Finally, the long-awaited sequel to PK Corey's book, Cal's Law, has arrived. And she took her fans' requests to heart by making Becoming Family a longer novel. Fine by me; I was certainly looking forward to this 2nd book. The author is very purposeful with her books in a series. A good sequel has a plot that is part of a bigger plan, not just an afterthought. Cal's Law had a definitive ending, but there was always the hope that Cal and Jenny's love for each other would go on, and we could be there.
Sequels are like good friends you haven't heard from in a while. You grin and chatter away to catch up on all the news and events that have come to pass since the last visit. Favorite characters, a setting you love, and, just maybe, an explanation to a question that wasn't answered in an earlier book.
Title: Becoming Family
Author: PK Corey
Number of Pages: 166
Themes: Family, Sense of Community, and Belonging
- Cal Bennett - the young sheriff of a small college town. He is hard-working and honest. The girl he vowed to help learn responsible conduct is the very girl with whom he fell in love. He is a hearty proponent of a traditional domestic discipline relationship.
- Jenny Anderson - the rich college student who came to know "Cal's Law" over his knee. The thing is......she fell in love with this sheriff who helped transform her into a fine and accountable young woman.
- Jake Potter - Cal's best friend since childhood and his trusted deputy. We find out in this book that he is serious about dating Cal's little sister.
- Lane Bennett - one of Cal's younger siblings who gives Jenny her first taste of an honest friendship.
- Victoria and Harold Anderson - Jenny's mother and father. There's not much good to say here. Her father is a spineless man who allows his shrew of a wife to wreak havoc on everyone she knows, including their own daughter.
Setting: A small college town in the low country of North Carolina. Many families live nearby along the beautiful river.
Before I discuss anything else, I want to share the wonder and happiness I felt as I read Becoming Family. This 2nd book about the love story of Cal and Jenny broadens the sense of community in a very real way. In the previous book, Cal's Law, the relationship between these 2 people was grounded in the college/town setting, but the two were most often seen as an isolated couple from the others around them.
Cal was eager to help Jenny become a better student and a kinder and happier person. He was firm with his expectations and unbending with the consequences for irresponsible behavior. As for Jenny, despite her protests of his methods, the girl began to thrive and grow confident in her new roles as student and homemaker. Both Cal and Jenny were shy about making their fondness for each other known.
This second book follows the first with hardly a pause. Their love story is in full swing, but this time the reader sees the two in the company of family and friends. We learn Cal has brought up the subject of marriage. After he explains that Jenny needs to understand that the consequence of a spanking will be an integral part of their life together, he decides it is time to meet the parents.
Jenny is reluctant to visit his parents, and when Cal picks her up, she tries to tempt him sexually, hoping he will put off the meeting. Cal's words made me shiver with pleasure. "If you don't stop," he paused, a low growl filling the silence, "I'm going to pull over and blister your ass...." Oh, my....I thought. What I wouldn't give to have Sam say that!
While Cal's family treats Jenny with warmth, encouragement, and instant acceptance, Jenny's rich parents do not reciprocate. Her mother is a wicked crone who flat out tells Jenny that Cal is not a suitable match for her. Believe me, this encounter between mother and daughter is tame compared with the intense climax of this book. It is downright chilling.
My absolute favorite chapters in Becoming Family, are the ones that include Cassie and Tom and the whole extended family who live along the river. In Cal's Law, there was just a cameo appearance from my beloved Cassie. In this book the interchange between the characters is developed so much more. Cal and Jenny are welcomed to Cassie and Tom's house for a barbecue. There is a slower, almost pastoral tone to these passages, and Jenny hugs it to her heart.
In fact, Cassie plays a part in advancing the plot as she firmly advises Jenny not to let her mother ruin her life. But there is a tenderness that leads me to believe Jenny will win a place in Cassie's "family" just like Allie.
Characterization was very strong in this sequel. The spanking and sex were thoroughly graphic and well written. Just my humble opinion, but I believe PK becomes a better writer with each book. The scope of this book makes me feel safe in that even when Cassie's stories come to an end, there is a whole community of characters that will grow and love in this author's future stories.
Lucky for us -
Just a Little Bit More -
Was very pleased that I had the opportunity to interview Mr. and Mrs. Duff again! Thought y'all might enjoy the perspective as much as I did.
Tom says that he voted for Cal when he ran for sheriff and especially likes his "straightforwardness." Tom admires that Cal "sees his job as protection of the people he's been elected to serve.... that's the man I want as my sheriff."
Cassie was slightly prickly about how Cal "fusses at me" after he pulled her out of situations in which she landed herself using bad judgement. "And worse than that, he has no problem telling Tom, which usually leads to an uncomfortable encounter," she complains. Cassie admits, though, that Cal does his job well but says his greatest strength is, "Definitely his taste in women! Jenny is a doll."
Characterization - Ella says, "See wadda mean?"