt will have to step in to ensure that Miranda knows she is cherished.
I have been a fan of this series since the beginning. Though not a huge fan of the ‘gay for you’ trope, Michaels’ does a fabulous job of building Evan’s and Matt’s relationship, starting with a friendship that morphs into attraction, than love at a steady and realistic rate. Michaels’ doesn’t shy away from the issues when dealing with the children, a deceased spouse, and homophobic relatives.
All of Evan’s kid’s have accepted Matt into their lives except for Miranda. She has had the hardest time accepting her mother’s death and the inclusion of Matt into their lives. Humor and mayhem lead the way as Miranda’s power play not only causes her family grief and embarrassment but also places strain on her relationship with her boyfriend and his family. Evan and Matt band together, along with her siblings and some friends to help Miranda see that her mother hasn’t been forgotten and that Matt is not a threat to her father’s love for her. I did approve of the manner in which it was handled. No kid gloves were used and Miranda got a rude but much needed awakening in how her behavior was unacceptable across the board. Personally, I think she got off rather easy but her issues run deep and it will take more then one weekend for her to overcome them.
As always, the chemistry between Evan and Matt is explosive and sex fueled but in here it is tempered by love and a quiet but fierce tenderness. Early on in their relationship, Evan would have pulled away from Matt in order to deal with this issue but now Evan embraces Matt and holds on tight because they are a couple-a team-and Evan will never let Matt go. Matt’s relationship with Evan’s children (the ones who like him-lol) continues to sweet and engaging as he truly adores them and vice versa.
Jim and Griffin find themselves floundering in their relationship as both are ready for something more permanent but scared to broach it to one another. Matt and Evan are looking to reconnect emotionally and physically as careers and two children still at home leave them very little alone time. When Daisy and Bennett invite the two couples to the Hamptons to celebrate the christening of their new child, the weekend opens the doorway to some much needed communication.
I have to admit I wasn’t as enamored with this installment. The story jumping between the two main couples was abrupt causing the flow to be shaky and not as well developed as her other installments. Jim and Griffin hold no appeal for me. I never connected with them as secondary characters. Michaels’ doesn’t really resolve Jim and Griffin’s communication problem and basically an epiphany that Jim has to ‘magically’ fix their issues. I did enjoy seeing Daisy and Bennett and Helen and Shane. Everyone has come such a long way.
Matt and Evan are sweet, sexy, and funny as usual with both continuing to open up more both physically and emotionally with one another. Certain long term issues are coming up and choices must be made.
Michaels’ ends both novellas on a soft positive notes, letting readers know that the couples we have come to enjoy continue to work towards their happy ever after.
The Novel Approach