Becoming Ted

 Becoming Ted
Author: Matt Cain
Publisher: Storm Publishing
Release Date: June 4, 2024
Genre(s): Contemporary M/M Romance
Page Count: 416
Rating: 4 stars out of 5 

Read book blurb here

43-year-old Ted is devastated when his husband of what Ted thought were 20 wonderful years, Giles, leaves him for a younger, more exciting man. And once Ted begins to realize how Giles has demeaned him and held him back from his dreams, Ted begins working toward his childhood dream of becoming a drag queen. It takes Ted a while, but he gets there in the end, and in between is a big-hearted story that captivated me to the very end. 

There's a lot of characters here but Matt Cain richly develops each one - Ted's parents and their expectation that Ted will continue with the family's ice cream business, his new relationship with Oskar who grew up in homophobic Poland, Ted's best friend and top supporter Denise who values her independence but hopes for "a future that might just involve happiness", 90+ year old Stanley who is not letting life pass him by, even Lily, the very un-cute terrier with "weapons-grade halitosis." 

There's a lot of baggage to get past here, but the book resonates with the idea that "There's no point regretting things we did in the past because if it wasn't for them, we wouldn't be where we are in the present." There are numerous flashbacks to Ted's childhood and his relationship with Giles, but at times it's hard to immediately realize the time period has shifted. And there's a subplot involving mysterious letters that just didn't work for me, but I absolutely loved the conclusion of this book, which admittedly is a total feel-good fest of happiness Click here to reveal a spoiler

But I love how Ted becomes liberated from his sense of duty and realizes that he can "put myself first and follow my dream - but I can also take the people I love along with me." 4 stars and many thanks to Storm Publishing for the ARC. 

I received an ARC from Storm Publishing, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

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