Review: His Needs by Kris T. Bethke

When State Trooper Travis Kinslow is injured right before Thanksgiving, the only positive is that for once he won’t be working during the holidays. Since he has no family, Travis was absorbed into his best friend, Joe’s, and he considers them as good as his own. Everyone except Joe’s brother Noah. Travis has been in love with the younger man for much of his life, but he’s always kept his distance.

As an ER nurse, Noah is a caretaker by nature. When his brother’s best friend is hurt, he’s happy to help Travis while he heals. He’s only ever allowed himself to think of Travis as the next best thing to an older brother, but by the light of the Christmas tree, Noah finally sees Travis’s true feelings. And in that moment, everything changes.

When faced with opposition and a Christmas nothing like they imagined, will their hopes for the future be enough to carry them through?

***Sings from highest mountain***
 Friends to lovers, friends to lovers..... That's my jam!

Ha ha! seriously, it is my favourite trope, for many reasons, so I love when I pick up a book where the MCs are friends. Strictly speaking, Travis is best friends with Noah's brother, Joe, but he's almost like one of the family. In fact, he's so much part of the family that it causes problems as their relationship develops.

This is a perfect holiday story (and don't we need a little of that in our lives now that the January gloom has hit?) The sweet romance, friends-to-lovers, a bit of angst and upset but love conquers all. Well, not all, but it starts to win the way. Sometimes this is just the kind of book I want to read. The whole, family-centric core of the story really floats my boat. Travis doesn't have a family - Joe's family is his family. Joe's mom bosses him around like one of her own children. The children banter like siblings or close friends, I love it.

I also loved how, something that has been hidden/unseen for twenty-odd years suddenly blossoms. I loved Travis's relationship development with Noah. It was a little corny, but I liked the whole he suddenly realises how Travis feels in front of the Christmas tree. It brought a soppy smile to my face. I liked how it didn't diminish the friendship between Joe and Travis - but it still challenged it a little. Anything like that is going to change the known boundaries of friendship or brotherly love. I also had a love/hate relationship to Noah's mom's reaction. It felt extreme in a way... but I could understand, from her characters POV, how she felt. I didn't agree, but to me it showed how much she considered Travis part of the family.

So, yeah, I liked this story, it was just gooey enough.

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

For more information, see Dreamspinner Press or Goodreads.

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