Family Connections by N.J. Nielsen, 2nd edition

23343130Title: Family Connections (2nd Edition)
Series: Connelly Family Chronicles
Author: NJ Nielsen
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Novel (296 pages)
Publisher: Totally Bound (August 28th, 2014)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts
Blurb: Ray and Viv realize love isn’t always what they expect it to be, but learning to deal with the road ahead can be worth the heartache.

Thrown into circumstances beyond their imaginations, Ray Connelly and Christopher ‘Viv’ Vivvens must step beyond their personal lifestyles to survive the future. What started out as a small white lie about being boyfriends soon becomes more than they bargained for, especially when family and friends decide to interfere in their lives.

However, when tragedy strikes, Ray and Viv must step up and become parents, too. Along the way, they welcome nine children of varying ages, but there is plenty of love to go around.

Ray and Viv realize love isn’t always what they expect. Sometimes it’s downright hard. They also learn that dealing with life’s obstacles can be worth the heartache. In doing so, the couple discover how strong they are together.
When everything is running smoothly, an ex comes along to ruin their happily ever after.

They must fight their past demons to make their future even better. Together they are family in the greatest sense, but do Ray and Viv have what it takes to beat the odds this time?

Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of dubious consent. It is best read in sequence as part of a series.

Publisher’s Note: This book was previously released by another publisher. It has been revised and re-edited for release with Totally Bound Publishing.

ISBN: 978-1-78430-166-8

Product Link:

Reviewer: Prime

Review: If you like soap operas and would love to read a literary one you don’t need go no further, this is the book for you! I’m going to outright say: this isn’t going to be a long review because me ranting about something or another will probably take away from the melodrama of the entire thing.

Essentially this is the story of Viv and Ray – from their first meeting and their turbulent relationship spanning about two years. If you’re like me you’re probably thinking about Vyvyan Basterd from the British comedy, Young Ones, rest assured his real name is Christopher Vivvens.

As I said, this book is nothing short of a soap opera, and depending on the person, that is a good or a bad thing. And like soap operas, there are so many family members and children! All these not-so-minor characters are wonderful and certainly make for a colourful life, trust me, you’ll be counting off the nine children as you get towards the end as well.

Ray is a good character. However, I would like to know more about this bubbly, sometimes-flighty man who loves being a dad. He is an enjoyable character and has a lot of hidden inner strength. I like Viv, too. It seems as though we are meant to not like him as much, but this is a guy that has been, to put a fine point on it, head fucked. I love Viv as a character. He has a lot going on and a lot of depth.

The only thing I am disappointed about is that I feel his issues have not been dealt with at all – the man has various stalker and harassment issues, and honestly all I could think of was “quick, send the guy to a psychologist, don’t sit back!” Sure, they can be revisited, and undoubtedly will, later on, but I feel that his experience was glossed over and not given the right about of emphasis for the severity of what does happen.

As with any good soapie, we are left with a cliffhanger. Part of me questions the necessity of the possibilities such a cliffhanger brings, but the other part of me has faith in the author for book 2 of this series, when it comes out.

To try to frame this book in pop culture, I’m going to say it’s a bit Brady Bunch with a bit of Friends with a splash of Pride and Prejudice. Strange as the latter may seem, if you don’t believe me, read it.

* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through *