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Sand-Man’s Family by CJane Elliott

 
3.5
 
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Sand-Man’s Family by CJane Elliott

Book Info

Book Series
Wild and Precious (Book 3)
About the Author
After years of hearing characters chatting away in her head, CJane Elliott finally decided to put them on paper and hasn’t looked back since. A psychologist by training, CJane enjoys writing sexy, passionate stories that also explore the human psyche. CJane has traveled all over North America for work and her characters are travelers, too, traveling down into their own depths to find what they need to get to the happy ending.
 
CJane is an ardent supporter of gay equality and is particularly fond of coming out stories.
 
In her spare time, CJane can be found dancing, listening to music, or watching old movies. Her husband and son support her writing habit by staying out of the way when they see her hunched over, staring intensely at her laptop.
Author Website
Publication Date
May 04, 2016
Pages
137
ISBN
978-1-63477-225-9
ASIN
B01EGAALMG
Excerpt
See excerpt at Dreamspinner Press 
When Sandy Nixon’s conservative Catholic parents discover he’s had sex before marriage, they are furious. But when he blurts out he’s bisexual, they go ballistic. After they threaten him with conversion therapy, Sandy does what many queer kids long to do—leaves his homophobic parents in the dust. He moves in with his Uncle Phineas and Phineas’s partner Cody in Portland, Oregon, and is finally safe to be himself. Sandy misses his siblings, though, and decides to visit his former home in Rockford for Thanksgiving. On the train, he runs into Jade Byrne.

As the only out gay kid in their Catholic high school, Jade has stared down homophobes while being fabulous in the school musicals. He’s crushed on Sandy for years. But he’s made sure never to show it, even after they had a onetime hookup, because Sandy’s the good Catholic kid, the altar boy, and the apparently straight athlete—all the things Jade isn’t. Traveling back to Rockford together sees the start of a month of adventures, a blossoming attraction, and a chance for Sandy to learn what it means to have a family that hurts and to choose a family that heals.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

A Curious Romance
Overall 
 
3.5
I’ve not read the first two in this series, but also did not feel that I was missing anything crucial from them, either, so I qualify this as working just fine as a standalone.  Sandy is a 19 year old living with parents who are not supportive of his sexual orientation.  He decides he’d be better off elsewhere, so he heads off to a friend’s place, and then his gay uncle contacts him and Sandy heads for Uncle Phinney’s place in Portland. 
 
He quickly hooks up with Dare, a troubled teen living with one of his mother’s ex-boyfriends, who has enough issues to publish a magazine, and who disappears after a couple of months without a trace.  A few months further down the line, Sandy, Phineas, and Phinney’s partner, Cody, head back to Illinois for Thanksgiving via train, and Sandy discovers that Jade, his first same-sex experiment partner from high school, is also on the train heading home to see his dad.  He learns that Jade has crushed on him for several years, and discovers that he’s feeling much the same way.  But living in two different cities could make a relationship difficult.
 
This is a sweet and somewhat sappy new adult romance with moments of what the heck??  Being teenagers, falling in love is as easy as breathing, so there is very little angsting going on over their relationship.  In fact, there is significantly more angst regarding Dare than anything else in the book.  There is a lot of time devoted to Sandy’s first gay relationship, and while I understand showing some of Sandy’s growth as a bisexual man, Dare isn’t part of the pair destined to come together in this book.  That bothered me greatly, because it felt like Jade and Sandy’s story was then rushed through and not given time to really develop as new adults because of this other relationship (and all the drama surrounding it).  
 
Jade is adorable, free-spirited, fully accepted by his father and able to spread his wings and fly knowing that his family has his back.  Witty, sweet, and supportive, he’s what parents dream their child will find for a partner in life!  However, he didn’t feature very much in a book that is supposed to be his HEA (or HFN as teenagers go), and that left me somewhat sad.
 
The premise was good, but the Dare relationship scenes left something to be desired as I mentioned above, and the pacing is a somewhat jerky as a result.  The chemistry between Sandy and Jade was smooth as honey, with both boys coming together in a manner most serene.  I was surprised that there wasn’t any upset at all over Dare moving into Phineas’ house, just “I love you and I support you.”  Most adults would have had an issue with the ex moving in, so to see something different in hormonal teenagers is almost beyond belief.
 
I’m also baffled at why Phineas would allow Dare to move into his home when he wasn’t there, knowing the issues that Dare has had.  That just didn’t sit right with me, and then following the dramatic twist toward the end when the friends were all “don’t say anything until he’s coming home” stunned me.  Again, this was all Dare and not Sandy and Jade, taking away from their story.
 
In the end, while I enjoyed the book, I was left feeling cheated out of the Sandy/Jade story for the Dare story-that-wasn’t.  As such, I’m rating this at 3.5 stars, rounding down for sites that don’t accept halves.  I hope that Sandy and Jade are revisited, as there is much that can be done with them.

**Same worded review will appear on Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.**
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