Book Reviews

The Family You Choose by Ellen Bishop at Torquere Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Romance
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 09-February-2013

Book Blurb

It's been nearly a year since Henry Graham's brother and wife passed away and he took custody of their daughter, Brenna. He never thought he'd be a parent, much less to a grieving eight year-old girl, and Brenna proves to be almost more than he can handle. Her willful personality and stubborn temper drive away nannies almost faster than he can hire them, and Henry's nearly at his wit's end. When the most recent nanny shows up for the job, Henry is as equally appalled by the fact that it's a man as he is by the tattoos up and down his arms. Before either of them know it, Michael Anders is filling gaps in their lives that they didn't know they had, and no matter how unprofessional it is, he can't deny the attraction he feels for his nanny.


Book Review

This is a very gentle story, and just like the love for Michael sneaks up on Henry, the story's  and characters' charm sneaked up on me. The starting point isn’t a very happy one, with eight-year-old Brenna having lost her parents, but both she and Henry do the best they can. Well, Brenna acts out a lot, and no nanny stays for very long, and her uncle Henry is left to deal with the fallout.

Henry isn’t a particularly social person, and nothing was further from his mind than having children, but when his brother dies in an accident and leaves Henry in charge of Brenna, Henry doesn't hesitate. He may bemoan his lack of parenting ability, but in reality, he does a pretty good job. There is only one problem: he bottles all of his feelings up inside himself and, though he misses his brother a lot, focuses only on giving Brenna the best home he can. That cannot work in the long run, and, indeed, it doesn't.

Michael is a student and loves working with children, so he becomes a nanny to earn some money. That alone is unusual enough, as far as Henry is concerned, but the fact he is covered in tattoos makes him even less attractive. Luckily, Henry is ready to try anything at this point, so he agrees to a trial period. I loved the gradual development of a relationship between Michael, who has no trouble dealing with Brenna, and Henry. It was very hesitant (from Henry's point of view), tender, and ultimately, once Henry lets go and allows himself to feel again, surprisingly passionate.

If you like stories with a slow burn, if you enjoy reading about characters who need to heal before they can find love, and if you're looking for a sweet, romantic read that will warm your heat, you will probably like this short book.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Torquere Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Short Story, 37 pages/10000 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 06-February-2013
Price $2.99 ebook
Buy Link