The Way Things Are by AJ Thomas ~ Book Review by Caroline

24236482 Title: The Way Things Are

Author: AJ Thomas

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: unknown

Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars


A night of drunken confusion at nineteen resulted in Patrick Connelly fathering a child. Determined to be there for his son, Patrick walked away from a sport he loved and forever hid his sexuality. After Patrick’s brutal divorce and a vicious hate crime, his son, Jay, has become obsessed with graffiti. Hoping for a fresh start, Patrick moves Jay to his childhood home in Seattle. Within two weeks, Jay is arrested again. On his way to pick Jay up, Patrick stops an assault, then finds himself in handcuffs too. Thinking things can’t get any worse, he’s confronted by the sexiest man he’s ever seen—his son’s new probation officer, Ken Atkins.

The hardest part of Ken’s job is working with difficult parents, and the undeniably handsome Patrick Connelly is going to be a difficult parent. A chance encounter and steamy hookup with Patrick leave Ken blindsided. As they work together to try to keep Jay on the right path, the passion between them proves impossible to resist. When the assault Patrick prevented comes back to haunt them and Jay gets into trouble again, Ken must convince Patrick that ensuring his son’s happiness doesn’t have to mean sacrificing his own.


I really really enjoyed this one.

There was a little bit of everything in this story, two men who have been broken by their pasts, a belligerent teen damaged and only just coping and then to top it off a couple of murders thrown in to create a mystery.

A drunken mistake over a decade ago changed the course of Patrick Connelly’s life and not in a good way. A gay man trapped in a loveless and constricting marriage but the most important thing was to be there for his unplanned but very much loved son. His son Jay is now fifteen and Patrick has sole custody after an acrimonious divorce that left Jay in hospital almost dead. His recovery is slow but when he discovers a love of sketching to help banish his demons it’s both a help and a curse. He takes to sneaking out at night to graffiti his artwork around the city. By the time he moves to Seattle with his father his arrest record is as long as his arm and he is only in his new home a couple of days when the process starts again.

Ken Atkins comes from a long line of Police Officers and following in their footsteps was his dream until he damaged his knee. Although he loves his job as a Probation Officer his brothers still insist if he gave it just one more go he could still join the Police. He has a darkness from his past that gives him an insight into what a lot of the children he sees are going through. His is thorough and compassionate and might just be what Jay needs as he takes over his case.

When Ken and Patrick first meet it is lust at first sight. Both of them react strongly to the other and Ken steps over the line of professionalism when they bump into each other one evening and end up doing more than talking.

Whilst the two men try to remain professional for the duration of Jay’s probation they become good friends. There is a lot of lust and yearning in the background but as always Ken is determined to do the right thing even if it feels like it is killing him. Patrick has his own problems as there is something going on at his workplace that eventually leads to his life being put in danger. The mystery side of this story almost takes second place as you learn more about Ken and Patrick and their pasts and they both try to work out what is best for Jay.

I do hope we see a little bit more of these characters…maybe in Corbin’s story 

Buy Links

Dreamspinner Press
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
All Romance eBooks
Barnes & Noble
Kobo US

I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

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2 thoughts on “The Way Things Are by AJ Thomas ~ Book Review by Caroline

  1. Great review! I’m a fan of AJ Thomas’ writing but I was a bit on the fence about this because of the divorce thing; I generally don’t enjoy the “demonic ex wife of an actually gay man” plot element. But your review won me over. 😉

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