Northcote, Jay. “The Little Things”, Dreamspinner Press, 2013.
Joel is a lucky guy. He has a beautiful three-year old daughter, Evie; he has a wonderful relationship with Evie’s mother, Claire, and a great boyfriend in Dan. But his life changes one night when he becomes Evie’s full-time parent and this has a terrible effect on his relationship with Dan. He then meets Liam and both men are attracted to each other. While Liam comes on very strong and is open about the way he feels about Joel, Joel is a bit more cautious because he wants to protect himself and Evie from hurt.
In the past, Joel suffered the death of his mother when he was young and he became a father at a young age. He and his father did not get along. These had strong influences on him and he had to go through life making choices and he is very lucky that he usually made the right ones.
The characters propel the story forward and they are all wonderfully drawn especially Joel. He pulls us in so much that when he feels pain, so do we. While at college and struggling with his sexuality, he had sex with Claire and Evie was the result. They raised her together even though they were not a couple. When Claire was killed in an automobile accident, Joel became her only parent. This made him realize that his relationship with Dan was not working. When they brought Claire to the hospital, Joel met Liam. This is classified as a romance but it is so much more than that. It is actually more of a character study of Joel. He might be one who grieves a lot but he is a survivor.
The story begins slowly and it starts with Joel and Evie then moves to Joel and Dan and finally to Joel and Liam. Liam after taking a back seat to Dan for some 40% of the book becomes important later when we see him as a sweet and generous guy. It is interesting that he does see Evie as a threat to his affections for Joel. He and Joel have their problems as well as their joy.
This is an enjoyable read not only for the plot but also for the style in which it is written.