Chris Bottoms is glad to be home from undergoing the first of two surgeries that will free him from the ostomy bag he’s been wearing for more than a year. He’s anxious about the upcoming second surgery, but life is keeping him on his toes.
The bank hierarchy is clearly grooming Chris’s partner, Mickey O’Donovan, vice president of a mega-bank, for a promotion. That doesn’t help reconcile the family who turned their backs on Mickey for not going into the family business. To make matters worse, Chris's little brother's abusers are still out there, and that makes Chris angry. He and Mickey are raising Ted now. Between dealing with spiteful relatives and doing their best by a hurt ten-year-old boy, Chris and Mickey wonder how much more reality they can take.
Chris's second and final surgery can't come soon enough. Both men are looking forward its most important side-effect—Chris will once again be able to enjoy prostate massage—but not until three months after the surgery.
Well, Book 3 finally clicked with me. I am now used to the writing style this author has, and this book worked. This is not a romance novel, and I didn't expect one going in. The genre is more gay fiction than M/M romance, so keep that in mind.
Chris and Mick are still together, living in Avondale, with Chris' little brother Ted whom he adopted, and the book opens with Chris being released from the hospital (where book 2 ended) after his surgery to fix his, well, bottom. If you've read Bottoms Up or Bottoms Out, you'll remember that Chris had his rectum removed in the first and struggled with the consequences of it for most of the second.
The story continues here seamlessly, as we find out more about Chris' road to recovery, Ted's continuing visits to the child psychologist and the efforts Chris sets in motion to bring those men to justice, as well as their daily life as a family, with their friends and work and all the things that happen.
The narrative is still on the dry side, and the dialogue still feels a little stilted, but as I said above, I've gotten to the point where I expected it, and no longer let it distract me from following these men's story.
As far as the plot goes, it flowed easily and believably, and while the author still on occasion makes Jacksonville sound more awesome than it is, I could see that he must remember it fondly from his time living here. Specific locations are accurately described, though I must again slightly object to calling JTB "Turner Butler" Blvd. - I have never heard it referred to that way.
Again, this is not a romance novel, and as such, any bedroom action takes place off page. It's mentioned, but only in the narrative and with suggestive dialogue, however there is no description of any sexy times in this book. While the men certainly engage in sexual contact, we do not get to participate by reading about it. Which didn't bother me at all, but might other readers.
What continues to bother me about this series is the lack of depth and lack of emotions in the writing which is sometimes difficult to take, especially when it came to such issues as child abuse, general unfairness and the very serious issue of Chris' surgery aftermath. I'm also still having a hard time believing (without proof of any kind) that a Catholic hospital such as St. Vincent would employ an openly gay man. This is just my perception, though, so don't put too much stock in that.