Title: Fostered Affections
Author: Feral Sephrian
Publisher: JMS Books
Characters: Austin and Neil
POV: 3rd Limited
Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance
Austin Inverness loves dogs and his wife, Erika. Erika was the only girlfriend Austin ever had who didn’t judge him for being bisexual, and dogs never judge, period. Unfortunately, Erika isn’t much of a dog person.
Airman Neil Stafford has been deployed to Turkey for a six-month tour and he enrolls his schipper-poo, Bunny, in the Fosters for Fighters program that arranges fostering for soldiers’ pets. There he meets Austin, who will foster Bunny while Neil is overseas.
The two men keep in touch via Skype and Austin is delighted by how well they get along. Erika, on the other hand, is delighted by how little she has to do to take care of Bunny. That is, until Bunny needs an emergency trip to the vet.
By the time Neil returns home, Austin has noticed key differences between his wife and the new friend he can’t stop thinking about. As for Neil, he knows for sure he wants Austin in his life, but not at the cost of his friend’s marriage.
When Austin realizes Erika questions his bisexuality, the cracks in their relationship quickly spread and Austin questions everything, including if he can make the right choice. Will Austin and Neil be able to overcome the bumps on the road to happiness?
I tried to like this book. I hate writing negative reviews on books because I know how hard an author works and how much they love their ‘baby’ when they finish it. So, please keep in mind that although I did not like this story, this is just my opinion and I know there will other readers who will like and even love it.
The blurb is an accurate description of the story. Austin has been married for six years and though he is in love and very attracted to his wife, through his love and affection toward her, Austin’s bisexuality hasn’t been an issue. Throughout the story Austin is pretty honest with his wife. He’s confessed the truth about his sexuality to her before they married and tries to strive to be a good husband and even friend to her.
Their problems start when Austin begins to feel the need to have something more, like a pet, in their lives. Austin feels alone a lot and believes since he has had pets in the past thinks this is just what he and his wife needs. Though she’s not crazy about having a pet, his wife relents to fostering a dog through a military program that allows soldiers who are about to be deployed to foster their pets out to trusted people while they are gone.
At first, I loved this idea and was glad Austin decided to go this route. The minute he meets ‘Bunny’ he is immediately smitten with the dog and I truly believed he did a good job at caring for her and taking care of her as if she belonged to him. It’s when he meets Neil, who is Bunny’s owner, that Austin’s life is turned into a tailspin.
Austin not only likes Neil *I did too* and respects him greatly. He feels an attraction for him and makes great efforts to push his fascination for him aside. He is not successful because the more Austin and Neil talk and communicate through Skype and emails, the more Austin feelings and attraction toward Neil grows.
I’m going to stop here because I don’t want to give anything away about this story. Instead, I’ve decided to talk about why I rated it the way I did.
Though Austin is conflicted by many things, he never came across as a true sympathetic character for me. He also tries too hard to be a good guy and to justify his forbidden feelings toward Neil. I thought he ended up being wishy-washy with his feelings and the way he thinks about his life and what he wants out of it. Now don’t get me wrong when I say I understand that life can be confusing at times for us all, but Austin seemed to be kind of a push-over and his willingness to semi-blame his actions on his wife *who was basically a good person just a little needy* left me kind of cold.
On the other hand, Neil seemed like a good guy. He does what he can not to push Austin into something he doesn’t want to do. I liked him, though he still remained somewhat of a mystery to me. He was a little one-dimensional and I couldn’t help but wish we had his point of view in the story. *The story is told entirely through Austin’s POV* Neil’s love for his dog came off as genuine and that’s one of the things I liked the most about the book itself.
I never got on board with this couple and never really cared very much for Austin. I thought the ending was rushed and honestly finished reading this story wishing for more. It’s obvious the author has some good writing chops and had a good idea for the story, but it never resonated with me as a reader.
Reviewed By: Gabbi
Click HERE to purchase Fostered Affections