New Release Review ~ In the Darkness by Meadow Jones

Title: In the Darkness
Author: Meadow Jones
Genre: Taboo MM Romance
Release Date: June 17, 2022
I’d hated Ford Bennett when he was my step-father. Hate isn’t a strong enough word, and yet, after divorcing my mom, he’s back in my life. It takes years of maturity to understand he only wanted to love me when I was a kid. As an adult, my own affections and desires for him aren’t childlike. In the darkness of the night, we fall in love, but it’s not enough. I want to love him in the light of the day and take the last name he had wanted to give me so long ago, this time, as his partner.
The marriage to a woman who can give Satan a run for her money gave me one good thing, her son. He hated me, unable to trust anyone. My love for him has always been unconditional. But he’s a grown man, and my passion has changed for the child who once was my stepson. We meet in the middle of the night, in the darkness, expressing our desires, never speaking of them in the light of the day. But hiding is not enough when I realize I’ll never give Axton Styles up.

~ * ~ Jos Review ~ * ~

4 Stars!!

This is a difficult trope – stepfather raises alarm bells for a lot of people. I find it is either done very badly or very well and I’m pleased to say this is the latter. Little time is spent with the MCs as stepfather/son and so this relationship is referenced mainly through Axton’s hate for Ford. It is also clear that the relationship between Ford and Axton’s mother was toxic from the start and they stayed together mainly because of Ford being away in the military.

When their lives do reconnect, they are both in very different places. Ford is out of the military, has a best friend Cade who’s also a fuck buddy and Axton is a Major League Baseball star and accepts that he had issues as a child. He doesn’t see his mother. When they meet, there is a connection between them, an attraction that neither though acknowledges. They skirt around it, until it becomes more than they can ignore. At first, they act on it, only at night and still do not acknowledge it. However, the more time spent together, the more that both realise there are feelings here and a desire to be more than a hidden, dirty secret. Things are bought to a head by the reappearance of Axton’s mother.

The fact that there are not long, heavy discussions about the morality of the relationship is what made it work for me. Instead, we focus on how they feel about each other, the physical attraction is one thing but there is an emotional connection as well and the way Ford’s desire to love and care for Axton really shines through. It is clear he sees him as an adult and this is reciprocated by Axton. The story is intense, emotional, and very hot at times.

I’d definitely recommend this book as long as the trope is not a trigger for you. If you like your stories with a hint of forbidden; if you like a little angst and intensity between two MCs who are surprisingly caring, loving, generous, and are looking for a HEA, then this is the book for you. I’m also really hoping that Cade gets a story too.

***Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure. A review wasn’t a requirement.***

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Meadow Jones is a hopeless romantic who loves makeup, the beach and anything with whiskey. If she’s not writing, she’s most likely reading and enjoying a Crown and Coke. She can’t help but give her character’s a hard fought HEA, with lots of heat and even more heart. Follow Meadow on Facebook and other social media under Meadow Jones Writes. Oh, and she loves chatting with her readers, so don’t hesitate to DM her.