Book Review: Call Me Daddy by Kelly Stone Gamble

Book Reviews copy

Call Me Daddy 1

Synopsis: Cass Adams comes from a long line of crazy, and she fears passing that on to her unborn child. Also, she’s run over Roland and Clay’s surprise half-brother Britt, landing him in the hospital. With her inner demons coming out to haunt her, she doesn’t know if she should keep the baby.

Clay Adams has his own decisions to make. His half-brother shows up to tell him their father, Freddy, is still alive but needs a liver transplant. When Freddy blew out of town thirty-five years ago, secrets were buried. But it’s time for them to be dug up, because only then can Clay hope to lay the past to rest.

Call Me Daddy is a story of family, the secrets they keep, and to what lengths someone would go to protect them.

Author: Kelly Stone Gamble

Title: Call Me Daddy

Publisher: Red Adept Publishing

Date: 2016

Call Me Daddy 2

Despite being a sequel, Call Me Daddy can be read as a stand-alone novel. The premise caught me and I gave it a go.

Initially (only the very first few pages), I wondered if I did need to read the first book. The reader is immediately introduced to complicated characters and relationships and, if you haven’t read the first book, you don’t know precisely what you are dealing with.

But it only took a couple of pages before I was able to piece things together and get to know the characters on my own terms rather than how they had been presented in the previous book.

But even more surprising to me is that most of us don’t know the one person we spend our entire lives with: ourselves.

There are a lot of strong characters in this. Cass can speak to ghosts and has a troubled past, but a good heart. Her sister, Lola, takes a matter-of-fact approach but wants to fix all of the problems. Clay has a tough-guy exterior but conceals a heart that feels far too much. Grams, Grace, even Benny…all of these characters are likeable, relatable and make you want the best for them.

Despite the issues the characters must overcome, the plot has a simple premise: family. There are a lot of twisting relationships which ultimately reveals there is no such thing as the traditional nuclear family in this book. But it is about more than blood ties: it’s about love and sacrifice and how you are willing to go to protect your family.

I initially wasn’t certain on the book. The setting and language used were too American for me to read comfortable and it was jarring me. But, as with the characters, it didn’t take long until I settled into my stride and realised I couldn’t put it down. There is something warming and beautiful about this book as the characters have to realise who is important in their lives and whether they are prepared to face up to their parents’ mistakes in order to be the better person.

Call Me Daddy 3

The plot basically centres on figuring out who is related to who. Somehow, however, tension is still created (there could be serious implications if some of the relationships are proven to be true) and I was gripped: I wanted to see how they would resolve the issues and whether the characters would be able to come to terms with their actions. There was enough uncertainty to keep you reading despite it being a gentle story.

Although there is no need to read the first book to enjoy Call Me Daddy, I would like to read the first one. The characters are in-depth and realistic and the hints about the first book means I’m intrigued to find out how they got to this point. But, ultimately, it’s because I really like the writing style. I got swept up and it was the perfect curl-up-for-an-afternoon type of book.

This was a soft yet moving tale, with characters you could relate to. It’s not action-packed and full of tension, but it did keep my interest the whole way through.

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