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Favorite Son

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  207 ratings  ·  75 reviews
Born into a blue-collar family, John Wells beat the odds and came out a winner. As chief of staff to Patrick Donovan, a US senator and aspiring presidential candidate, he enjoys all the power and privilege of a DC insider. But while riding high on a wave of success, he’s blindsided by a series of betrayals from the people he trusts the most. In the space of a single day, J ...more
ebook, 204 pages
Published June 23rd 2014 by Dreamspinner Press (first published June 22nd 2014)
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Average rating 3.79  · 
Rating details
 ·  207 ratings  ·  75 reviews

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Jul 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Well, it’s been several days and I am still processing this one.
To be completely honest, I think I will be processing this for weeks to come. Two pages and I was absolutely riveted. Can I give you a sneak peek? Oh good!
A tragedy strikes John within days of his early arrival into the Wells family. His brother, precious twin, was stolen by death within days of their birth. The void was carefully preserved over the years, an echoing cavern in his soul.

Decades later, a catastrophe reaching 9.9 on
Smith Barney
Beautifully understated. Which some will find boring. Freshly unsullied, which some will find too f'ing vanilla. All of the sexual proclivities are off-page, which some will undoubtedly be cranky over.

But the story is emotionally provocative..sensitive. The writing..very fluid and well-composed.

Lack of sex in a good story doesn't necessarily overturn my apple cart. However, in this story there's a very passionate energy that comes through very loud and clear and I almost think this story would
Brandon Witt
Nov 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A little birdie told me that I should pick up a copy of Favorite Son, by Will Freshwater. I’m very thankful for that little birdie. Without it, I would never have given this stellar novel a try. Not to be un-American, because I do love my country, but something about the whole red, white, and blue, governmental feel of the cover (although a beautiful cover) would have scared me away. I get enough politics in real-life, I don’t want to read about it in a book. And, man, would I have missed out. T ...more
Jul 07, 2014 rated it liked it
Rating: 2.5 stars, rounded to 3

Overall, Favorite Son is a story about one man's downfall. It begins with John's position on top of the world: the success he's able to dwell on as he moves up in the political world. But slowly, the story reveals events that will cause John to crash and burn in the ruin of tragedies that don't seem to relent.

This takes about 30% of the book to occur.

And then Provincetown happens, and John is now Peter, and Peter is slowly reconstructing himself from the remains of
John The Cosmic Wanderer
I purchased this book on a whim because the author is new, the blurb sounds really good and the other MC is a carpenter which made it even more appealing. Unfortunately, (view spoiler) I like the writing but the author t ...more
Feb 21, 2016 rated it did not like it
Belens Audio Book Review

First, this is tagged in some places as m/m romance. It is not. It's a contemporary fiction novel. Second, my review is entirely subjective based on my emotional response to the story. Obviously, other reader reactions will, and have, vary.

John Peter Wells is the out and proud chief of staff for Senator Patrick Donovan. John enjoys his career success, but his relationship with his boyfriend, David, is a casualty of his career. He and David split, and further shock comes when his career and the l
Steve Kluger
Jun 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Remember at the end of the first "Star Wars" when Luke has the target locked in his sights and Vader has Luke locked in HIS sights? Suddenly Skywalker hears Ben tell him, "Trust the Force, Luke"—-so he switches off his scope, relies on his instincts, and immediately falls off of Vader's radar because he’s not following the predictable path.

"Favorite Son" works on the same principle: Just when you think you know what's going to happen next, Will Freshwater shuts off his scope and pulls the rug ou
4.5 Stars

Riveting. This book grabbed me from the get go. Well written and chock full of twists and turns, Favorite Son kept me turning the page. I read the entire book in one sitting. John was such a wonderful narrator. The political intrigue of being a Congressional Chief of Staff was interesting. The cut-throat dynamic seemed both out of this world and eerily believable in turns. I loved Danny and the extended cast of characters in Provincetown. My one gripe: conflict resolution between the MC
Philomena Callan Cheekypee
Jan 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: loved-it
This is a really brilliant work of art by this author. I went into this story blind having not read the synopsis. What a fabulous surprise I got when I read this story. This is not like any other m/m story I've read. It's not full of romance or sexy scenes. It's more like a gay fiction read. It has however a unique and refreshing storyline. The author pulled out all the stops with his descriptive flair and I felt as if I was in Provincetown with the characters.
This is a brilliantly written stor
Lisa The Novel Approach
Aug 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Favorite Son is the debut novel from Will Freshwater. There was a comment made in the book, maybe a negative comment depending on how one chooses to interpret it, about most M4M fiction being written by housewives using gender neutral initials as names. I got the feeling that this is something that may bother Mr. Freshwater a bit. I respect his honesty, but more than that, I respect his courage in trying to effect change within the genre if the status quo bothers him. It is true that the large m ...more
Jeff Erno
Oct 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Will Freshwater's debut novel, Favorite Son, offers a sample of the exceptional word-crafting skills and lyrical prose of this burgeoning literary talent. Obviously, this author strives to deliver a finished product of solid literary quality, actively engaging every verb and weaving vibrant, colorful descriptors into his prose that paint a magnificent moving picture. He skillfully sets the tone and backdrop, constantly showing the reader, pulling them into the world he's so realistically created ...more
Jul 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I see a couple of reviews mentioning romance not being a big enough player in this book. However, I think romance is just an extra hired to look pretty in the background. To me, his book is about losing yourself in order to find yourself.

I think the final sentence of the book sums it all it to find out what I mean.
Jun 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Favorite Son is the debut novel from Will Freshwater. There was a comment made in the book; maybe a negative comment depending on how one chooses to interpret it, about most M4M fiction being written by housewives using gender neutral initials as names. I got the feeling that this is something that may bother Mr. Freshwater a bit. I respect his honesty, but more than that, I respect his courage in trying to effect change within the genre if the status quo bothers him. It is true that the large m ...more
If you’re looking for a fluffy, easy romance, this book is not for you. Here you’ll find a deep, soul-searching journey of one man trying to piece everything back together after his life falls apart.

John Peter Wells is a relentless storm of stress and willpower, forging his way to success in the viper pit known as Capitol Hill, where he works as chief of staff for senator Patrick Donovan. On the day it all collapses around him, he goes in search of the measure of success that has eluded him for
Jul 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
An engrossing read from start to finish. “Favorite Son” explores the concept of duality, identity and self-discovery as John Wells leaves his political world in Washington DC for a quieter life in Provincetown. It’s a familiar theme but with its sharp prose and multi-dimensional characters, this well-crafted story feels new all over again.
S. Shirley
Aug 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I haven't been to Provincetown in years, but this book made me want to hop onto the next plane there. It's a wonderful story that is beautifully told. Freshwater is a true talent. Bravo! ...more
Oct 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Most always, I open a book knowing what is ahead for me. Every now and then, I will open a book and be taken completely by surprise. Rarely does one take me in a direction I did not anticipate. Favorite Son, by Will Freshwater, has done just that. The blurb certainly tells the gist of the story but in no way does it prepare you for what you will find. This is a story of two men who have lost quite a bit. But through loss and misfortune they find each other and try to salvage what they both felt ...more
Nov 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary, m-m
I found this story to have an intriguing dreamlike quality to the telling as John moved from location to location and switched personas along his journey. It interested me in seeing how his sense of self was affected by his environment.

I felt his pain at the destruction of his relationship with David. I’m conflicted about Melody in the story though. John did, in many ways, replace David with Melody. Looking to her for support and sharing his work life with her, essentially pushing David out of h
Jul 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
John is a man who has it all. He has his pulse on what is happening in Washington, being the chief of staff of a powerful Senator. He has the social status of that as well. And he can tell there is something big coming on the horizon. As the introduction says, all that comes tumbling down in the space of about 24 hours, and he is left shell-shocked. John walks away from his life, taking on a different persona, and ends up in Provincetown, MA, where he meets a collection of people that impact his ...more
Ulysses Dietz
Nov 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Review of “Favorite Son”

By Will Freshwater

4 stars

A well-written, sweetly moving debut novel, “Favorite Son” tells the story of an identical twin who loses his brother at birth, and spends the next thirty-two years trying to make up for that loss.

John Peter Wells is a familiar figure: he’s one of those young, handsome suits I see everywhere when I’m on museum business in Washington. New York is no longer a city where the people on the street are stylish—but in DC the suits still rule the sidewalk
Morgan  Skye
Feb 26, 2016 marked it as just-no-dnf-changed-mind
Politics got to be too much - maybe I'll re-read in a non-election year- #toofullofBStoreadmore

I really, really like Nick J Russo as a narrator and that’s what caught my attention when this book came available for review.

The blurb on this didn’t do much for me – simply because I really don’t like politics and am not a fan of politics as a them for storylines.

What caught my attention right away was the intelligence with which this story is written. It’s very precise and the knowledge of politics
John Amory
Aug 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
I read (and write) a lot in the M/M genre, but I've never come across a book quite like this one. I tend to gravitate toward the more unconventional stories in this genre, either ones with unhappy endings or without any on-page sex or what have you, and Favorite Son fits that bill. There's a love story that happens, and it's sweet, but it's by no means what the book is about. It's about a man reconciling all the different aspects of himself and his past, trying to find out who he is when everyth ...more
Lynnette Hartwig
Favorite Son (Audiobook)
Will Freshwater

4 Stars

I’ve only listened to a couple of books but I love trying new things. Nick J. Russo is the narrator of this story and a couple of times it just seemed as if he just reading the story with no emotion. So every once in a while I would have to take a break. The story itself was extremely well written and it was exciting to see where the author took John/Peter as the story progressed. The story was about a man in self-discovery and not so much of a roman
Feb 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m
3.5 stars
Listened to the audiobook narrated by Nick J. Russo. I think he did a pretty good job giving voice to the characters. There were parts I really enjoyed. Like Peter/John finding out what is really important to him. I liked the interaction between him and the characters in Provincetown. It was so different from his Washington D.C. persona. I liked the emotion brought to the story when John's life started to crumble around him. It was the love story that lacked something for me. Danny was
Sep 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Will Freshwater's "Favorite Son" is an insightful romance juxtaposing the hectic, fast-paced life of a DC politico to the laid-back, simple life of Provincetown. The writing itself reflects the pace as the chapters in DC are action-packed, brief and to the point. Whereas the chapters in Provincetown are slow-paced and elaborate in detail as one who stops to smell the rose. Even the title "Favorite Son" is a clever play on words not only referring the protagonist's life in the political spotlight ...more
Aug 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It's been a long time since I was so invested in the characters and captivated by the plot that I read the whole book in one week - I'm a slow and promiscuous reader, known to read multiple books at the same time over months, but the vivid descriptions, the emotional turmoil and colourful but relatable personalities kept me wondering "what's next?"

And the ending... It came out of nowhere, leaving me both satisfied and wanting. Brilliant!
Michael Garvin
Nov 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Review coming soon! Excellent book.
Aug 11, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: mm-debut-2014, mm

This is a story about John and Peter.

John is a perfect example of successful man. Coming from blue collar family he worked hard to be where he is now- he is chief of staff of senator Donovan, senator's daughter is his best friend and he lives in a house he bought with boyfriend he loves.
John is also very, very tired.
When everything he valued in his life starts crumbling down at once, John just can't deal with it.
He needs to check out for some time.
Peter is adventurous guy. He flirts with strange
This is a story about a man figuring out who he truly is. All his life he has been headed in one direction, all business. Work is ruling him.
With a steady hand, John pulled his Blackberry from its holster and scrolled through a queue of unread e-mail. He studied the words on the screen and waited for work—his drug of choice—to take hold. Each message was another hit that drove everything from his mind but the next urgent problem only he could solve.

Employeed in D.C., he's surrounded in polit
Mollien Fote Osterman
Title: Favorite Son Audible – Unabridged
Author: Will Freshwater
Narrator: Nick J. Russo
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC
Reviewer: Mollien
Release Date: January 25, 2016
Genre(s): Political Romance, Gay Male Romance
Listening Length: 6 hours and 36 minutes
Heat Level: # 2 flames out of 5
Rating: # 4 stars out of 5

Born into a blue-collar family, John Wells beat the odds and came out a winner. As chief of staff to Patrick Donovan, a US senator and aspiring presidential candidate, he enjoys all
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Dreamspinner Press: Favorite Son by Will Freshwater 1 13 Jun 27, 2014 10:58PM  

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Will Freshwater was born and raised in a small steel town outside Pittsburgh. He graduated, cum laude, from Boston College and was awarded a Juris Doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. Will has lived and worked in Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, and Tampa. Although he has spent the better part of the last twenty years working as a successful corporate attorney, Will can ...more

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