As it often does, the bad news comes in the middle of the night.
When attorney Ben Winters’s close friend takes a bad spill and ends up in the hospital, he flies across the country to be there for her. His instant attraction to her brother takes him by surprise. Wanting Zack Anderson is easy; actually having him is a bad idea. While the two connect over concern for Zack’s sister, there are many reasons to fight the attraction brewing between them. Things heat up as Ben’s friend begins to show improvement, but the reasons not to get involved with the younger man remain the same—long distance relationships never work, and Ben doesn’t do one-night stands. But there’s one powerful reason to give in: Ben has never wanted anyone more.
As I go along reading these short stories, well, when they turn out to not be great, I try to remind myself that they’re short and that’s probably the reason. And then I come across stories like Don’t Wanna Lose Your Love. If I could, this story would get 10 stars. It had everything! Wonderful main characters, quirky secondary character, the urgency of only having a short time together, a May/December romance, and true love. All in a nice, tight little package.
And what’s better than that? 5 stars!
Sometimes letting go of an obsession leads to something better instead.
A twenty-five-year high school reunion is Conrad’s chance to finally come face-to-face with his unrequited love, Todd. Instead, he discovers he himself was an unrequited love for Gary, his friend from the chess club. When the two return to their old gym locker room, long-lost friends at last become found loves. As for Todd, well, let’s just say that karma can be quite the bitch.
Okay, so I don’t have a lot to say about this story. It’s simple. Man goes to 25 year reunion with the thought of seeing his secret crush again, only to find there’s someone so much better. Great premise. The problem was, the lead character consistently sounded like a twenty year old boy, not a 40-something man. It took a lot away from the story for me. I liked who he ended up with, but his love attraction/interest came across as juvenile as well.
On the train from Lancaster to Philadelphia, Trent runs into Brit, his first love and the first man to break his heart. They’ve both been through a lot in the years since they parted ways, and as they talk, the old connection tenuously strengthens. Trent finally works up the nerve to call Brit, and their rekindled friendship slowly grows into the possibility for more. But both men are shadowed by their pasts as they explore the path they didn’t take the first time. If they can move beyond loss and painful memories, they might find their road leads to a second chance at happiness.
Okay, I completely expected to enjoy the story before I even began. After all, this is Andrew Grey we’re talking about. And he more than met my expectations. Both Trent and Brit are in their early forties. Trent’s life partner has been dead for a few years and Brit had one failed het marriage and a majorly failed gay relationship. More than a little gunshy, they push forward in getting to know one another again.
One of the things I really like about Grey’s books is they are completely relatable to anyone. While I wish I was Trent, I’m probably more the Brit side of things and watching as the two of them inched forward, broke apart and then inched forward again was amazing.
Once again, Andrew Grey has hit it out of the ballpark. 5 stars all the way.
When a stranger runs into Douglas, makes him spill his coffee, and offers to buy him another one, Douglas thinks that’s all it will be. Even though the man is gorgeous. Even though his daughter has other plans. Turns out, the stranger, Anthony, has other plans as well, and Douglas soon agrees to go to a movie with Anthony. It’s absolutely not a date. Douglas has slept with men, sure, but he isn’t gay. Or bisexual. No matter what Anthony says.
However, a late night and a frank conversation with his daughter’s best friend leaves Douglas with a different opinion. Not that he plans on letting Anthony know he considers it a date. It’s too much fun to wind Anthony up. After one not-so-perfect date, Douglas thinks maybe if he keeps Anthony around, turning fifty won’t be so bad.
This is one of those stories that was cute but didn’t quite work for me, but I hope Ms. McCormick will write out a fuller story, because it felt like it went awful fast – not the story, but the romance between the two lead characters. I liked both of the leads and Douglas’s daughter and her friend Steve was a nice touch. It felt like a much better story was paired down into a bathroom reader version. Needed to understand the characters better to ‘feel’ how they felt.
3 stars…hoping for more.
Christopher Morin is unlucky in love. The only male worth anything in his life is his sweet dog Frost. Christopher is devastated when, shortly after his breakup with the worst boyfriend ever, his dog vanishes without a trace.
Doyle Schilbrack was lucky at love, until his wonderful partner of many years passed away, leaving Doyle lost and lonely. The solution? He adopts a sad little abandoned dog, a dog he names Jack. Together, man and dog come back to life.
Then one day, a year later, Christopher encounters Doyle in a park—walking his dog! Now the two men are faced with a dilemma. They want to do what is best for their dog, but it will break their hearts to let him go.
But then a rambunctious white Pomeranian takes matters in his own paws. There might be a way for both men to keep the dog, and find something else that’s been missing from their lives.
Okay, so here’s another story where I struggled with the rating. 3 or 4 stars? I enjoyed the story. Again, it was simple, and I had a hard time getting into the characters heads, even though the story was from both points of view. What made me go for 3 rather than 4 stars was the incessant repetition of a few words. While Christopher had him, the dog’s name was Frost. While Doyle had him, his name was Jack. Now that the dog has both of them, what do they call/refer to him as? At first it was cute, when the narrative would trip over the name of Jack or Frost. But after what felt like the fiftieth time, it began to pull me out of the story each and every time. It took forever before they started calling him Jack Frost. Add to that the fact the word ‘lover’ was overused within about a page so many times I wanted to slam my head against something. Those kinds of things made me lose the storyline.
So, unfortunately 3 stars.
At forty-five, Jared Tailler suddenly feels old. When his employer grounds him, he starts thinking in terms of measuring his coffin. Well, not quite, but he’s creakier and hairier than he was ten years ago, and his closest relationship is the one he has with his frequent-flyer card.
It’s time to get out there.
On the first day of a five-day hiking trip, he meets Finley Macrae, a younger, seemingly brighter man. As they inch together in halting steps, Jared learns he’s not the only one lost out in the blue—Fin’s good cheer hides a turbulence deeper than Jared’s midlife crisis. Maybe together they can find the trail to happiness.
Out In the Blue was a nice story. Jared’s having major life issues. His company wants to put him out to pasture – or at least that’s how he sees it. He also has kept himself separated from people his entire life, so connecting with another isn’t easy. 5 years on from breaking up with the only man he ever loved, he suffers from intense panic attacks. Fin, who lost his lover a year ago, embraces life, and yet this is the first time he’s truly gone out to show interest in another man since his boyfriend died.
This is a really nice tale, because even though the story happens over about 5 days, it isn’t rushed. They don’t rush their physical relationship and in turn, they develop a truly nice friendship.
Where will it go? Well, over baseball and football games, I’ll hope that Jared continues to open up and that he and Fin, even if they don’t end up ‘together’ will at least remain friends. They’re good for one another.
Definite 4 stars 🙂
COMMENT BELOW WITH YOUR CHOICE FROM ONE OF THE TITLES LISTED!!