Worth Fighting For by Wendy Qualls

Four out of Five Stars

The Summary: In college, an “are you sure you’re gay?” experiment with his (female) best friend left Sterling Harper married with a baby on the way. Eleven years later, his life is flipped upside-down—his wife has died, his “little boy” is transitioning to her new life as a girl, Alexa, and his embittered in-laws have proven too transphobic to babysit for the summer like they’d planned. They’re fighting for custody of Alexa, though, so Sterling can’t afford to give them more ammunition. If only there were a nice, conservative, trans-preteen-friendly nanny available on short notice . . .

Jericho Johnston doesn’t do “conservative,” but Alexa takes to him immediately. He’s got a teaching job lined up for the fall, a killer smile, and loads of charisma . . . but he is not going back in the proverbial closet. It doesn’t take long for the two men to go from comrades-in-arms against their rarified community to two men in love. This kicks off the looming custody battle with Sterling’s bigoted in-laws, though, and the idea of two gay men raising a trans daughter isn’t going over well with anyone. Now, with so much to lose, Sterling and Jericho must fight harder than ever—for themselves, for Alexa, and for their future.

The Review

Sterling Harper is in a bit of bind when he decides his transphobic in-laws could no longer watch his daughter Alexa for the summer while he works. Jericho Johnston needs a job and a place to stay before going back to substitute teach for the new school year. Jericho supports Alexa one hundred percent and does whatever he can in order to make sure she’s happy and comfortable in his care.

Sterling finds himself more and more attracted to Jericho as the days go on. It’s not that he’s only physically attractive but the way he thinks and what he offers pulls Sterling in even deeper.

Sterling is inexperienced when it comes to any sexual act between two men. He never got the chance to explore that part of himself. Now, most people would be thinking, how is this possible? He’s got a ten year old daughter, his wife had passed years ago and he’s been living a celibate life for a long time. But I understood that and why he never initiated a relationship with another man once his wife had passed. Sterling made sense to me in a way that he won’t to others. But that’s why I enjoyed this book as much I as I did.

Throughout the entire story, Sterling is finding himself. He’s finding his confidence in being Alexa’s father, in his sexuality, and in becoming someone’s partner. It’s not easy and he messes up but you see his evolution. I liked being on the journey with him.

The chemistry between the two, *fans self*, boy howdy it was something spectacular. There was a little awkwardness in the first scenes, but if there wasn’t any of the awkwardness it would have been off putting. That’s who Sterling was. He wasn’t a monk, so he did some self-care but what he hadn’t any experience in Jericho helped guide him through things.

There were a few things that led me to the four star rating but it wasn’t a deal breaker as you can see. There were times I was shaking my reader saying, “Just kiss him!” and then there were times I just wanted to yell, “Stop being an idiot and just talk!” but that’s were personal grievances.

Their partnership was probably what I enjoyed most about this story. They worked together for Alexa and for each other. I’m a sucker for stories like this. I definitely have a new author to follow and read.

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