Title: The Final Round (The Square Peg: Book Four)
Authors: Jane Davitt and Alexa Snow
Publisher: Loose Id
Pages/Word Count: 272 Pages
At a Glance: Whew! This one is heavy but worth it!
Reviewed By: Carrie
Blurb: Reeling from the news of his mother’s death, Shane heads back to England to face a hostile father. Benedict’s with him every step of the way, providing a shoulder to cry on and an escape from sorrow by way of their increasingly powerful and intense scenes.
Grieving and guilty, seeking a reconciliation with his father, Shane makes a hasty decision that brings him peace of mind, but at a heavy cost to his relationship with the man he loves. Is it time to call it quits or time to grow closer still? In the wake of his loss, Shane finds that question doesn’t have a simple answer–but questions of the heart never do.
Review: I don’t always like follow-up stories for characters I really like, because I create my own HEA for them in my head. If the author doesn’t go in the same direction I have, it can be disheartening. I have to say, though, that Shane and Ben stayed true to character from the first book in this series, and they have grown together, their relationship becoming more solid. Ben really comes into his own in this book, losing more of his inhibitions to be the man that Shane needs. And we really get to see just how out of control Shane can be, needing someone like Ben to keep him sane. These men have a D/s relationship, but it isn’t a formal one. It is their own interpretation of what works for them inside their own paradigm.
This book is about family—the one we are born with versus the ones we make ourselves. Shane has lived and worked at The Square Peg for twenty years now, and is happy there. Then his mother dies suddenly, and Shane has to head back to England to handle all the details of her funeral because he knows that his alcoholic, abusive father will not be able to accomplish it. Once there, the guilt sets in that he never came back to visit, and he grieves for the mother he left behind to deal with a man he couldn’t tolerate. Shane starts to feel he should sell the Peg and move to England just to make sure his father doesn’t drink away the house within six months of his wife’s funeral. Shane knows that if he leaves his father, the man will drink himself into a stupor, and his liver will fail, and Shane will be back in England anyway. But can he give up the family he has made at the Peg, and will Ben move to England with him?
There’s a whole lotta angst in this one. And Ben and Shane come out the other side surer of themselves and the people in their lives. It is an emotional trip well worth taking. At the end of this book we really get a glimpse of who Shane and Ben are, and will become, as a couple. Really, nothing about their relationship is easy, these are complicated men and their relationship reflects that, but that’s what makes them so interesting. The authors know that and stayed true to the men they created. There are no emotional shortcuts in this book.
I have loved all The Square Peg books—The Final Round being number four in the series. Thank you to the authors for giving us a final glimpse at Shane and Ben. I loved it.
You can buy The Final Round here: