Title: Fear, Hope, and Bread Pudding
Series: Strawberries for Dessert, Book 2; Coda Books, Book 5.5
Author: Marie Sexton
Genre: Contemporary Romance, M/M Romance
Sensuality Rating: Erotic
Source: review copy from publisher
Published: June 5, 2013 by Dreamspinner Press
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.
Reviewed By: J9
In a Nutshell: Lovely sequel showcasing the characters readers feel in love with and the family they’ve become.
The Set Up: Jon and Cole just gotten married and want to start a family but adoption isn’t an easy for a gay couple. While the wait is almost unbearable, Jon’s father, George, decides Cole needs to reconcile with his mother.
Why I Read this Book: I love this series and was so excited for this sequel!
What I Liked: The Jon and Cole readers loved from their book are here again. Cole’s flamboyance continues to be a mask he uses to protect himself from the world but now readers can see how Jon deals with this in understanding and love. Jon narrates most of the novella and it’s through his love for Cole that readers witness the anguish of the couple unable to adopt easily. I truly felt caught up in Cole and Jon’s struggles to grow their family in the face of the obstacles.
This novella is about family building so it more hints at eroticism than the previous books but it still worked for me. The sex between Jon and Cole is about connecting as a couple going through hard times and I adored this, though think some readers may miss the sexual intensity from the previous books.
What I Also Liked: I love the author’s use of secondary characters here. Jon’s father who has become a surrogate father to Cole plays a huge role as he urges Cole to reconcile with his estranged mother. How George does this isn’t always easy but it’s done from a place of love that worked so well for me. Cole’s mother isn’t always a sympathetic character but how this relationship develops with Cole is believable and great storytelling.
The adoption storyline makes this an emotionally charged novella that really hit the spot for me. I won’t give away what happens but I liked the ebb and flow of it as it offers the not-quite perfect but still wonderful emotional resolution for these beloved characters.
Finally, the author did a stellar job of including the couples from the Coda Books without them ever being on scene. I adored this and know that other readers will too.
What I Didn’t Like: Nothing, just a lovely novella.
IMO: Series fans will adore this novella as I did. New readers should absolutely read book one in Jon and Cole’s romance to fully invest in this emotional novella.