AUTHOR: L.A. WITT
Details: A Tucker Springs Novel
Received from Riptide Publishing
Through Love Romances and More
Own / Kindle
“After their umpteenth breakup, Brad Sweeney and Jeff Hayden are living apart and starting over from scratch. The morning after a promising first date, they’re more optimistic than ever that they can make it work this time . . . until Jeff’s ex-wife and business partner calls to announce she’s pregnant with Jeff’s baby. Brad’s already competing with a demanding business for Jeff’s time. Now there’s a baby on the way, and worse, he’s afraid Jeff is still carrying a torch for the woman who’s carrying his child.
Jeff is desperately trying to keep his life together, but before he can even get his head around the news that he’s going to be a father, his ex announces that she wants to leave Tucker Springs. Now he either has to take over her role at the shop while ferrying the baby back and forth from Denver, or move the business—and himself—with her.
Brad and Jeff knew reconciliation wouldn’t be easy, but they’re rapidly running out of room for compromise. And sooner or later, something has to give.”
This is an example of the title fitting the story like a glove. ‘It’s Complicated’ and boy is it ever. Brad and Jeff’s relationship has been going through ups and downs more or less from the start. After their last down they’ve been living apart and recently decided to start again, from scratch.
The morning after an evening out and a very enjoyable night both men are feeling optimistic. The mood changes when Jeff receives a phone call from his ex-wife informing him that an unplanned and once off sexual encounter while he and Brad were split up, has led to a pregnancy.
To say this throws both men into turmoil would be an understatement. Brad has always been slightly insecure about Christine, Jeff’s ex-wife, and the close relationship they still have especially since the two own and run a business together. Brad had a difficult time dealing with Jeff’s long working hours and the limitations it put on their relationship. Adding a baby to the equation as well as Christine’s announcement that she’ll be moving away from Tucker Springs, only helps to convince Brad that he and Jeff are on a slow and painful road to nowhere.
Jeff feels torn in all directions. While he is excited about becoming a father he also knows this is yet another strain on his already troubled relationship with Brad. He’s determined to be a part of his child’s life and to support his ex-wife but desperately wants to work things out with the man he loves too.
The two men are both stressed to the hilt and old and new fears just add fuel to the fire. It seems it may only be a matter of time before their attempt at starting again is going to go up in smoke for good.
There are angst-filled stories and then there are stories that are pure angst. ‘It’s complicated’ fits very nicely in the latter category. Two busy schedules might derail a relationship, as might a close relationship between one of the partners and an ex. So you’d think Brad and Jeff had more than enough to worry about, especially since they are inclined to fight and make up without resolving their issues. Add pending parenthood to the mix and the whole thing is bound to end in tears. And, if I’m honest I have to admit there were moments when I thought enough with the pain, doubt and insecurities already. Surely the lads deserve a few moments of relief from their struggles. But even when they’re relaxing and find some precious and rare time together, their issues surface and spoil the moment.
On the other hand, the roller-coaster ride that took Jeff and Brad from perfect moments together to the deepest despair at the impossibility of the situation they found themselves in had me reading with bated breath. No matter how much I wanted to knock Jeff and Brad’s head together and force them to make a decision one way or the other, I wanted them to work it out and find a way to stay together even more. And like the lads, there were moments I just couldn’t see how that might be possible.
As I’ve come to expect from this author this was a well written book and a very smooth read. I’m not quite sure how to explain it but L.A. Witt’s books almost seem to read themselves. I start reading and lose myself in the story and characters only to discover, sometime later that I’ve read most of the book in one sitting.
I may have said it before but there’s no harm in saying it again. L.A. Witt, on her own and with her co-writers has become one of my go-to authors. I count myself lucky that I still have quite a bit of catching up to do.