Friday, December 17, 2010

You Can't Choose Your Family


Title: You Can't Choose Your Family
Author: Zahra Owens
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61581-775-7
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Fran and Jay have been in love since college and been partners for twenty years, but that doesn’t mean their relationship is openly accepted by both sides of their extended families. While Jay’s family openly welcomed Fran and loves him like one of their own, the same can’t be said for Fran’s bigoted homophobic relatives. In fact, his father, a hellfire-and-brimstone-preaching evangelical minister has never accepted his youngest son’s sexual orientation. It’s not that Fran doesn’t want them to know he loves Jay; it’s more that they don’t want to hear it, since it doesn’t fit with their narrow view of the world.

When his father dies at the pulpit during a particularly fiery sermon, Fran hopes the time’s come for the rest of his family to be more accepting, but speaking to his older brother at the funeral nips that hope in the bud. Things change when a series of events gives Fran a chance to build a relationship with his sister and later his mother, when they all met at Jay’s parents for Christmas. Will being with Jay’s family at the holidays allow them to rebuild their relationship, or will seeing him happy with the love of his life be too much for his straight-laced mother, driving a wedge between them forever?

You Can’t Choose Your Family is the latest release by the talented Zahra Owens and it’s a real holiday treat. Jay and Fran are interesting and likable guys, the story is well written and smooth flowing, and the relationship between Fran and his estranged family realistically but painfully portrayed. Ms. Owens did a particularly nice job showing how much Fran and Jay cared for each other. The love and tenderness practically oozed off the page—and the passion they still have after two decades is sizzling hot.

This isn’t a typical Christmas story since it does start off with the death of Fran’s father. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t room in the story for all those things that warms the heart during the holiday season – caring, tenderness, love, compassion, hope for the future and redemption. This little novella is packed with it all and I enjoyed every word, from the first page to the last. The supporting characters coming from the two families are vastly different, rounding out the story, giving it a huge emotional kick. Read and enjoy.

1 comment:

Zahra said...

Thank you! I'm glad you loved my story. You've made my week!