I easily give this five stars. Fun, interesting, and lovable characters in a compelling setting, all brought to you with witty seamless writing elevate this tale!
When the son Richard sired during his teens tragically died in an accident, Richard fought for custody of his 3-year-old grandson, Nick. With Nick's mother having a drug problem and neglecting the child, the courts were happy to give him custody. Nick is now nine, and Richard is deeply in love with his grandson and has devoted his life to caring for him. Logan is a retired career Marine and has a military mentality even in his civilian life. He lives in the house his partner Dan left him after Dan died from cancer. He's also known as "Crazy Military Guy" to the kids in the neighborhood because he has a penchant for keeping an eye on the neighborhood and making sure every stays in line. When his house is vandalized on Halloween, Logan meets Richard as he goes from door to door trying to find the perpetrators and the two men start falling for each other.
Logan comes from a large loving military family, and even in the Marines, his troop was more like an extended family. Living alone now is a bit of a culture shock to him, and it soon starts tugging on his heart as he realizes that he may be able to find his own loving family in Richard and Nick. Richard is crazy about Logan, but his first priority is Nick, and he's very hesitant to bring someone into Nick's life that may not be fully committed to stay for the long run. Having been neglected at an early age, Nick has some problems that requires special care. For instance, when Rick is 15 minutes late to school to pick him up, Nick is terrified and brought to tears. It wrenches at the heart when you discover why it was so important to Nick. To make Rick and Logan's relationship more difficult, Nick is very standoffish to Logan. In Logan, he sees someone who can potentially steal his grandfather's attention, leaving nobody to love Nick. His mother had done it many times.
There is a lot of true, heartfelt emotion in these pages, and some very compelling and gripping suspense late in the story. There is also wonderful wit, and I found myself in stitches at one point, I was laughing so hard. It's also refreshing to see stories with older men. I had seen some comments that the men appeared to act younger than they should, but I didn't find that to be the case. These men are very near my own age of 51, and I found their behavior just about perfect. After all, 50 is the new 30. The writing style engages, and the pacing is excellent, pulling you along. Z.A. Maxfield's skill with the pen paints the scenes into your mind with a seemingly effortless ease. From beginning to end, the story pulls you in and engages you. It's hard not to fall in love with these three wonderful characters!