MUM is the love of his life.
Until he meets his STEP-BROTHER.
For years it’s been just Finley and Mum. Now she’s getting married, and they’re moving into a flash mansion and his step-dad is lording it over him. He’s clearly a homophobe, and doesn’t want him rubbing off (so to speak) on his son.
Like that would ever happen.
Even if Ethan and his dad don’t look anything alike.
Even if Ethan and his dad don’t act anything alike.
Even if . . .
This can’t happen. They’re whānau now, family, there are boundaries.
Secret. Forbidden. Irresistible.
A reimagining of Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park.
Heart-throbbing slow burn, a bit of pretty prose, Ethan is his step-brother, Finley wasn’t supposed to see him naked, step-dad is a homophobe, Finley has naughty thoughts, Austen might roll over in her grave, secrets and confessions under sparkly stars, mutual pining, the world is unfair, pining-pining-and-more-pining, Finley turns naughty thoughts to actions, so what there are rules?, maybe they shouldn’t have done that, jealousy is an ugly green beast, Austen might like this now, forgetting is impossible, more impossible is choosing between heart and home.
By Anyta Sunday
Ethan slips to my side, perfectly pressed in his spotless uniform, face free from the shadows of a cap. His hand moves to my bag and I feel the shudder of the zip. “It was open,”’ he says, and I know immediately he’s seen my test, pinned behind my smaller math textbook, the red-circled Achieved at the top right-hand corner.
I can’t look at him. My insides heave up my throat and the pressure stings my eyes.
“Um. See you at home, then.” I pound down the last of the path and emerge onto the parking lot. I’m halfway across when Ethan catches up and snags my hand.
His fingers wrap insistently around mine and our eyes catch. He tugs me toward his car and urges me inside.
“You’ll get in trouble,” I say as he slides into the driver’s seat.
Ethan stares out the window, then grabs his seatbelt, drawing it slowly across his chest. “I’ll be careful.”
Book 4 of the Love, Austen series where each book is a reimagining of a literary classic. This is the first one that I hadn’t read the original or seen any of the no fewer than 3 adaptations. No matter really. You don’t need to know the original at all. Nor do you need to have read the first three books.
The synopsis makes it sound like you get to know Finley and his mother before she gets married. But really you don’t. It starts almost immediately from his mother and her new fiance Tom announcing that they were engaged and would be moving to Tom’s mansion “Manfield”. Tom also has a son just a year older than Finley so he gets a brother, STEP brother, in the deal as well.
The entire book spans almost 10 years I think. From them as 15-16 year olds to nearly graduating college. So to say it is a slow burn is putting it mildly. The sexual tension is there from just about the beginning. But it doesn’t really read as sexual tension- more like 2 teen boys crushing hard on each other but trying to ignore it. But over time they become closer and closer, but never crossing the imaginary line.
What isn’t a help is Ethan’s father might be homophobic. Or at least have very clearly defined roles that people should fit in to. And his son shouldn’t play dress up when babysitting the neighbors, nor should he want to be an early education teacher as it won’t make him enough money.
We watch the boys grow close, support each other, help each other, become big brothers, finish school and have a gap year each- separately. Have other relationships, go to college and move out. But they are steadfast in their devotion to each other.
There’s a bit at the end with Tom (Ethan’s father, Finley’s step father) that had me in tears.
And I LOVE that not only is one of the characters Maori, but Finley’s mother strives to keep that culture alive in her children.
This one is will absolutely tug at your heart strings.
4 pieces of eye candy
I’m a big, BIG fan of slow-burn romances. I love to read and write stories with characters who slowly fall in love.
Some of my favorite tropes to read and write are: Enemies to Lovers, Friends to Lovers, Clueless Guys, Bisexual, Pansexual, Demisexual, Oblivious MCs, Everyone (Else) Can See It, Slow Burn, Love Has No Boundaries.
I write a variety of stories, Contemporary MM Romances with a good dollop of emotion, Contemporary lighthearted MM Romances, and even a splash of fantasy.
My books have been translated into German, Italian, French, Spanish, and Thai.
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You can also find me here: www.anytasunday.com