“Happiness is not the absence of problems, it’s the ability to deal with them.” ― Steve Maraboli
BLURB: Don Jenkins will do anything for a happy, thriving family and home. When he discovers that Griff McAllister, his life partner and love since high school, seems to be losing faith in him, he’s at a loss for how to mend the relationship. Then Howard Campbell is added to the mix, a man Don and Griff both love beyond words, and jealousy and mistrust threaten not just their bond, but even Don’s ability to keep his farm viable.
Nearly losing Howard in an accident serves as a wakeup call. They begin to pull their relationship out of the muck and work to remember why they came together in the first place. If they can figure out how to help one another and make sure each man gets what he needs, the trio might build the loving future they’ve dared to hope for. They have to be brave enough to commit every resource they can muster—especially trust, understanding, and acceptance—and realize true love is never as easy as it looks.
REVIEW: I finished this book a couple days ago, and I had to sit back and let it sink in before I could put my thoughts in order. This is a story of three very different boys that grow up together and share every important moment of their lives.
First you have Don Jenkins. Don is a no-frills kind of guy. He is raised a farmer, it’s all he has ever wanted to be, a farmer just like his father. The land he lives on has been in his family for generations. He comes from a very large family, a tight unit that loves and laughs together. They may not have a lot, but they have each other is definitely how I would describe them.
Then we meet Griff McAllister. Griff is a rough and tumble kid that lives in a completely different situation. His parents divorced and he stayed with his father. It has been just the two of them on their horse ranch. He meets Don at school when he rescues Don from the school bully. This is the beginning of a life-long friendship.
Enter Howard Campbell. Howe is a year older than Griff and Don, and he works at the family business. He is the next up in a long line of mechanics, and he loves what he does. Howard has one brother and one sister, along with both parents, but that doesn’t make for a happy home.
Through many life-changing circumstances Don, Griff and Howe start to form a three-way relationship that shouldn’t work, but somehow they make it work for awhile. When Howe is the target of a hate crime, it puts a wall up between him and the other men. With a few harshly spoken words and more than one misunderstanding, Howe goes his own way and leaves Don and Griff to try to stay afloat without him.
Don and Griff try to go on without Howe, but they are floundering. It seems they are having to work very hard to keep their relationship together, when it used to be as easy as taking a breath. They both realize that without Howe in their lives there is hole that needs to be filled, and they won’t be able to move on until they fill it. Howe is resistant, but Don and Griff won’t let him walk away without a fight.
I truly enjoyed this book and was completely enthralled with the story of these three men and their crazy families. The support Don and Griff got from their families was just amazing. Howe, unfortunately, didn’t have much of a family, but Don and Griff were determined to make a place for him in theirs. Getting him to take that place was an uphill battle that was pretty painful to watch.
I think this would have been a 5 star read had I not been totally blindsided near the end of the book, when out of the blue the author threw in a D/s theme that hadn’t really been explored at all. It seemed to me that this aspect of Griff and Don’s relationship just appeared out of thin air, and it just didn’t make sense. Up to that point I loved the book, and I think it would have been just fine without that added to it. I still think the story is wonderful and the characters loveable, but I just couldn’t get past this aspect of the story.
I would still highly recommend this book. The author has a talent for writing engaging characters that you can’t help but love. I was rooting for them from the very start. It may sound cliched but I laughed, I cried and I wholeheartedly give it 2 thumbs up.
1 thought on “This Relationship Is “Not As Easy As It Looks””
Nice review, Jackie! I want to give this one a try for the great elements you talk about. It’s a shame there’s that part that doesn’t mesh with the rest of the book, so maybe I’ll just skim over that so it doesn’t leave me feeling the way it did you. Thanks!