Cover Design: Dar Albert @ Wicked Smart Designs
Length: 70,000 words approx.
Book 1 - Valor On The Move
With his father no longer president, twenty-two-year-old Rafa Castillo can finally be with ex-Secret Service agent Shane Kendrick. Shane's given up his career for Rafa, a move his fellow agents question the sanity and morality of. Eager to get away from the questions and judgement, Rafa and Shane are building a new life together in Australia. Though Shane struggles with nightmares and his over-protective instincts while Rafa fights his own insecurity, they love each other more than ever.
Now they just have to get through a visit from the former president and first lady.
Rafa's parents certainly don't approve of his romance with forty-year-old Shane, and they're determined to make him see reason. They don't see how their son could possibly be happy settling down with an older man, and they question Shane's motives. Shane and Rafa just want a normal life together-but when they must suddenly battle for survival, they fight to prove their fierce love can withstand any threat.
This gay romance from Keira Andrews is the conclusion of the Valor duology. It features a May-December age difference, sex on the beach, and of course a happy ending.
After the excitement of Valor on the Move, my interest was definitely piqued when I saw Test of Valor would be coming. I loved Rafa and Shane in the first book, so revisiting these two was an absolute “yes!” for me. Keira Andrews did not disappoint, and I enjoyed this one as much as the first.
Rafa and Shane are going just as strong now as they were when we left them in Valor on the Move. Things are just as loving, but a heck of a lot sexier and a bit more naughty than the first time around. Just a bit… ;-) Plus, their bond is stronger—something that is pretty important in this book since Rafa’s parents haven’t and aren’t giving up on convincing him that Shane isn’t the guy for him. His parents, and in particular his mother (who I already wasn’t fond of in the first book), aggravated me to no end in this story, at least through the entire first half.
Just like in any relationship, things came up to test Rafa and Shane’s commitment to each other, exacerbated by his parents (read “his mother”) feeding the fire. There’s a lot of tension introduced thanks to Rafa’s parents—enough to have made me want to find his mother (a fictional character) and tell her off in the most spectacular way. There’s also added drama in the last half of the book that ultimately defines how Rafa, Shane, and Rafa’s parents’ relationship will go moving forward.
While Valor on the Move was more concentrated on the suspense and Rafa dealing with coming out, Test of Valor focused on the continued strengthening of Shane and Rafa’s bond, and testing not just Rafa’s relationship with his parents, but also his and Shane’s…with just the right touch of drama to bring it all together. And while I was ready to go to town on Rafa’s mother for much of the story, that added drama actually softened my attitude toward her—something most stories with characters like her aren’t able to do.
4.5 stars for Test of Valor, and I definitely recommend this to M/M romance fans—especially if you love age gap/May-December romances. You will want to read Valor on the Move before starting Test of Valor; if you don’t, you will probably be a little lost since events in the first book are referenced in the second, and those events help shape Rafa and Shane’s relationship into what you’ll see here. This book is meant for readers 18+ for adult language (much to Rafa’s mother’s consternation) and dirty-talking sexual content.
After writing for years yet never really finding the right inspiration, Keira discovered her voice in gay romance, which has become a passion. She writes contemporary, historical, fantasy, and paranormal fiction and - although she loves delicious angst along the way - Keira firmly believes in happy endings. For as Oscar Wilde once said:
"The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what fiction means."
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