Review: Favorite Son by Will Freshwater

Born into a blue-collar family, John Wells beat the odds and came out a winner. As chief of staff to Patrick Donovan, a US senator and aspiring presidential candidate, he enjoys all the power and privilege of a DC insider. But while riding high on a wave of success, he’s blindsided by a series of betrayals from the people he trusts the most. In the space of a single day, John's perfect life unexpectedly unravels when his career falters and his marriage implodes. Following a final, devastating blow, John assumes a new identity as “Peter” and flees to Provincetown, where a tight-knit community of eclectic characters slowly transforms him.

Peter finds himself drawn to Danny Cavanaugh, an enigmatic carpenter who is struggling to come to terms with his own troubled past. As they work together to renovate a local landmark, the two men forge an unlikely friendship that blossoms into love and becomes the foundation for a new life they hope to build together. But when a reversal of fortune pulls John back to DC, the treacherous world of politics he thought he’d left behind threatens to destroy his chance at true happiness.

Favorite Son is different than the usual M/M romance fare. Especially in that the romance is not the focus. 

John's life is slowly, but surely, falling apart. He loses everything that is constant and important in his life in basically one swoop. So, he runs to a new town where nobody knows him and becomes a 'new' self as Peter. 

Peter meets an interesting, open and accepting group of people. They instantly bring in Peter as one of their own. The characters were fun and quirky and added a bit of humor to Peter's horrible situation. 

One of the residents is Danny. Peter is instantly attracted to him and feels that it's mutual. I do love a slow burn and relationships being built on friendship. This is exactly how Danny and Peter's love story goes. The problem I had was that I didn't really feel anything from Danny. Given that the story is from Peter's POV, I never understood Danny's choices. I couldn't get a feel for him and he was quite unlikeable to me. Luckily, the romance wasn't the focus. 

The story is really about John/Peter finding himself. I found it interesting how he changed who he was depending on where he was at. When he went back to DC he slipped back into being John flawlessly, just like he became Peter when in Provincetown. But, in the end, I feel like he was able to combine the two and really be himself in his new life.

While I can appreciate a story without much romance, I was a little bored throughout Favorite Son. I had to make myself pick it back up each time. There were parts I really liked, like Peter's character and the cast of characters in Provincetown, but the pace was too slow for me.

Favorite Son is something different and features a great group of characters, even if it was a bit slow, still a nice change from the usual M/M romance.

A copy of this book was provided in exchange for an honest review.

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