“A place belongs forever to whoever claims it hardest, remembers it most obsessively, wrenches it from itself, shapes it, renders it, loves it so radically that he remakes it in his own image.” ~ Joan Didon
Everyone needs a sense of place, somewhere that belongs to us as much as we belong to it, not only a physical building but also within our souls. We need somewhere special where we just fit, literally and figuratively. Tom and Cooper have found a sense of place within themselves and with each other, but they are still searching for a place which is theirs together, where they are truly meant to be.
Book three takes up from where the second book left off. Cooper has finally moved in with Tom and they are more devoted than ever; but, they are still in the process of making the inevitable adjustments that even a couple as well-suited for each other, as they are, needs to make when living together. Tom is doing his utmost to make the transition smooth, especially when it comes to being understanding about the long hours Cooper has to work in order to be successful in his chosen field of work. Tom is surprised to find how much he misses Cooper, not just in bed, but in every aspect of their lives together. Although Cooper works hard at keeping Tom off balance with his wit and youthful energy, he wouldn't have it any other way, even if he sometimes has thoughts like this: “I really should take a vitamin pill, a shot of Scotch and one shot of adrenaline before having phone conversations with him.”
Cooper's latest job becomes even more trying when the man he's working for constantly hits on him and points out Tom's inappropriateness as Cooper's partner and how much better he'd be for him. Tom takes all this in stride because he's secure about their relationship, but to Cooper, it feels like Tom isn't showing enough emotion and should confront his boss in some way which would let him know without a doubt that Cooper belongs to him. Tom knows the importance of letting Cooper handle things himself, but Tom is unsettled by the thought of anyone doing anything that will hurt Cooper. Try as he may, Tom can't convince Cooper to accept his outwardly calm approach. Tom is wise though and eventually finds a way to settle the matter which lets Cooper's boss know, in no uncertain terms, that Cooper is taken and that he needs to keep his hands off him.
Tom and Cooper have been through a lot in pursuit of a fulfilling life together. Slowly but surely, they are incorporating their opinions, ideals and, even more amazingly, their extended families, into their life with surprising success, while learning more about themselves and each other. They are amazingly receptive to each other and when there is a misunderstanding, neither one of them stops until it is resolved. I definitely recommend this story to fans of the series and also to those new to it, although I strongly recommend reading the first two books beforehand. It's a romantic, sexy love story between two very devoted men. If you want to know how to have a successful relationship while still remaining best friends and greatest fans of each other, then you need to read this book. I, for one, can't wait to see what happens next with these brilliantly written characters. Thank you so much, N.R.