Why I read it: I've enjoyed the other books in this series and picked this up with my Buy-10-get-1-free code from ARe recently as it retails at $8.99 which is pricey.
What it's about: (from Goodreads) Mac and Tony thought the hard part was over. They’re together openly as a couple, sharing a home and building a life with their two children. It’s what they dreamed of. But daughter Anna struggles with the changes, Ben is haunted by old secrets, Mac’s job in Homicide still demands too much of his time, and Tony is caught in the middle. It’s going to take everything these men can give to create a viable balance between home and work. Especially when the outside world seems determined to throw obstacles in their way.
What worked for me (and what didn't): Having thoroughly enjoyed Life Lessons and Breaking Cover, it really was a no brainer for me to pick this book up. I love the characters in the series, the way Mac has come out of the closet and embraced a relationship with Tony and become a full time father to Anna and now to Ben also. In this story, Mac and Tony struggle to find the balance with work and family and take steps to solidify their relationship (hint: they take a brief trip to Iowa!). The police procedural side of the story was interesting and seemed quite believable in terms of how long things took, working on other cases in slower parts of the investigation etc.
Mac is injured later in the book and his recovery and the challenges that brings form an important part of the story. I thought twice about mentioning it here because I guess it is kind of spoiler-y but the parts detailing Mac's symptoms and recovery felt well researched and realistic so I wanted to mention that. Although, if a policeman is injured on the job in Minnesota, does he really have to cover the gap insurance doesn't pay on the medical bills? Don't they have worker's compensation? Because if they don't, that really sucks.
I think this is a book for fans of the series. If you want to read about Mac and Tony, don't start here - start at book 1, Life Lessons. Having said that, I enjoyed the book very much, revisiting old friends and seeing how they were adjusting to their lives, the changes they were making. There's no doubt that Mac and Tony are always going to be together in this book and I guess that it could be said that therefore the story lacked conflict. But, I found the plot and pacing just fine and I wasnt' the least bit bored. It's perhaps not as strong as Breaking Cover (probably because there is less angst/conflict) but it is a wonderful addition to the series. Plus, a visit to Iowa. :D
Why I read it: This was a freebie holiday story which continues on immediately after Home Work ends and it makes a nice epilogue to the story.
What it's about: (from Goodreads) Mac, Tony and the kids have had a long complicated year. Each of them has dealt with fears and losses, joys and triumphs. As December 31st approaches, it's time to look forward to the new year, and what may be in store. Mac and Tony figure whatever happens, they can handle it, as long as they go through it together.
What worked for me (and what didn't): Mac's recovery isn't complete by the time Home Work finishes and I read this as a kind of extended epilogue which helped me feel that whatever happened, Mac and Tony would be okay. Which is why I included this review here. It's a free download and perfect to read after Home Work. I wonder if Oliver will end up with Sabrina?