What We Deserve is a stellar debut book by Kerry Freeman. The emotional pull of the three main characters draws readers immediately into the story. Told from Sean’s point of view, readers find themselves instantly sympathizing with his character. Readers experience Sean as a teenager as he first discovers he's in love with his best friend Jamie and then follow him as he develops a true sense of himself as a gay man.
Since the story is told through Sean's eyes, readers see the other characters through his eyes. And there are moments when his perceptions are quite amusing; yet the men are realistic, three-dimensional characters with all the idiosyncrasies of the average person. Jamie is at first drool-worthy as Sean’s first love. When he leaves him without explanation, I’m just as angry as Sean. The bond these two men have is strong enough to remain during the years Jamie stays away. But finally Sean meets Tyler who is a perfect fit. In love with each other for some time, Sean’s life is good… until Sean returns. And Sean knows his love for Jamie has never gone away. Jamie returns as an ex-military with that distant personality of a man who has seen war and both Sean and Tyler are drawn to him.
Sean, Tyler, and Jamie as a ménage just make sense. No one is left out of the relationship, the affection is equal and the balance of power is near perfect. Even the sex scenes are skillfully used to advance the relationship so while they’re hot, they also serve a purpose. What a relief to read a book with emotionally-healthy characters. Readers have the sense that their relationship will stand the test of time. Yet, never fear, there was enough drama to hold readers’ interest. Character's emotions and the underlying tension as they develop their non-traditional relationship are tangible.
The secondary characters – each man’s family – added a layer to the story that created a realistic plot. The inclusion of the men addressing the relationship with their families was emotionally charged, and bravely Freeman left some conflicts open. Each secondary character served a purpose in providing more detail into the main characters’ personality. By the end of the book, I felt a true emotional connection.
Kerry Freeman gave readers a book that was exactly what we deserved. It is a delicious 5 Chocolate-Dipped Strawberry read.
Kerry Freeman will be with us tomorrow - see her guest post and learn more about what's to come from this fabulous new author!