“He wonders if placing doughnuts on their bed at the Tallgrass, laying them out in the shape of a heart, is a romantic idea or a stupid one.”
In a word: Read the thing! The pining continues in this part, with Patrick desperate to be with Will but still terrified to reveal his true feelings. However, he can’t devote all his attention to this because Will’s mobster father has arrived in town to make waves and scare the shit out of people (mostly Patrick). Now we get to learn just how big a threat the Molinaro family really is; and explore a bit of Will’s relationship with his father. How will Patrick’s feelings be affected now that he’s met the infamous Tony Molinaro and realizes just how big a mess he’s gotten himself into? (While this part has a few revelations for Will concerning his feelings for Patrick and the clusterfuck that is his family, I felt that it was Patrick and his feelings who got most of the focus.)
THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS
The Trigger Warnings: This book contains alcoholism, guns, needles, erotic asphyxiation, and spanking in a sexual context.
The Series: Part 5 of 6: Pining and Also Mobsters
The Couple: Patrick continues to pine for Will and is completely in over his head with these new feelings. Will, on the other hand, is only slowly coming to realize that it’s possible that his feelings for Patrick run deeper than they would for any normal friend. Patrick’s big dilemma in this part is how to tell Will how he feels, which is an area he’s completely inexperienced in. He gets a bit side-tracked from that with the appearance of Tony Molinaro, which just drives home the point that Will’s family is several different shades of crazy. Nevertheless, he loves Will, and he wants Will to know. He confides his problems in Jenny, who has become one of his best friends, and she gives him solid advice. Problem is Patrick doesn’t know how to implement this advice at the appropriate time. To his credit, he actually thought up something suitably romantic and I really did hurt for him when things didn’t go as planned. Luckily, he’s not one to give up. Will has become a more confident and sure man over the course of the first four parts. And now in Part 5 he’s able to stand up for himself to his parents and uncle and he’s well and truly over Ryan. It’s a glorious thing to see how far he’s come. I particularly loved the scene where he finally had it out with Kimberly. That was a long time coming and I’m happy he was finally able to do it. It’s taken Will a bit longer to figure out exactly how deep his feelings for Patrick run, be he eventually gets there. The only thing stopping him is that he’s still under the misconception that Patrick isn’t interested in a romantic relationship with him (or anyone else, really). He’s also been doing really well in terms of his sobriety, it’s probably easier this time around now that he has an actual support system and less vitriol being spewed at him on a regular basis.
The Family: I feel like we really don’t get enough of Nonna in this series. Truly. She’s awesome, and hilarious, and also good at putting big, bad mobster sons in their places. It’s a pity that she didn’t show up more. And speaking of mobsters, this is the part where Will’s father, the infamous Tony Molinaro, finally makes an appearance to fuck shit up. Tony is a piece of work, folks. He makes quite an entrance, too: fake-mugging Will and Patrick on their way home and holding Patrick on his knees at gunpoint. Whatta guy, eh? Tony claims that he did that to test Will and Patrick’s love for each other and Will, with the new backbone he recently developed, tells his father to take a hike. It’s kinda difficult to know what to make of Tony; he’s a legit mobster and the fact that he holds people at gunpoint for fun speaks to what kind of man he is. He’s basically the complete opposite of Will, probably on purpose because Will does not seem to like his father much at all (neither does Patrick, although Patrick does think he’s sexy as hell, because Patrick has absolutely no shame). Tony says that he cares deeply for Will, but it’s really hard to tell if he’s serious about that or if he’s just putting on a show. Another thing it’s hard to get a read on him on is his relationship with Kimberly. Kimberly gets a lot of screen time in this part and we come to find out that she’s the one who called Tony back to town, possibly endangering Patrick’s life (for which Will tears into her, and rightfully so). Tony and Kimberly’s relationship is definitely an odd one, also unhealthy. Both Kimberly and Will mention that it’s similar to an addiction, neither Tony nor Kimberly can keep away for long. And when they do get together they leave broken hearts and destruction in their wake. Kimberly continues to fail at being even a decent mother, and also fails to see that her actions are hurting people, especially her children. She also does the thing where she won’t admit to being a shit mother and gets pissy at Will when he calls her out on it and she tries to turn things back on him. Her continued idolization of Ryan and demonization (sorta?) of Will still grates on me (SO MUCH), but I think Will may have gotten through to her on that point. Only time will tell if we’ll see her change her tune. Though in regards to her ‘relationship’ with Tony, I really think she needs professional help.
The Friend: I really love Patrick and Jenny’s relationship. I admit that I was apprehensive when Jenny first showed up because it almost looked like she was gonna be that annoying woman character who keeps hitting on the married man for comic relief. I WAS SO WRONG THOUGH! Jenny turns out to be Patrick’s first friend in Healing; possibly even his first friend ever. They both get along well, probably because of their similar personalities and senses of humour. Now we’re at Part 5 and Patrick and Jenny are pretty much BFFs, and she’s probably the person Patrick is closest to after Dinah and Will. They’ve become close enough that Patrick feels that he can confide in her and let her in on the secret of his and Will’s marriage; and she’s, of course, hurt that Patrick kept this a secret from her, but she does get where he’s coming from and tries to help him with his problems. Jenny is awesome and I love her character. She’s genuinely funny, especially as she can match wits with Patrick and she takes absolutely none of his shit. They’re bros, truly.
The Sex: Same as the other parts: well-written sexytimes with feels (also, like the last part, this part has some kink). Will continues to enjoy this part of himself that he’s now free to explore, and Patrick’s more than willing to share the experience with him. They’re enjoying themselves. Very much so. There’s one especially important scene at the end of this part that takes place in Uncle Kevin’s barn. Aside from the iffy location, it’s a beautiful scene. Dirty and glorious and heartbreaking (mostly on Patrick’s end). It’s Patrick helping Will to live out one of his most cherished (and hidden) fantasies, and it’s such a joy to read. Of course, even by this point neither man has properly communicated their feelings to each other, so it’s not exactly the scene we’ve all been waiting for, but it’s pretty close.
The Writing: As the series goes on, the focus of the writing switches from comedic to dramatic. There are still things to laugh at, Patrick is still pretty hilarious and the overall situation is still pretty absurd, but the plot has moved from ‘two men faking love to avoid angering the mob’ to ‘two men pining over each other and too scared to make the first move’. And it works. The change in tone happens naturally and the character development is believable. This part has one or two minor typos, but other than that I have no complaints about the writing.
[Will & Patrick Meet the Mob was published March 2, 2016, by Leta Blake Books, it is only available as an ebook]