Title: A Package Deal
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Author: Mia Kerick
Robby Dalton is the perfect all-American boy. He played the sports his father chose for him in high school, attended the college his father selected, and has worked hard to conform to his father’s macho views. But emotionally he doesn’t fit anywhere, and he can’t connect with a woman beyond a few uninspired dates. Robby’s not in the closet, because he’s never guessed he’s gay. Now he owns a small commercial construction company, and one night after work he runs into Savannah Meyers. He finds her fascinating and agrees to a date, thinking maybe this woman would be different.
But Savannah has her own agenda. She is looking for a love match for her roommate, Tristan Chartrand, whom she rescued from the streets years ago. He’s like a brother, and her only family, so she wants him safe and happy. Her plan seems to begin well, because when Robby meets Tristan, he’s surprised to find it’s Tristan he wants, not Savannah. But some people in Robby’s life don’t approve of Tristan’s lowly station in life, and some don’t approve of Robby being gay. Some people are full of hate and violence, and Robby and Tristan will need courage and strength if a loving future is to be part of the deal.
Package Deal is an unusual contemporary novel by author Mia Kerick. This story in many ways has three main characters, yet only two are romantically involved. The relationship between the three characters is unique. First there is the relationship between Savannah and Tristan. These two are more than friends and once the readers learn why they will understand the close relationship they have. Some readers may have a hard time with the topic of Tristan’s past yet it plays and important role in the story. I know at times I wanted to cry because of what he went through.
Then there is Robby. Robby has what everyone thinks is the perfect live. Unfortunately Robby is starting to come apart at the seams due to the pressure of hiding who he really is. When he meets Savannah, he thinks he may have “found the girl” for him. Of course Savannah has ulterior motives, and while I could understand why she did the things she did, I could also see disaster heading her way. She was right about Robby and Tristan however, as the connection between them is strong. Unfortunately there are so many people against the men that at times it seems as if their relationship stands no chance at all.
Lastly there is the relationship between Savannah and Robby. These two also have a strong relationship; in fact after they first met I wondered if this was a ménage that was just marked incorrectly on the publisher’s website. I liked how the author builds this relationship though and could not imagine Robby and Tristan without Savannah.
Make no mistake; this is not an easy light weight story. There are some hard moments in this book, Tristan’s past attack and the ignorance of one of Robby’s friend that leads to violence, are just two of them. Yet this is also a story that will leave you smiling in the end.
I have read several books by this author already and while she does cover some tough topics the stories are always well done and stay with you for some time afterward. Readers who have not yet tried anything by her should really give Package Deal a try.
Reviewed by: Lydia