“We’re having sex, not committing a crime. Of course it’s okay. Why make it into something it’s not?”
In a word: Read the thing. OMG SO MUCH PINING!! This part is all about the pining (and kink). Patrick’s feelings for Will continue to grow more and more as time goes on and he’s fairly horrified to find that he’s completely fallen head over heels for his husband. Will’s slowly getting there, but he has his own issues to work through concerning sex and relationships and how to love himself. The two men are definitely getting closer though. Maybe so close that they aren’t all that concerned with trying to get a speedy divorce (hoho)? Included in all of this is the beginning of some drama concerning one of Patrick’s patients, Will’s mother being called out on her shitty parenting (:D), and an unexpected family reunion.
THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS
The Trigger Warning: This book contains alcoholism, needle use, homophobia, mentions of child sexual abuse, erotic asphyxiation, and spanking in a sexual context.
The Series: Part 4 of 6, in which Patrick pines, Will is oblivious, and THEN A CLIFFHANGER HAPPENS GODDAMMIT!!
The Couple: So this part has pining. So much pining on Patrick’s part. In the last part, Patrick was worried that he was falling in love with Will. In this part he acknowledges that he is completely head over heels for the man. He’s fallen in love for the first time with a man who treats him right and gives amazing orgasms (this is important to Patrick) and is kind and good. The one problem with that is that it seems like Will doesn’t feel the same way. And, to be honest, Will doesn’t. Oh sure, he loves Patrick very much and wants him in his life always, just maybe not as a lover… yet. The thing about Will is that he’s been in an abusive relationship since he was a teenager (I think he met Ryan not long after he started college), and he’s only now just learning that who he thought was the love of his life is actually a terrible person and everything he’s made Will believe over the years isn’t true. This is the first time that Will has been free to be himself and enjoy life and friendship and sex with another man and he’s (rightfully) taking advantage of the opportunity that Patrick presents. He’s not looking to settle down right away, with Patrick or anyone else, which is good for him. He wants to enjoy his newfound freedom and live life as he should’ve been all this time. The downside to all of this is that it’s making things harder for Patrick, who is totally in love with Will and can picture a future for them. This absolutely sucks for Patrick, but it’s not really a situation where either of them are the bad guy. These two clearly have a communication problem, which means that Will says a lot of little things that hurt Patrick without Will meaning to. But Patrick is afraid to be honest about his feelings, which has him suffering in silence while Will continues on his new road to self-discovery completely oblivious. Although, there are some clues that make it seem like Will would totally be open to staying with Patrick if only he could know for sure that Patrick felt the same way. However, like I said: communication problem. So for this part we get pining and angst. We feel happy that Will is learning to stand tall and defend himself, but we also feel sad because Patrick is suffering in silence when he really doesn’t need to. (Seriously though, it gets so bad that Patrick goes to vent his woes to Jenny while she’s still in the process of coming around from the anaesthesia from her kidney surgery. Which is both humorous and depressing.)
The Family: I really, really like Will’s younger siblings. Connor is still adorable, though he doesn’t really do much here. Olivia and Caitlin are awesome though, especially Caitlin. Caitlin is 500% done with her mother’s shit and it is glorious. Also I really need a scene where she and Olivia ask Patrick to give them the sex talk because that would be absolutely hilarious (especially if Will is also there and dying of embarrassment in the background). And speaking of Kimberly, she continues to completely fail at being even a decent parent and she gets called out by both Caitlin and Will on two separate occasions, which is a beautiful thing. Kimberly really is an awful parent, from a seemingly endless parade of boyfriends and prioritizing them over her children, to managing to convince Will that the only way she would accept him being gay was for him to basically stay with the first boyfriend he ever had and never have anyone else ever (which is not only homophobic on her part, but also insanely hypocritical). Uncle Kevin isn’t much better in that respect (he has no children to ignore so he’s off the hook on that). I don’t know why exactly he felt the need to become a martyr in the face of Roy’s infidelities, but whatever the reason is it’s not a good enough excuse to justify his behaviour towards his nephew. Seriously, both Kimberly and Kevin are so preoccupied with Will being a ‘good, wholesome, gay’ and staying faithful to Ryan (who absolutely does not deserve it) that they completely miss how bad Ryan is for Will and how good Patrick is for him. Seriously, Will was suffocating under Ryan’s thumb and now he’s flourishing under Patrick’s care. Kimberly and Kevin don’t really seem to care about that, which makes me hate them so much. Also TONY MOLINARO HAPPENS!! We finally get to meet Will’s father, if only for a few seconds. BUT WHAT AN ENTRANCE! DAMN!
The Side Characters: Happily, we get no more than a mention of Ryan in this part as he and Hartley have left town for Hartley’s schooling. There’s a scene with Owen where he and Will talk about Ryan and sobriety and how Will is doing much better these days. Jax, the coffee shop barista, has a bigger role in this part as he is now dating (or, at least being friends with benefits) with Jenny. Jenny, meanwhile, donates a kidney and that leads to Will and Patrick babysitting her son Dylan for a night (it’s about as adorable and humorous as you’d expect). Missy Hammond is a new face in the story and doesn’t even get any screen time despite all the drama she causes. Her husband Shane injured himself by trying to shoot a firework off his head (or something similarly stupid) and probably the only thing that offers any real chances of recovery (of some sort) is Patrick’s surgical technique. Unfortunately, there’s an issue during surgery and suddenly Missy is suing Patrick for malpractice. That issue is left unresolved by the end of this part, so this isn’t the last we’re going to hear of the Hammonds, I’m sure.
The Sex: Here be kink, folks. Seriously, this part opens with a disclaimer. For safety reasons. So there’s what seems like a throwaway line in Part 1 where Patrick mentions some kinks he has (mostly to get a rise out of Will), turns out it was foreshadowing. Being with Patrick is finally allowing Will the freedom to be more open about sex and what he wants concerning it. When Patrick asks Will about his sexual fantasies it opens up opportunities for kinky sex. Opportunities that both men gladly jump on. Will shares that he’s into breathplay, spanking, and role-play, which Patrick is enthusiastically on board for. These aren’t kinks I’m into, so I can’t say how well they’re written here or if it all makes any sense. They didn’t make the sex scenes a chore to read or anything, but I wasn’t too fussed about them. The thing I really like about this development, though, is Will’s reactions. This is a man who has been put down for most of his life and repeatedly told (by people he loved and trusted, in varying degrees) that his sexual desires make him bad and worthless and perverted. And here he is, at 26 years old, just learning how to really enjoy sex for the first time with a partner he can trust. It’s really good to read about Will finally being able to enjoy this part of his life that he’s had to keep supressing for so long.
The Writing: The writing continues to be awesome, natch. I really like all the pining in this part (I can be a sucker for angst sometimes). This series started out ridiculous with a ridiculous premise and became so much more. The story became more serious without ruining things and it all feels perfectly natural. I love the character development, I love that there can be angst and comedy at the same time, and I love the way the relationship is written.
[Will & Patrick Fight Their Feelings was published January 25, 2016, by Leta Blake Books, and is only available as an ebook]