“There’s probably nothing quite like the sweaty, nervous feeling of bringing home a stranger you had a lot of filthy sex with and introducing him to your mother as your brand-new husband.”
In a word: Read the thing! The second part of the Wake Up Married series continues the story of Will and Patrick and the insane situation they’ve found themselves in and I continue to love every second of it. This part introduces us to some more Patterson family members, though they sadly aren’t as cool (or likeable) as Nonna. This part also furthers the relationship between Will and Patrick as they are finding that they are actually fond of each other and that they might actually genuinely like each other (even though Patrick is an asshole and Will’s family is terrifying). Also the sexual tension shoots through the roof and these two idiots spend a lot of time trying to convince themselves that they absolutely Do Not want to jump straight into bed with each other. It’s cute watching the boys interact and Patrick is as rude and hilarious as ever. However, this part isn’t as funny as the first one because we get hints of dark backstories for both our leads, and we get just about every character (except for maybe Patrick and Nonna) just completely shitting all over Will and it’s basically tearing at his self-esteem and sense of self-worth and completely breaking my heart. We also get more of Ryan, which is never a good thing, frankly (I will never like him).
THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS
The Trigger Warning: This book contains alcoholism, needle use, emotional abuse, implied child sexual abuse and implied child abuse/neglect.
The Series: This is the second part of the Wake Up Married series and it picks up immediately where the first part left off. Part two introduces us to Will’s mother and uncle, but we don’t actually see as much of them as the title would imply. This part is about the same length as the first part.
The Couple: Will and Patrick are back and more in denial than ever. It’s great. Patrick is his usual asshole self, calling things as he sees them and alienating people left and right. He gets hired at the Healing hospital and is so happy to be back doing surgeries and not being stuck in the hotel room all the time. We get a bit more insight into his childhood this time around, after only getting hints in the first part. We learn that Patrick’s father was an alcoholic and an unfit parent. There are also some hints of sexual abuse (not from his father), but nothing concrete. We also get some hints at Will’s backstory as well, mostly about how he was overweight as a teen and didn’t have many friends. Will is struggling a bit in this part, he still has it in his head that he’ll be able to get back together with Ryan so he’s angsting about that a bit. It really doesn’t help that Ryan seems to be moving on with Hartley, and Will finds himself growing increasingly fonder of Patrick. It also doesn’t help that nearly everyone Will knows makes it a point to take jabs at his self-esteem, implying that he’s unable to make his own decisions and that Patrick is too good for him. Patrick, for his part, seems to be developing some feelings for Will, and can’t stand the way that Will is treated by the people who are meant to care for him. Also there is a lot of sexual tension in nearly every scene they have together because they wanna fuck each other So Bad but they’re both afraid that it’ll just complicate an already messed up situation.
The Family: We left off Part 1 with a phone call from Will’s mother Kimberly, who has just heard of her son’s new husband and has quite a few questions for the pair. Part 2 starts with Will dragging Patrick along to meet her. We are now being introduced to Will’s family… some of it, anyway. Kimberly and her twin brother, Will’s uncle Kevin, both live in Healing and it’s the two of them who really want to meet Patrick. I hate these two, not on the same level that I hate Ryan, but pretty close. Kimberly and Kevin seem to hate Patrick on sight (before he even has a chance to annoy them) and they don’t make a secret of it. They don’t seem to be too fond of Will either, come to think of it. I don’t know what it is with these people, like, they should absolutely be pissed that Will got himself into this mess, but they seem to be taking it to the extreme. They also imply that Patrick is too good for Will, even while they hate him. And another thing is that they seem to love Ryan, which is a problem I have with them. I don’t know for sure how much they know about how Ryan treats Will, but they act like Ryan is the best thing that could’ve ever happened to Will and that the sun shines out of his arse. It’s especially sad to read all this from Will’s point of view because this attitude that they have hurts him and contributes to his low self-esteem. Maybe this is part of why Will has a hard time staying sober, his support system seems more likely to attack him than help him. Aside from the initial meeting we get another scene where Kimberly shows up at the hospital to hassle Patrick, who rightfully shuts her down because Patrick is many things, but he isn’t a threat to Will.
The Ex: Fucking Ryan (whose surname, we learn, is Whitehead). Ryan gets more screen time in this part and has officially cemented himself in my mind as a villain. I loathe this man. Like, it’s not just all in my head because even Patrick refers to him as an ’emotionally abusive dickweed’. This man is terrible. And what makes things even worse is that Patrick (and possibly Owen, and Hartley might be starting to realize something) seems to be the only one who notices. Okay, so Ryan gets two major scenes here, and they both serve to highlight just how much of a cruel prick he is and how low Will’s self-esteem is (which I will put money on being mostly down to Ryan). The first time we meet him in this part is in Jimmy’s (local diner). Will and Patrick go in for dinner and Ryan and Hartley happen to be there by chance. It’s Ryan that calls Will and Patrick over with the express purpose of being a complete utter bastard. It’s awful the way he talks about Will, just tearing into him without any provocation. It gets so bad that even Hartley has to stop him. And I can’t really get his motivation for the way he acts. One part of it is that he must enjoy hurting Will and feeling better than him (or whatever the usual motivation is for emotional abuse), clearly. I think another part might be jealousy? Because he’s pretty hostile to Patrick as well, just not nearly as much as Will. Ryan’s a pretty horrible person all around. The second time he shows up is when he and Will run into each other outside the apartment they used to share. They’re completely alone here and Ryan does not at all pull back his punches. He utterly destroys Will emotionally, it’s awful to read. There is something seriously wrong with this man. And just to make things that much worse, everyone else – INCLUDING WILL’S OWN FAMILY – seems to love Ryan. He’s apparently a complete saint to anyone who isn’t Will (as Owen points out at one point). Just… I really hate this guy. Will still seems to love him, though, I don’t know why (he needs therapy so bad).
The Side Characters: We are introduced to two new side characters in this part: Andy Sicko, who runs a popular diner in town, and Don Knife, who is the chief of staff (I think) in the new hospital Will and Good Works helped build. Don doesn’t do much aside from hire Patrick at the hospital and be amused at Will and Patrick’s relationship (he’s completely sold on it, it’s great). Andy’s a bit of an odd duck and kinda goes back and forth on whether or not he believes in the marriage charade (depends on which husband he’s speaking with at the time, but that’s probably mostly because he doesn’t like Patrick). He also brings up unpleasant memories for Patrick, reminding him of someone from his past he never wanted to see again. There’s also a Molinaro family spy wandering around town and staying in the Tallgrass Hotel (where Will and Patrick are currently living). He shows up every now and again and lurks in the background, scaring both Will and Patrick whenever they spot him. It’d be funny if the Molinaro family didn’t present such a real threat. Jenny Burger shows up again (along with her infant son Dylan) to banter with Patrick; she’s probably the only person in town (aside from Nonna) that Patrick actually likes. Speaking of Nonna, she has a scene where she invites Patrick to join them for family Thanksgiving dinner (Nonna’s live-in housekeeper/possible lover Reba offers to make him an entire pie, they’re Patrick’s kinda people). We also get introduced to Dinah and Phil, we learn next to nothing about them, only that they are people that Patrick cares for very much and sends money to regularly.
The Sex: Still no actual sex in this part. To make up for that we get so much sexual tension. Will and Patrick have been attracted to each other from the get go, and that hasn’t stopped. In fact, they might be even more attracted to each other because they’re getting to know each other better. A lot of the time they’re together is spent trying to hide erections and keeping their hands off each other. They are still essentially strangers and getting divorced is top priority right now, so mixing sex in with the rest of the mess would only make things more difficult. That doesn’t stop them from wanting each other though. We get more little flashes of memories from their wedding night and SO MUCH PINING. On the one hand, you just want them to get over themselves and fall into bed together. But on the other hand, you know that it’ll be so much better if they wait until they’re sure they’re completely in love and then they’ll get their HEA (and lots of hot sex).
The Writing: The writing in this part is just as good as in the first part. It’s less of a funny read this time around, because there is more focus on some of the darker aspects of Will and Patrick’s pasts. That said, the language used is still funny and I laughed quite a bit while reading (mostly at Patrick’s shenanigans). One thing I do want to mention is the bigger role of The Hurting Times. The Hurting Times is a town gossip forum, or some sort of website anyway, where residents of Healing can post comments and gossip about the other residents. It’s a neat way to deliver some background exposition without being too dry. It also provides a source of entertainment for Patrick, who is a shameless gossip apparently.
[Will & Patrick Meet the Family was published November 10, 2015, by Leta Blake Books and is available only as an ebook]