- Reviewed by: Diane
- Print Length: 127 pages
- Posting: M/M, Contemporary Romance, Crime and Mystery
- Publisher: Totally Bound Publishing (August 8, 2014)
- Book Provided by: Publisher
- Author: Edward Kendrick
- Posting Date: September 22, 2014
- Rating: 4 Star
Yin & Yang is a story of bonding at several levels, starting with the discovery of an abandoned, homeless seven-year-old boy by a Kenyon, a street cop, who does what he can to keep the child safe while they look for his mother. It also brings in Teo, the social worker. Between the two of them they attempt to provide young Neal with the emotional support he needs, especially after his mother is found murdered and his father attempts to steal him from the shelter.
There are some sketchy bits to Neal’s story—allusions to his being psychic—that appear when convenient and then are dropped for long periods. The front and back portions of the story center around young Neal, but the middle section is devoted almost exclusively to the developing relationship between Kenyon and Teo, two men about as far apart on how they want to live their lives as you can imagine, ergo: yin and yang.
This relationship develops slowly, each man reluctant to take anything beyond a casual friendship. I especially liked this about Yin & Yang: it felt real, genuine in a way too many romances fail to grasp with their insta-love, hop in the sack, find a reason to rip lovers apart and then spend an inordinate amount of time stitching the whole doggone thing back together. It avoids that formulaic approach that dogs typical M/F romances.
Since much of the story is told from Kenyon’s POV, it is sometimes difficult to buy Teo’s gradual switch from gay man about town to committed partner. What did seem quite rushed was their decision to move in together almost immediately after the “big reveal” about their mutual feelings. I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, but since the author spent so much time developing this relationship, having it move along like that was … pushing it.
The last few chapters were like extended epilogues at six and twelve years later. They focused more on Neal, leaving the reader with the feeling something was missing in that middle section. And of course, there was the stereotypical HEA, so Yin & Yang falls squarely in the romance category.
Despite those structural quibbles, this is quite a pleasant read. If you hate precocious, annoying rug rats who hog screen time … Neal is not that. His role is downplayed in favor of the leads, as it should be in a romance. Although the main characters coming together is a foregone conclusion, despite their differences, there’s enough conflict to keep you guessing and hoping.
I rather liked this one. It’s a step above fluff, the characters are mostly likeable, and the denouement pleasant. This is a classic beach read or a rainy day read. Yes, some balls are definitely dropped by way of character development and that psychic thing, but it never becomes a deal breaker for me.
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The Book Description:
Two men—Kenyon a street cop, and Teo a social worker—come together as they try to help a seven-year-old boy abandoned by his mother.
Neal, a young boy abandoned on the streets by his mother, is found by policeman Kenyon Hagerty and instantly bonds with him. Social worker Teo Marino becomes involved when the boy is placed in the care of Human Services. Soon after, the body of Neal’s murdered mother is discovered then later Neal’s father tries to kidnap him from the kids’ home.
Kenyon is a man looking for real love, while Teo is the consummate playboy, going from one man to another as the spirit moves him. And yet these two men, truly yin and yang, are drawn together. It takes a misunderstanding to force them to face their feelings for each other.
When Neal runs away looking for Kenyon—who he believes will adopt him—the two men must make a decision regarding Neal’s life—and their own.
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