Gifts From the Past by Liz Borino
Wow, it was nice to be back with the Taylor Twins and their families. Their first book caught me by the throat and has kept me on the edge of my seat waiting to see what will happen next in their lives.
Gifts from the Past opens up pretty much where What Money Can’t Buy left off.
Let me tell you, the children really stole the spotlight in this book, but then, it was their book (in this reviews option). Brandon is getting better at trusting people, his language usage is getting better, and he starts to stand by himself with Chris and Aiden’s gentle loving care. Allison is a happy baby at almost a year; she crawls and toddles, speaks certain words and is convinced the world revolves around her. Except when there is something wrong with her brother, then she is the picture of compassion to him, helping Chris or Aiden calm him down, holding cold compresses on his forehead if he has a fever, whatever she can to help. Then we have young Dorothea, new born, and as a safe and content as any new born should be. She is unsure of her mother, because Carley is unsure of her.
Aiden and Chris enjoy their new family, Chris enjoys being a stay at home father and husband, tending the house and caring for the children. He is growing as a person with these new responsibilities. He also is starting to learn to trust his father a little more, as Robert recovers from his stroke is truly trying to understand his sons, their choices and their lifestyles. The choices are so different from the ones he made. He reconnects with Cyndi, Matt’s business partner and remembered her as the only woman he had ever loved. They picked their relationship back up, retiring to the bedroom and staying in each other’s company as much as possible.
Aiden never let’s Chris forget that he is loved and that he appreciates all that Chris does for their family allowing him to go out and teach his dance. The love between these two men keeps growing, and they keep getting closer. Each hurdle they meet they work together to overcome it and keep their family intact. His need to protect his sister, she is so young in his eyes, and he hadn’t seen her for long, does lead to conflict when she starts dating a very controlling older man that is married with children.
Meghan wants to stretch her wings and find love. Her self-worth is not high because of all the abuse she took at her father’s hands, and she thinks she has found safety in the arms of the older doctor. He is controlling, yes, but with him she knows exactly what to expect, the rules are all laid out. After moving in with him and his wife and children, under the guise of maid/nanny, she does learn the difference and manages to find new friends that give her the option when she goes back to Ireland with Aiden and the family, to reach for a love that has been waiting 18 years for her.
Matt and Carley started classes at the local Catholic parish, Carley thinking it was ultra-conservative because the first priest she had talked to was very old. The priest that was teaching Matt and giving them counseling was much younger and understood about Chris’s lifestyle and importance in Matt’s life. The teacher for their pre-marriage classes ended up being Sarah, the nurse from the last book that had helped get Matt hooked on the wrong drugs for his headaches. How she managed to convince Father Patrick, the old priest that she was ready for such a job in two months is a testament to her manipulation abilities.
Sarah manages to pull Carley in so that she goes from hating her for trying to take Matt away from her two months ago, to relying on her as the authority on what a good Christian wife should be. As Carley’s mood swings get worse causing Matt to leave her after she throws a glass at him while he is holding Dorothea, Sarah offers her a prescription for something for the postpartum depression. Matt makes her go into a real doctor, where they find out she has Bi-polar disorder; putting her on the correct medication.
Matt goes to a retreat put on by the Church to finalize his break up with Carley, while there his headache gets much worse and he drops into unconsciousness. Chris knows the instant Matt loses consciousness, and goes to find him. He sees Carley and Sarah in handcuffs before he finds out that his brother’s headaches are not migraines, but something more serious.
Ally Warner has come back to town, Chris old girlfriend that had more of a relationship with Matt than Chris, and agrees to have Aiden and Chris’s child. Matt and she slipped into their friendship role easily as soon as they see each other. Matt realizes that he had always loved Ally and wasn’t going to let her go now. She stays by his side through the operation that saves it, and was the only person that he allowed to care for him. The only person besides Chris that he couldn’t lie too about how he was feeling, and he never wanted to ever lie to Ally about anything. After he recovered from his surgery they got married.
This reviewer is thinking a long marriage based on their friendship, similar to Chris and Aiden’s that will go the distance. This book had so many sudden climaxes, and then you are thrown into another that I was always wondering what else could happen in the small sleepy town of Hartford to our Taylor twins that wanted nothing more than be left in peace to live and love. Excellent book, a must read if you like family dramas. This story is very sensual and erotic with both a male/male couple and a male/female couple. The best of the series yet, can’t wait for the next…. Oh, did I mention that on Allison’s fifth birthday her Brandon’s biological father