Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Release Day Review: The Teddy Bear Club by Sean Michael

Title: The Teddy Bear Club
Series: The Teddy Bear Club
Author: Sean Michael
Release Date: August 1, 2017
Category: Contemporary, Dreamspun Desires
Pages: 208

Two lonely men. One perfect family.
Aiden Lake adopted his institutionalized sister’s two daughters, and he’s a good dad. He works nights on websites and gets in his adult time twice a week at the Roasty Bean, where he meets with other single gay parents.
Devon Smithson wants to be a good dad now that his sixteen-year-old sister asked him to babysit her newborn… three months ago. But he’s overwhelmed with the colicky baby. An invitation to the daddy-and-kid gatherings at the café is a godsend. The pot is sweetened when his friendship with Aiden develops into more—maybe even something that can last.
But the mother who kicked Dev out for being gay wants to get her claws into the baby, and she doesn’t care if she tears Dev, Aiden, and everything they’re building apart in the process.

*Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by Dreamspinner Press for my reading pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement.*

The Teddy Bear Club is the first book in a new series by Sean Michael.  Three single fathers meet twice a week at one of the father's coffee shop.  The meet up gave them a chance for adult time, and allowed their children to interact.  New father Devon was invited to attend the father meet-up and is relieved to have support.  His sister had just recently left her newborn with him and disappeared.  He strikes up a friendship with Aiden and they quickly become close.  But, dating when there are three children involved looks completely different to a single person.  The men navigate their attraction, taking care of the kids, and issues that come up.  A new single father is invited to the group and The Teddy Bear Club is officially started.

I liked all the single male characters introduced in this book, and thought their development showed a great start to the future of this series.  Aiden was an easygoing guy who had faced a lot of loss in his life, but didn't use that against others or to his detriment.  He loved his two daughters and had built a great life for the three of them.  Devon's character showed very much the overwhelming feeling when faced with your first newborn child, but with no support.  Devon grew up in a strict, religious family who kicked him out of the house when they found out he was gay.  He had made something of himself and lived a good life.  But, when his teenage sister showed up with her newborn son Unicorn (yes, that is his name), he jumped at the chance to help her.  

I love books with children in it; it gives you a different perspective of a MC when interacting with non-adults.  But, even this was just too many children for me.  I don't discount that this type of dating/relationship could be very life-like.  It's kind of like a sneak peak into finding love for two normal, everyday parents.  But, it was very mundane and filled with a lot of diaper changing, baby feeding, video game playing, movie watching and new parent stress.  The relationship between the two men happens fairly quickly, and it doesn't take long before they're living together and planning their future.  There's some angst with Devon's mother showing up wanting her grandchild, which is handled in the story.

Despite how I felt about this book, I think the future books have great potential and I really like the existing characters in The Teddy Bear Club so I will definitely read the next one in the series.  

Rating:  3 stars

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