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2014 in Review: #4 & #3

ID-10088833Now that 2014 has drawn to a close and 2015 is here and upon us, I wanted to take some time this month to reflect on the best of what I read this past year.  I read way more than I ever have in a single year (306 books!) and while a few of them were not ones I’d recommend, most books were compelling and engaging reads.  While everything I’d recommend is either already here on the blog or still to come (I’ve some reviews already queued out into March), I’m going to highlight the 10 books I read in 2014 that I rated a whopping 5 stars.

Note: These are books I read in 2014, not necessarily published in 2014.

#4 – Something Like Winter by Jay Bell

Tim and Ben’s story is told quite well in Something Like Summer.  This follow-up gives readers the story from Tim’s perspective, filling in the holes about what happened in Tim’s life when he and Ben were apart and then continues the story beyond the first book.  And it’s masterfully written, incredibly engaging, and beyond moving.  I do think that reading the first book helps make this one more poignant, but it can also be read as a stand-alone if one is so inclined.  See my full review of Something Like Winter.

#3 – Love Comes Home by Andrew Grey

Gregory Hampton is a single father dealing with the knowledge that his 10-year-old son is slowly going blind.  All he wants is to find a way for his son to be happy, and that may mean having to put his own happiness on hold.  But when Tom Spangler shows up in their lives, he learns that both might be closer than he expected.  See my full review of Love Comes Home.

Image courtesy of adamr at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Title: Love Comes Home
Author: Andrew Grey
Publication Date: March 7, 2014

Rating: ★ ★ ★  
Review: 
When single father Gregory Hampton learns that his 10-year-old son, Davey, has a degenerative condition that will leave him blind, it’s a blow to his world. Not only does he know that the dreams that he had for Davey may not happen, he also knows that many of the things Davey wants might end up out of his reach. And when Greg meets Tom Spangler at a party thrown by mutual friends, he finds himself wondering if he will be able to pursue some of his own dreams, as well.

As Davey’s condition worsens and Greg and Tom try to get to know each other better, what are the chances that things might work out? And how much more complicated with things become when Greg’s ex-wife shows up to throw her own opinions on Davey’s care into the mix?

This is an incredibly sweet story about love of all kinds. Even though the story has an m/m romance theme, I think it truly transcends that motif to include the love of family and friends – and the notion that sometimes a family is made up of those who are there for you and support you, not necessarily just those who are related to you. Greg’s selfless love for his son is endearing, as is Tom’s support of both Greg and Davey. And all of the friends that surround them provide this wonderful sense of a community of support. I found this to be a story that pulls at the heart (and not always just for the moments between the central couple) but left me feeling great about the people in my own life who are always there to support others and truly care – and it inspires me to remember to show the people I care about that same type of support.

I started this review giving this book four stars, but I find now that I’m thinking about it more, it’s definitely a five star – one of the best books I’ve read so far this year…

(eGalley provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.)