Author ~ JP Barnaby
Publisher ~ Dreamspinner Press
Published ~ 15th March 2017
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance
A Survivor Story
It’s amazing how a single word from a tiny girl can change your life.
Spencer Thomas’s world turns upside down when his beloved Nell dies and leaves custody of her three-year-old daughter to him. Her “Spenna” comes when Sophie needs him most, but his boyfriend, Aaron, can’t be a parent. He just can’t. Neither of them expected a baby to fall into the lives they’d finally just settled.
When Nell’s ex comes to claim Sophie, Aaron needs to make a decision: man up or walk away as Spencer faces the fight of his life.
Sophie is book 5 in the survivor series, preceded by Aaron, Ben, Spencer and Anthony. It is a novella that nicely ties up this excellent series. I don’t think it’s necessary to have read all of them prior to Sophie, but most definitely Aaron and Spencer.
Aaron and Spencer have moved in together and are still progressing with their relationship. It’s always going to be a work in progress for Aaron who still believes that Spencer will eventually decide he’s had enough and leave him. Spencer remains as steadfast as ever, the calming reassurance that Aaron needs. When Spencer casually mentions to his aunt Nell that he wants kids sometime, Aaron freaks out. Aaron finds he can barely tolerate his small nephew, the noise and the invasion of his space being particularly problematic for him. The very thought of being responsible for a child, their care and safety is too much for Aaron to comprehend and he does what he needs to and runs and hides at a friend’s house.
Spencer meanwhile, has received the news that his aunt Nell and three year old niece Sophie have been in a car accident and he, along with his father, Dr. Henry Thomas, immediately go to them. Unfortunately his beloved aunt dies and custody of little Sophie goes to Spencer, though not without a fight from Nell’s ex-partner Jane.
As you can imagine, Spencer turning up with Sophie sends Aaron into a tailspin and this is one of the only occasions I can remember when Spencer was actually terse with Aaron. Spencer tells him that they have to do this, step up and parent her together. The next steps are all about getting the paraphernalia that goes with small children and therefore the need for a bigger house, further upsetting Aaron’s routine and stability. But Spencer, Dr. Thomas and the rest of Aaron’s family are all there to help with the new transitions. I think we see a much more mature Aaron in this book, we can tell he is working through his issues and things like a storm don’t have him as anxious and panic stricken as it once would have.
We get a beautiful, purely Spencer and Aaron proposal, so them, I loved it. The wedding ditto! Nothing traditional about it, but so Aaron and Spencer. The vows were very moving, considering where they started to where they are now. The custody battle is a side issue that gets resolved satisfactorily and we leave them happy and settled in their new house, a million miles from anything Aaron imagined his life would ever look like.
I loved catching up with Aaron and Spencer and the rest of the family, this series is a favourite of mine for many reasons. When I first read Aaron I was haunted by him and what he had endured and I was so invested in his survival and recovery. I was with him every emotional step of the way and this is an extremely emotional series to read. You will need tissues (though mainly for happy tears in Sophie). The relationship between Aaron and Spencer is very special, they have a soul connection and the tenderness of their touches and the signing between them for their communication has me enraptured. Their marriage and the addition of a beautiful little girl is a wonderful testament to their strength, resolve and love. Sophie is the perfect book to wrap up this moving, at times heart breaking, powerful, soul stirring series. Please read it, it is definitely worth the rollercoaster journey and a great way for author JP Barnaby to sign off. Thanks for the journey JP Barnaby and good luck for whatever is next for you.