I love Dec and Ren from Cold front and Unsettled conditions. These two are firmly amongst my top five favorite couples and they are not moving from this position no matter how many books (some of them very good) I am reading. I was however very hesitant to read about these reincarnations of Dec and Ren in the AU universe for one simple reason, I despise male pregnancy trope with passion. After years of reading fanfiction, I remember one story that impressed me in a sense that writer IMO managed to portray a pregnant *man*. In every other story I wondered why author set up to do it in the first place and decided that maybe this trope is some weird "revenge" on the men, who at least in the stories would have to go through what woman has to go through during pregnancy and childbirth. Why did I come to this conclusion? Well, because IMO in those stories none of those men acted as men do, even men with hormonal changes. They remain the men in name only, otherwise they were women IMO. So basically usually I run away screaming when I see the male pregnancy warning and have not read a *single* original story with this trope and not planning to. But hey, I am a huge fan of this author. Not fan as in a sense I have to defend every one of her books, but her writing just clicks with me probably in 95% of her works, if not more. It just touches my heart. And have I mentioned that I *really* love Dec and Ren? :) I was still hesitant, till Ann offered the story as a gift and I just caved in. Now in all honesty, I have no problem writing negative reviews about any book written by any author, no matter how much I loved her other works, however if I am given a gift, I usually am unable to write a bad review. I will not lie however and if I hated the book I was given as a gift, I am likely to keep my silence.
Trust me guys, I really really loved this work. One of the reasons why I love this writer's works so much is because I think she excels at writing slowly developing relationships, especially if characters start with somewhat adversarial positions. These Dec and Ren do not exactly start as enemies, but they definitely do not start as friends. The connection between them which develops so slowly and believably for me was an absolute delight to read about. I loved that such connection developed despite what both guys went through. I cheered every time when Dec allowed himself to come out of his shell and allow himself feel, I wanted for Ren to heal and get the human contact he so craved and needed. I thought Ren was most definitely a guy, pregnant or not and I was the most happy camper. Him referring to the fetus as "parasite" was sadly amusing, but also made total sense considering what he had been forced to go through. Oh and many special thanks to the author for coming with a creative and believable way to put the baby in Ren's body. I still cannot scratch the awful picture from my mind about creating a vagina in the guy's body from one fan fiction story which I have read several years ago. Thank you for not doing that.