Probably not real strong spoilers, but if you’re sensitive: here there may be spoilers.
I love Molly. So, Unexpected Gifts faced a similar challenge to Hugh’s New Dude, though at the time I didn’t realize anyone reading The Scientific Method expected Will and Hugh to actually hook up at the end. (Did I mention I’m aromantic? Yep. Never even occurred to me.) Had I known that, I might have stressed a bit more, so it’s good I didn’t.
The first draft of HND/UG was one long intertwined story, but it didn’t quite work. I liked the more-or-less parallel track of the two relationships, but the story ended up feeling poorly balanced, so I extracted them and tried it that way.
I wanted Moll to be a third wave feminist with a sense of humor. I wanted her to be vibrant and willing to try anything. And I wanted Will’s ladyfriend to be good.
What I didn’t want: perfect kink the first time. I wanted them to work for it a bit.
I hate the perfect kink thing I read sometimes, mostly because that doesn’t feel right. (It falls under the “fall and love and everything’s peachy” category of badly written books in my internal filing system.) I think two people can be well-matched, and still not share the perfect simultaneous orgasm–literal or metaphoric–every time.
Unexpected Gifts had to satisfy us that, in fact, Will could be with someone who didn’t already know about BDSM, who wasn’t confident enough to fuck with him, and make it work. TSM was about Will learning to use his words; UG had to show us he could.
And it had to do one more thing, echoing Hugh’s New Dude: we had to leave the book happy about Will and Molly, but totally invested in Will-and-the-boyfriends as well. (I think a few reviews have been like, “Hey, Molly’s okay, but come on…” Which: fair point.) Will’s efforts in his relationship with Moll are brilliant, but fucking hard, which makes it all the more delicious when Hugh goes in the other direction and takes him down without even asking.
What do you think? Did it take a while to warm up to Molly? And come on, Molly and Beccs call Lucy for advice? Oh, silly past me, thanks for adding in that little bit of open loop I’m gonna pick back up on for the next few years. (Yes, you read that right. JUST WAIT.)