Since their mentions in Sweetheart, Kieran and Roderick are just too damn cute a couple. Which, of course means that I’ve been hanging to read their romance. Plus, Kieran is such a sweet and quiet boy in all of his appearances throughout the True North series. It made me want to get to know him more. Which, as seems to be the case with Sarina Bowen stories, didn’t disappoint.
Although throughout this Kieran is discovering and acknowledging his sexuality, it’s not really the point of conflict throughout. I love that his being gay really isn’t treated as anything, well, at all in his internal dialogue. Rather, it is all of the family conflicts and his sense of self within the Shipley clan that is the main driving point of contention throughout. It’s nice to have an LGBTQI+ story that doesn’t really make any kind of deal about accepting one’s sexuality.
Then there’s Roderick. He’s a great counterpoint to Kieran’s quiet reticence. He is bubbly and cheerful. And accepting of his own crap. Accepting to the point that he is so self-aware he almost self-sabotages. Again, the point of intention doesn’t come from his crappy family or anything like that, but from his self-awareness and sense of self. For Roderick, this fact is that he worries that he throws too much of himself into a relationship.
I love that although there is initially a little resistance between these two gorgeous hunks, once they’re together, it’s the journey of self-awareness that drive the story’s conflict. Yes, other people come into this, but it’s a bit of a tangential influence. Mostly, the two figure out how to work through their own nonsense and make it work in a relationship together. Definitely a story too cute for words.
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