Reviewed by PizzyGirl
TITLE: Add Love and Mix
AUTHOR: Sean Michael
NARRATOR: Steve Balderson
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 6 hours, 18 minutes
RELEASE DATE: March 22, 2017
Firefighter Jason “Jase” Weller and EMT Scott Bronson are living the perfect life. They work together in jobs they love, they live together, and in their downtime, they still can’t get enough of each other. It’s been six amazing years. Then on Christmas Eve, Jase’s former lover Elsa shows up with a six-year-old girl in tow. The strung-out junkie claims Kerry is Jase’s daughter and it’s his turn to care for her, and then she walks out.
Shocked at both the fact that Elsa is now a junkie and that he has a daughter he never knew about, Jase nonetheless steps up to the plate as her father and Scott offers his full support. Having an instant family comes with plenty of challenges, and the two men work to deal with sweeping changes in their lives and to make things right for Kerry.
It’s not going to be easy, and their new circumstances test them and their relationship like nothing ever has. They’ll need all the love they have for each other–and the love they discover for their daughter–to keep from breaking apart.
Add Love and Mix tugged at my heart. Not only for the little girl who was obviously in a BAD situation, but for Scott and Jase as a couple. I mean to have your entire life upended all of a sudden isn’t easy and I appreciate the way the author handled the subject. This was not a “love makes everything perfect” story. This was real, with both Scott and Jase freaking out and acting human but sometimes putting themselves and their feelings first even when it made them seem like an ass.
I really appreciated the author’s take on this particular trope. Not many “sudden/surprise father” stories focus on an already established couple being thrown into the deep end. And those that do, in my experience, never really admit that sometimes, the new fathers will be selfish and screw up. To me this story was realistic and it demonstrated that nobody’s perfect and no one will ever be perfect. But together, with patience, love, and communication, two people can grow into some semblance of happiness and contentment that will help them through any hardship that come their way.
I also appreciated the way the author incorporated family into everything. “It takes a village” to raise a child isn’t just a fun saying. It takes advice and guidance and help, ESPECIALLY when you have never planned to have kids in the first place. And I appreciated that the families were realistic and blunt when they needed to be. They encouraged honesty in all things EVEN if it wasn’t pleasant.
To me, this was a comfort read that had me worried for a while. I was very afraid that things would never come around to a happy place. But in the end, the angst was relatively low, the relationship morphed into something stronger, and these two men became better versions of themselves. I really felt for theses characters and will revisit them again in the future.
This was my first experience with Steve Balderson as a narrator. I thought he did a great job bringing this one to life. The character voices fit each person and were easily distinguishable. The emotions came through loud and clear without being over the top. This narrator’s rendition emphasized the strained yet low angst feel of this story very well and I will be checking out more of his work.