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review 2016-05-10 14:16
Family Unit by Z.A. Maxfield
Family Unit - Z.A. Maxfield

Can you call it a classic when it was published in 2009 by a bestselling author in the genre?

 

 

I don't know, but I'm going to go ahead and call it that anyway. It's a standard MM classic in so far that the story isn't something terribly new or unique. A parenting MC takes care of a young child while trying to navigate a growing attraction to another MC. Also, the neglecting parent of the young kid tries some stunt for personal reasons, so drama isn't far off where the family is concerned.

 

What is different is the age of the MCs. Logan, a retired Marine, is finding his footing in the civilian world, sexual attraction to another man included. The one who caught his eye is Richard, a relatively young grandfather trying to do right by his son and grandson, passionate pacifist, liberal at heart, with a healthy dose of fear of guns. While the whole plot concerning Richard's family didn't surprise me or sweep me off my feet, I was happy with how Maxfield handled the conflicts between a conservative military man and a liberal pacifist.

 

The arguments and the conflicts were on point. Some very valid concerns made a realtionship between Richard and Logan tricky. Keeping a gun in the bedside table, attack as the best defense, keeping the peace with everyone without loosing one's self in the process, how to raise a kid when you're basically an outsider looking in, the kid always coming first no matter what the personal costs - all very important stepstones in their every-day life as a potential couple. I especially enjoyed how basic beliefs and the navigation of real problems made up the main part of the struggle the two MCs faced while getting together. Sure, the attraction was very insta, the development of the relationship however, was not. And it was good that it wasn't because that's what I expect and like about a good story featuring two mature MCs. No miscommunication, white lies or unnecessary misunderstandings. Just two honest guys over 40, somewhat set in their ways and very sure of their priorities and desires, finding their way as a couple.

 

That's problably also the main reason why the drama surrounding Richards grandson and his mother didn't grab me the way it was intended to. It was... maybe a little too much for me after all the "real" things happening. I'm not saying it's unrealistic - in fact I'm pretty sure it happens more often than anyone wants to admit in custody battles with parents deemed unfit to raise a child. But in this story, I was not 100% convinced by the turn of events. I guess, I was just hpoing too much for something different.

 

But all in all, still a very nice story about two very different, mature men falling in love and making a family. Definitely recommended for sunny days and readers tired of the "childish-miscommunication" trope.

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review 2014-01-25 00:00
Family Unit
Family Unit - Z.A. Maxfield This is a sweet story. It could have used a bit more editing. By the third time a name was misplaced, I was getting twitchy. There were also several places where an odd word choice/description threw me out of the story. Overall, I enjoyed the characters and interactions.
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review 2013-04-13 00:00
Family Unit
Family Unit - Z.A. Maxfield Reviewed by: Kevin
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Rated: 5 hearts

Check out the review at: Hearts On Fire Reviews
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review 2013-02-17 00:00
Family Unit
Family Unit - Z.A. Maxfield I adored this! What a perfect romance. You gotta love a big burly marine MC riding in to save the day, and man was Logan hot! And Richard, the artist, was delightfully unique. I appreciated the fact that the MCs had their differences and fall-outs, but nevertheless their romance kept moving in a steady progression. I seem to be a sucker for romances with kids and I loved the whole family plot in this one. I knew the angst point was coming, but it was still well-done and allowed Logan to be a hero. I liked the fact that both MCs were mature, and the plot didn't involve a lot of mental wrangling about 'am I gay?' or gay/career turmoil. Along with Z.A. Maxfield's Crossing Borders, this goes in my top ten!
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review 2012-09-10 00:00
Family Unit
Family Unit - Z.A. Maxfield The cover is horrible. Really, really horrible! The story is excellent. Nice to see mature characters with passion for life and for each other.

Reread 7/27/14
I remember really liking this book in 2012. To be honest I don't have much confidence in 2012 me. She had just started M/M and thought pretty much anything with a plot was fantastic. Let's see how this stands up to the jaded, much more critical 2014 me. Who has read both dino and unicorn porn. My taste, obviously, have vastly improved?

7/27/14 Review
So 2014 me would have rated this a 3.5 so I'll leave it as the 4-stars it's currently rated.

I loved Logan. Like I wanna have his babies. I wanted to slap Richard for being snotty and at times downright disrespectful towards Logan and his career. There were times I also wanted to send Nick (the kid) to a time out.

However I really loved that these two were mature men who were not just hooking up, didn't meet at a bar and were serious about their interaction from the start.

The smexing was wicked hot, there is some growly "mine" stuff going on, and I eat that shit up. Loved reading how the men interacted with each other. As a parent myself I could understand Richard's reservations though I didn't always agree with his stance on things. I would have like to have seen the problems with Nick's mom and other grandparents resolved. Also would have enjoyed seeing Richard and Nick meet Logan's family.

So while there were some misses for 2014 me, I can totally see why 2012 me so enjoyed this book.
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