I’m starting a new weekly series on JLR, to highlight my favorite series and tell you why I love them so much. I’m starting this Spotlight off with one of very first M/M series that I ever read: Faith, Love & Devotion, by Tere Michaels!
I actually found a first print edition copy of Faith & Fidelity (Book #1) in my local used book store earlier this month… but since I already own the series, I thought it would make a great prize! So keep reading for your chance to win a paperback copy of the first book in the Faith, Love & Devotion series!
Series Name: Faith, Love & Devotion
First Published: September 2008, Loose ID
Currently Published by Dreamspinner Press
01: Faith & Fidelity
02: Love & Loyalty
03: Duty & Devotion
06: Truth & Tenderness
(Note: Books 4 and 5 were published together under the title “Cherish & Blessed”)
What’s It About:
New York City Vice Detective Evan Cerelli has lost his wife, the only person he ever loved and slept with. He’s trying to get on with his life, build a life for his children. Former Homicide Detective Matt Haight is a ladies’ man, all sex/no commitment. He’s depressed, having a midlife crisis, and not sure where his life is headed.
The two find friendship in the bottom of a shared bottle. When the friendship turns to love, it shakes two straight men to the core and flips their lives inside out. Kids, families, careers that are not gay-friendly — can all the love in the world overcome the obstacles to faith and fidelity?
Why should you check it out?
This series is a far cry from the hot-and-sexy-twenty-somethings that flood the M/M market. It’s a gay-for-you plot (although I read Matt as bisexual, I don’t recall if that was ever explicitly stated) about two men who find friendship during dark, depressing times in their life, and whose friendship slowly builds into passion.
I love how realistic and grounded the characters are. Matt and Evan are well past the age of experimenting, and they’ve lived their whole lives with the knowledge that they’re straight. So their attraction is a shock, to say the least, and there’s a lot of emotions for them to work through.
The series introduces some other super fun characters later on, and Evan’s kids end up playing a much bigger role in those books.
These are books show real men, with real emotions. Tere not only goes inside the mind of a man coming to terms with his sexuality, but she shows the ripple effect of that realization on family, friends, and co-workers.
How about an excerpt…
“Listen, Evan. I don’t know what to tell you.” Matt pulled himself out of the chair. He couldn’t do this. “I’m leaving.”
“Why? Why do you think? I’m embarrassed and I’m freaked out, okay? I don’t know how the fuck to handle this.” He moved past the couch to get his shoes.
Matt kept moving. He tried not to hear anything but the blood pounding in his ears. This was getting dangerous.
“Don’t leave, Matt.” Emotion was finally starting to creep into Evan’s voice. “I asked you not to leave last night and you stayed.”
“Fuck this. I can’t do this,” Matt kept muttering over and over. “We can’t do this.” He stared at his shoes, feeling helpless and terrified. Exposed. Needing something this badly… it was too dangerous.
He sensed Evan standing over him, but he couldn’t look up.
“Don’t.” Evan touched the side of his face. “I want you to stay.”
He shivered as Evan stroked his jaw. “And do what?”
“I’m not exactly sure… Can we take it slow? I don’t want you to think I’m easy.”
Matt had to laugh. Just had to. He reached up and tentatively took Evan’s hand. Stood up so they were standing an inch apart.
Evan shook under his hands, breathing deeply, almost frantically.
Matt let his hands travel the same path as last night. .Up the arms, the shoulders, the collarbone under the soft T-shirt. The strong neck. He felt the corded muscles, the ragged breaths. He scanned Evan’s face– hard planes and pale skin. His eyes were closed. He trembled.
Matt let out a shudder. His mouth hurt from denial. Just do it, Matty, something inside him whispered. He doesn’t want you to stop.
So he did what he’d felt like doing for weeks: pressed his mouth against Evan’s.
Live wires connected. Just a simple pressing together of flesh, but the jolts shook them both to the core.
Matt took a little more– he slipped the tip of his tongue along the seam of Evan’s lips, pushing the issue and feeling the joy as Evan took the pressure, offered the resistance needed to keep them both upright.
— Faith & Fidelty (print edition, Dreamspinner Press, 2014), page 52-53.
I’m giving away a paperback copy of Faith & Fidelity to one lucky winner!
Please keep in mind that this is a used copy in excellent condition. I found it at my local used book store, and grabbed it in excitement before getting home and realizing that I already own it in the revised version… oops! But my forgetfulness is your gain!!
Contest is open to U.S. Residents only, ages 18 and above. To enter, please click on the link below. One entry per person, per day. Contest ends January 30, 2016 at 11:59pm EST.