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Thursday, June 13, 2013

REVIEW: "Fear, Hope, and Bread Pudding" by Marie Sexton


Fear, Hope, and Bread Pudding (Coda Books, #5.5; Strawberries for Dessert, #2)Fear, Hope, and Bread Pudding by Marie Sexton
(Coda #6; Strawberries for Dessert #2)

Goodreads -- Amazon
Author Website

For Ages 18+
Male/Male Romance -- Contemporary
Dreamspinner Press -- June 5, 2013
Ebook, 140 pages
Purchased from Amazon

THEMES
Family Issues, Unconventional Hero, Children, Opposites Attract

SUMMARY
Families should grow, not shrink. It’s been on Jon Kechter’s mind since before he tied the knot with his millionaire lover, Cole Fenton. Now hoping to adopt, Jon and Cole search for a mother-to-be willing to let them love her baby, but the interminable wait is wearing on them both.

Jon is close to his father, George, but until Cole, he didn’t have anyone else. Now George is pushing Cole to reconcile with his estranged mother. When the three of them spend Christmas with her in Munich, the results are disastrous. Jon and Cole resolve to stay positive, but no hope exists without a tinge of fear. Jon and Cole can’t help but wonder if their dream of being parents just wasn’t meant to be.

FIRST LINE
Somebody once said, "There is no hope unmingled with fear, and no fear unmingled with hope."  I never realized how true it was until I watched Cole struggle with them both in our quiet Phoenix home, where hope and fear had been neatly encapsulated in the simple form of a bedroom.

MY THOUGHTS
In Strawberries for Dessert, readers got to see workaholic Jon and flamboyant Cole fall head over heels for each other.  Then, they saw them get interact with the rest of the Coda guys and get married in Paris A to Z.  Now, Jon and Cole are a happily married couple who are ready to move to the next step: becoming parents.  The journey to parenthood isn't easy (nothing ever is with these two), but it was worth all the emotions (happy and sad) by the end.

These guys are one of my all-time favorite couples in all of romance and I was super excited to see Marie Sexton focus on them again.  Both Jon and Cole were just as wonderfully complex when they were first introduced.  I loved watching their different reactions to the journey to being fathers and how well things were lined up according to their personalities.  Cole and the nursery was just heartbreaking while Jon's continued efforts to keep his spirits up made me smile.

With the guys on their way to being fathers, it made sense to use this book to look deeper into their own experiences growing up.  Readers already knew quite a bit about Jon's father George and how much things changed for them after Jon's mother's death.  I liked how realistic their relationship was: never perfect, but full of love.  It was also great that Sexton decided to have George's point of view during a key point in the story.  His feelings for both guys are so well-written and it was nice seeing a different view on their unique dynamic.

One of most intriguing parts of Fear, Hope, and Bread Pudding for me was the resolution of the estrangement between Cole and his mother.  She never appeared in earlier books in the series, but had a definite reputation.  Marie Sexton is great at making sure her readers know that there are always multiple sides to every story and this particularly relationship was no exception.  No one came out of their interactions looking like a saint and I appreciated it.

All in all, this was a fabulously entertaining read that made me sigh with happiness by the end.  I love rooting for characters to fall in love just as much as the next romance reader, but it was great to see a favorite couple developing a life together after the happily ever after.  Jon and Cole's story comes to a conclusion in a wonderful, emotional way and I found it very satisfying.

RATING
4 Stars

FAVORITE QUOTE

"You've never given a damn what people think, because you've never had anything to lose. And more often than not, it works for you. You manage to win people over, and the ones you don't, you happily tell to fuck off and that's the end of it."

BOOKS IN THE SERIES
1. Promises
2. A to Z
3. The Letter Z
4. Strawberries for Dessert
5. Paris A to Z
6. Fear, Hope, and Bread Pudding

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