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Worth Fighting For

(Heart of the South #3)

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  99 ratings  ·  40 reviews
For two gay men in the Deep South, fighting for love and family can lead to one beautiful, sexy, and unexpected knock out . . .

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
Kindle Edition, 186 pages
Published August 14th 2018 by Lyrical Press
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Average rating 3.70  · 
Rating details
 ·  99 ratings  ·  40 reviews

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Start your review of Worth Fighting For (Heart of the South #3)
This is the third book in a series, but can be read as a standalone - I haven't read the previous books, and had no issues at all here.

When in college, Sterling had a little "are you sure you're gay" experiment with his female best friend, which resulted in a pregnancy and a subsequent marriage. Now 11 years later, Sterling has lost his wife, and is now raising Alexa, his trans daughter on his own.

As his in-laws are homophobic and transphobic a-holes who continue to deadname Sterling's daughter,
Aug 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a very inclusive, and positive LGBTQ story. It has three main characters. An out and proud, gay POC man. A buried in the closet, white gay cis man. And a 10 year old transgender girl at the start of her transition.

The story is more about life than it is about romance. However, it's a new and budding romance that gives life the impetus it needs to make changes.

Sterling is a widower with a young, transgender child on the spectrum. His in-laws refuse to accept their grandchild's transition
Aug 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow! I truly enjoyed reading this well written story! Sterling is widowed and raising his 10 year old daughter whom transitioned into one brave, smart, and witty young lady! Sterling hires a nanny to help out with Alexa while he works as a dentist. The nanny names is Jericho aka Mr. J, it’s just amazing how great he is with guiding and helping Alexa during her transitioning as well as important aspects of life! Sparks fly between Jericho and Sterling things get steamy!! Want to know the rest don ...more
Book Gannet
I found this book really frustrating, because while I absolutely loved the first two-thirds of it, the last bit was far too rushed. The steady pacing that drew me in completely collapsed at the end and left me feeling a little disappointed.

First off, the characters are great. Jericho is an absolute sweetheart who is perfect with kids, patient with Sterling and absolutely gorgeous on top. He doesn’t appear to have a single flaw, except for one unexpectedly cowardly moment. Other than that he is a
Joyfully Jay
Aug 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kenna
A Joyfully Jay review.

4.5 stars

After reading and reviewing the first of this series (Worth Waiting For), I was excited to be able to read this book. I had high hopes because I really did enjoy the first, and let me tell you, I was not disappointed in the slightest. This was an incredible story, with characters I fell in love with. I read it straight through in one sitting. It was compelling and captured me from the very first page.

My heart hurt for Sterling. He seemed…lost. He had a very busy w
Roberta Blablanski
Jul 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
***ARC provided via NetGalley in exchange for honest and impartial review.***

This is not your typical romance story and that's what made me like this book so much. Sterling is raising his 10 year old daughter, Alexa, alone after his wife's passing. He hires Jericho as Alexa's live-in babysitter for the summer. The reader gets a unique insight into Alexa and her transition to the girl she knows she is. I appreciated Alexa's perspective as a young person beginning the transition process and all th
Aug 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
To see more reviews check out MI Book Reviews.

I got an ARC of this book.

I was pretty terrified of this book when I saw some of my friends starting to read it. The fact that this book featured a very young trans character spooked me. I am always afraid of what drama the author will put that character through and how awful the representation will be. Qualls nailed it. Everything about the trans character screamed "real person that just so happens to be starting her transition". There was so much m
Diane Dannenfeldt
Jul 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this one a lot. I was worried that I was going to be lost as I didn’t know when I requested the book that it was part of a series. We I wasn’t lost and it can be read as a stand-alone. We have the story of Sterling who is a widower trying to raise has trans daughter on his own. He inlaws are nasty pieces who refuse to acknowledge her as Alexa. They are supposed to watch her for the summer but Sterling changes his mind when they won’t accept Alexa for who she actually is and the ...more
Aug 01, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cee Brown
Aug 13, 2018 rated it liked it
💫✨✨💫3.5 fighting stars💫✨✨💫

When I read the blurb, I was quite interested in these men's story, and what a tale they had to tell. Sterling, a single, gay man who found himself in a marriage of convenience due to impending fatherhood after questioning by his best friend. Then Jericho, a gay man who had to seek his closet all over again for a job he desired. Throw in a trans daughter, homophobic/trans-phobic grandparents and you certainly have a story worth fighting for.

As always I kept an open min
JD Crittendon
Feb 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Worth Reading!

3 1/2 ⭐️⭐️⭐️! A likable, heartwarming, romantic story between special needs teacher Jericho & Dr. Dentist Sterling & transitioning “Alexa”.
Jul 12, 2018 rated it liked it
I was given this ARC in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley.

Sterling Harper is going through the motions of life when his wife dies and his son (who's on the spectrum) decides she wants to transition. In an effort to find a home provider/nanny for the summer he finds Jericho Johnson. Jericho is a spec ed teacher by day and a gay man by night.

The team dynamic is great from the start. I loved the writing. It was a sweet story with good forward momentum and the characters were true to form
Lauren loves llamas
Trigger warnings: racism, homophobia, transphobia

I think this could easily have turned into an after school special sort of book. After all, we’ve got a gay black special ed teacher who’s just back from volunteering in Haiti, a closeted widower, and a trans tween girl with autism, all set in a rich, white Southern neighborhood. However, what we end up with instead is a sweet story about both love and family.

“God, was Jericho some kind of sexier, trans-friendly Mary Poppins?”

When widower Sterling
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
**I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review**

I downloaded this book with a bit of hesitance as I had previously read the first book in this series and wasn't a fan. However this one was so much better and I finished it in one sitting as I couldn't put it down.

The story focuses on Sterling Harper, a recently widowed single father and his struggle to raise his trans daughter Alexa in the bible belt town of Willow heights. After an argument with his wife's grandparents over their acceptanc
It was the transgender aspect of this story that prompted me to read it.

Sterling is a widower with his recently transitioned, autistic 10-year old daughter, trying to get through his life. It's been two years since his wife's death. The two of them had been friends, caught up in an unexpected pregnancy when Sterling had slept with her during college to "see" if he was really gay. Working as a dentist, he was going to have his in-laws watch Alexa over the summer months. Only those plans changed
Aug 12, 2018 rated it liked it
2.5 stars

Worth Fighting For is a very low-key story, maybe too much so for a book that includes the word “fighting” in the title.

What initially attracted me to the book was the description of the plot, which involves a transitioning transgender child. That child was the result of a sexual experiment between Sterling and a female friend that both confirmed he was gay and led to a baby and a platonic marriage that ended with his wife’s death. Sterling’s in-laws’ refusal to accept their grandchild
Cathy Geha
Aug 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Worth Fighting For by Wendy Qualls
Heart of the South #3

I had more trouble wrapping my mind around this book than the one that came before it. You have a LOT of information shared that can educate someone new to the genre BUT perhaps too much at times. The idea that this would be a story focusing on a custody case between widowed father and his in-laws was not the main focus that I thought it would be and in some ways dealt with too briefly. The romance was so-so but I really didn’t see what the
Jess Gabriel
Aug 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley-or-arc
Update to original review: It appears that the blurb has thankfully been updated and is now a more accurate representation of the book.

Original review to NetGalley:

I really enjoyed this. Wendy Qualls is a new author to me, and I wasn't disappointed.

First off, I will echo the other reviewers that the blurb isn't really an accurate representation of the book. It feels like the blurb was written before the book was ironed out and the author decided to shift focus. The transphobic grandparents do pl
Oct 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
A very touching book.

Worth Fighting For is the third book in the Heart of the South series but it can be read as a standalone. This is the first book I've ever read with such a young transgender character. The blurb for the book describes the story well.

Sterling will not allow Alexa's maternal grandparents to care for her during the summer school break because they won't accept her transition. He hires Jericho to be with her and they all get along really well right from the get-go. Alexa is such
Terri Jones
Feb 03, 2019 rated it did not like it
The Trans-positive parts of this novel are great, far as this cis chick can tell after a decade of reading Trans personal tweets. The misgendering hurts, though - realistic, but awful. I loved Alexa. She is her own hero. Best character of this novel.

The first job of a writer is to engage the reader and keep them engaged. I knew 1/3 in that this wasn't a five star story for me because I kept getting bored. Not enough to quit. But enough that I kept glancing at the progress bar, and skimmed repeat
Jennifer Shanahan
Jul 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc-giveaways
Ironically, I read the first book in this series but not the second and didn't even realize that this one was the third because it really was in no way connected to the first story that I could tell (although I did read it quite some time ago). Based on its own merits, I liked this book but didn't LOVE it. Sterling is a widowed dentist who married his best friend because of an unplanned pregnancy but really was not attracted to her at all and they just loved as friends until she suddenly died le ...more
BOOKarina (Karina)
Aug 19, 2018 rated it liked it
This was an unexpected read, I saw the cover and figured why not give it a shot ?
It was surprisingly tackling really serious topics, do not be fooled by the cover ! I really like the representation of trans issues (as a child who recently came out and family loss/problems, it also delves into the topic of disabilities (Asperger syndrome).
I loved Alexa, she knew who she was and didn't need anyone to tell her otherwise, she also tried to help her dad and while she was really mature for her age (10
Jul 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
One of the main characters, Jericho, was mentioned in the second book in the series and showed up briefly near the end. The MM romance is told from all three main characters, Jericho nanny and special education teacher, Sterling dentist and father his Alexa is trans daughter. I like getting to the points of view of all the main characters because they had an interesting journey to go no lonely together, but also individually.

The main plot of this story was the romance between Jericho and Sterlin
Aug 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 enthusiastic stars!

OK, can I be blunt? There are like...practically no queer fiction books about raising a trans child. As in, this is the only one I can name - if you have a different rec, feel free to send it my way.

Given that lack, I'd probably have enjoyed Worth Fighting For even if the characters had been just alright, and the rep had been merely acceptable...but the cast was great, and the marginalizations were depicted with care and respect (IMO), so I'm basically a big Wendy Qualls f
Aug 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book in the Heart of the South series a lot. The issues surrounding Alexa's social transitioning was handled delicately, authentically and with sincerity. I thought it was a very strong part of the story.

Jericho is a terrifically balanced individual, and his actions and words spoke volumes. I would have liked more indication of why he fell for Sterling, but that's okay. He showed all his true feelings, and was the best person to be there for that kid.

Sterling was stuck, and Jerich
Amy Dufera - Amy's MM Romance Reviews
Worth Fighting For by Wendy Qualls is a beautiful and tender romance.

I am shocked at how much the author manages to pack into this story. Sterling needs to hire someone to care for his transgender daughter. Luckily he finds Jericho who completely understands Alexa and helps her a lot. And luckily for both them, they have a mutual attraction. Their flirting is cute, their explorations are hot, and they definitely complement one another well.

Of course, they also have to deal with bigoted and tran
Jun 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Found family romance

Sterling is a widower and dad to a newly-out trans daughter who is on the spectrum. Jericho is the live-in caretaker who will watch Alexa while school's out for the summer. But it's not a typical employer-employee situation (this is explicitly discussed by our heroes multiple times) and soon they give into their chemistry. I still like Worth Searching For, another book in the series, better because DOGGIES! but this was a lovely romance and Alexa is a standout character who n
Aug 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Worth Fighting For is a heartwarming story of a single father and his trans daughter trying to find their way. When his ex’s parents refuse to accept his child presenting as female Sterling Harper has to find new plans for his daughter for over the summer. Enter Jericho Johnston a teacher who has experience with trans adults and special needs kids. Mr. J takes on the job of nanny for the summer.
I fell for Alexa and really liked Mr. J. Dr. Harper took a bit longer for me to warm up to. This
Feb 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Sweet romance, well worth the read.

I'm always a little hesitant to read LGBTQ+ romances by straight, cis women but I'm super happy I picked this up. Sweet, endearing characters and a wonderful, classic storyline make for a perfect combination for this well written, cozy read. Single parents are my weakness in romances, throw in a sweet trans daughter, and I'm in love.
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Wendy Qualls was a small ­town librarian until she finished reading everything her library had to offer. At that point she put her expensive and totally unrelated college degree to use by writing smutty romance novels and wasting time on the internet. She lives in Northern Alabama with her husband, two girls, two dogs, and a seasonally fluctuating swarm of unwanted ladybugs. Wendy can be found on ...more

Other books in the series

Heart of the South (3 books)
  • Worth Waiting For (Heart of the South, #1)
  • Worth Searching For (Heart of the South, #2)

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