The Family Eternal

The Family Eternal - James Buchanan Originally reviewed at Sinfully.

I was so excited to see a new book in this series. Joe and Kabe are a unique couple and if you haven’t checked out this series yet I suggest you change that right now. This is a series best read from the beginning and this installment picks up shortly after the last book.

Joe and Kabe have been together for a year now. Kabe has come far from the man first introduced in Hard Fall and is now training as a fire inspector. Deputy Joe is now a detective. When a fire scene also becomes a murder investigation, they work together on the case with Joe mentoring Kabe which adds a new dynamic to their relationship.

Joe is a simple yet complex character. He thinks things through and is his own man. While he makes an effort to understand others’ views, he always makes his own decisions. Even though there are some aspects of his relationship with Kabe that still make Joe uncomfortable, including any public display or declaration, Joe does everything in his power to understand why he feels and reacts the way he does and to overcome it. Kabe, on the other hand, is proud and pushes Joe to accept that he is worthy of being in love, and being loved and that nobody has the right to judge it. Joe’s love for Kabe has caused a complete upheaval in his family and personal life, but Joe is one of the most level-headed, understanding characters I’ve ever read. He loves Kabe beyond what he ever expected, he holds his faith dear even though he has been ex-communicated from the LDS church he was raised in, and he has come to understand and accept that his relationship with God is personal, it is his alone and is working through the pain and uncertainty that being cast out has caused.

Kabe has really brought Joe to life in this series. He sees things from a different perspective and is able to offer Joe understanding and advice that he may never have considered. Helping Joe to understand that a god that made him gay would not then cast him aside, that perhaps it’s the faulty interpretation of religion by man that is the real problem. While it may sound like this is a story heavy on religion, it’s really very well integrated into the character and the storylines.

Joe not only struggles with the public aspects of their relationship, but he also is treading a line with their BDSM relationship. Joe enjoys Kabe’s desire for breath play and intense pain, they both get off on it, but he still fears injuring Kabe. It’s something they both need and want though and Joe finds plenty of ways to indulge. I just love how big, stoic Joe melts when it comes to his love for Kabe. His generally awkward declarations of love are getting more and more romantic and he finally gets it completely right towards the end of this book. Kabe is no slouch himself and what he does for Joe in this book is completely amazing, even if Joe isn’t quite sure at the time. His motivations show how much he knows and loves every aspect of what makes Joe so special.

I also enjoyed the investigation, which delves into some of the more controversial aspects of the LDS religion, but I wasn’t completely satisfied with the resolution which wrapped up with more telling than showing. Then again, the wrap up was not unrealistic when it comes to police work involving many competing agencies, but in fiction I like to see it all play out and really see the bad guys getting what they deserve.

James Buchanan has created two wonderful, complex characters in Kabe and Joe and I couldn’t have asked for more as far as the relationship development went. If this is the last we see of Kabe and Joe it was a fitting and satisfying ending. I’m not going to spoil it, but I thought it was just perfect. I highly recommend this series if you haven’t tried it, and if you’re already a fan go grab this one – you won’t regret it.