Tuesday, September 13, 2011

What Matters Most

Title: What Matters Most
Author: Bailey Bradford
Publisher: Total-E-Bound
Publisher URL: www.total-e-bound.com
ISBN: 978-0-85715-628-0
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

Josh is fond of hot pink penguins and Nick, a guy he isn’t sure he should trust and who he left writhing on the floor when they last met. Nick’s an angry man, who’s been denied knowing his half-siblings by his father, and isn’t even certain he wants the ranch left to him in his father’s will. He’s upset, confused and unsettled, but the one thing he does know is that he’s crazy about a pink scrub-wearing nurse who makes his blood boil. 

What Nick doesn’t understand is why Josh appeals to him? He never expected him to be anything other than a means to get closer to his siblings, but the younger man has gotten under his skin. Being with Josh isn’t up to him, and there’s lot of stuff getting in their way, but first Nick has to decide what he wants most out of life...what will make him happy? 

What Matters Most is the latest release in Bailey Bradford’s Love in Xxchange series.  While it’s possible to read it as a standalone, since so many of the characters from previous releases return, I recommend they be read in order. The characters keep getting deeper and richer with each passing book…and you’re going to love Josh. I know I do. 

I thought Bend was my favorite book in the series…I was wrong. What Matters Most is. It all starts with Josh, who was introduced in the previous book. He was a great secondary character before, but getting to know more about him here and watching him grown and mature during the trials and tribulations of his uncertain relationship with Nick is nice. Ms. Bradford also skillfully wove in his family, Annabelle and other characters introduced previously, showing the depth and changes of their relationships. Good job, Ms. Bradford.

Admittedly, there is a lot of angst in this story. I mean lots. Josh has his own problems with his brother Evan and Justin and Nick is dealing with emotions left over from his father, mother and his confused feelings for Josh. Ms. Bradford uses all her many talents to juggle all these threads to come out at the end with a believable, heartwarming story that unfolds at a realistic pace. At the beginning of the story, Nick wasn’t even certain he was gay but she brought him together with Josh in a manner that explained Nick’s feelings and did it in a way that worked. I, for one, hope to see more of Josh and Nick in the future and I look forward to the next book, Ex's and O's.

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