Audiobook review: Alpha Heat by Leta Blake, narrated by Michael Ferraiuolo

audiobookreview

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Alpha-Heat-Audiobook/B07JFPNMPT?ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_2&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=8YC23T2BAR602CEFTRZK&

 

Blurb
A desperate young alpha. An older alpha with a hero complex. A forbidden love that can’t be denied.

Young Xan Heelies knows he can never have what he truly wants: a passionate romance and happy-ever-after with another alpha. It’s not only forbidden by the prevailing faith of the land, but such acts are illegal.

Urho Chase is a middle-aged alpha with a heartbreaking past. Careful, controlled, and steadfast, his friends dub him old-fashioned and staid. When Urho discovers a dangerous side to Xan’s life that he never imagined, his world is rocked and he’s consumed by desire. The carefully sewn seams that held him together after the loss of his omega and son come apart—and so does he.

But to love each other and make a life together, Xan and Urho risk utter ruin. With the acceptance and support of Caleb, Xan’s asexual and aromantic omega and dear friend, they must find the strength to embrace danger and build the family they deserve.

Review

Story:
I fell completely in love with Xan and Urho, who are both amazing, complex characters.
Xan is so filled with self-loathing and he has completely given up hope on ever being happy or deserving of happiness even. It was heartrending to read. I wasn’t prepared to feel such depth of emotion for a fictional character, but only a rock would fail to be moved by Xan’s troubles.

Urho was a perfect match for Xan.
I loved their connection and Urho’s acceptance and understanding of who Xan truly is. The first moments where Urho gets a glimpse of Xan’s true self, and his struggle to accept his own reaction to that truth were so intense! Loved that.

At first glance, Urho appears to be quite conservative and rigid in his thinking, but he bends and even breaks the rules when he needs to in order to be able to help others. He’s modest and brave and oh…be still, my beating heart! Just such a lovable, strong & silent type hero.
Xan throws Urho for a loop, because he doesn’t fit their society’s established gender roles and so Urho is required to rethink some of his long-held beliefs.

I was a bit apprehensive about how Caleb would fit in. But I needn’t have worried. He’s such an extraordinary individual. The bond between Xan, Urho and Caleb is not a romantic one, but it is a deeply loving one, just the same. They’re a family unit. The author totally makes it work.

This book also stands out to me because of the astonishing amount of detail that went into the world-building. The author raises some fascinating points about gender identity, sexual orientation and the danger of entwining politics and religion. There’s also a great set of secondary characters that surround the MC’s, friends we know already from Slow Heat as well as new characters that I hope to see again in future books.

Narration:
Michael Ferraiuolo is a brilliant performer. Simple as that. How he manages to do so many different voices and match them so perfectly to the characters, I’ll never understand. I’m so glad that he did this sequel to Slow Heat as well, because it was absolutely wonderful to hear Jason and Vale’s voices again too. I must confess that I’m something of a Xan and Urho fangirl and I was so excited and curious to hear their story in audio! It was everything I hoped for and more.
I loved hearing Michael Ferraiuolo’s interpretation of their voices and interactions. The nuance and emotion which he brought to these fictional characters took the entire book to a whole new level.
And it was already pretty amazing. I’m awestruck.

Number of stars out of 5: 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

 

Recent Review : Honeymoon for One by Keira Andrews

Good Reads Link
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41823691-honeymoon-for-one?from_search=true

Blurb

The wedding is off, but the love story is just beginning.

Betrayed the night before his wedding by the supposed boy of his dreams, Ethan Robinson escapes the devastating fallout by going on his honeymoon alone to the other side of the world. Hard of hearing and still struggling with the repercussions of being late-deafened, traveling by himself leaves him feeling painfully isolated with his raw, broken heart.

Clay Kelly never expected to be starting life over in his forties. He got hitched young, but now his wife has divorced him and remarried, his kids are grown, and he’s left his rural Outback town. In a new career driving a tour bus on Australia’s East Coast, Clay reckons he’s happy enough. He enjoys his cricket, a few beers, and a quiet life. If he’s a bit lonely, it’s not the end of the world.

Clay befriends Ethan, hoping he can cheer up the sad-eyed young man, and a crush on an unattainable straight guy is exactly the safe distraction Ethan needs. Yet as the days pass and their connection grows, long-repressed desires surface in Clay, and they are shocked to discover romance sparking. Clay is the sexy, rugged man of Ethan’s dreams, and as the clock counts down on their time together, neither wants this honeymoon to end.

Honeymoon for One is a gay romance by Keira Andrews featuring a May-December age difference, a slow burn of newfound friends to lovers, first-time m/m sex, and of course a happy ending.

Review

When I read the blurb I thought – ugh – I really don’t like jilted stories or rebound stories or holiday romances… but I love Keira Andrews and so I had to give it a go. Well, as always, she does not disappoint!

The emphasis on this is not the rebound but the realization of feelings that Clay has been hiding from himself for years. Sure, he’s a little older, they’re from different CONTINENTS and he’s on the rebound – but of course – it’s all gonna work out in the end! (LOL)

These guys do find a way to make it work that seems plausible – but really – in the end – it’s their journey that is so ooey gooey delectable. They talk, they aren’t afraid to emote and they have some pretty steamy smexy times!

Luckily the family thing isn’t an issue and beyond all the major hurdles we already know about, the author didn’t throw in more to be OTT.

This was a really lovely story that I recommend to fans of the author, fans of Australia, fans of May/December romance and fans of OFY/GFY romance.

5 of 5 stars

Copy Purchased for Review

Release Day: Trex or Treat by Tara Lain

release day review

Dreamspinner Press
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/trex-or-treat-by-tara-lain-9979-b

Blurb

Josh Harris is all dad all the time. A busy college professor and devoted single father, Josh tries to be happy with only his son for company. But then Bradley “Trex” Trexler moves in across the street with his stepbrother, Bogo, and takes advantage of their empty home, making it into a haunted house for Halloween.

 

 

Review
This is a short, cute Halloween story and it’s really entertaining.
Tara Lain is great giving us interesting characters that you can get involved with really quickly, which is obviously a bonus in a short story.
Josh reads as a great parent in need of some companionship and Ernie is the most adorable and energised boy. The attraction between Josh and Trex shines through and it’s an enjoyable read. I love how involved both men are with their boys but also take the time to be with each other. I found this to be an enjoyable little story that was quick to consume but also touched the heart.
I definitely recommend this quick, Halloween romance. Always a winner with a Tara Lain story!

Number of stars out of 5
4


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Recent Release: Ginger and the Wolf by Kerry McBoyd

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41079400-ginger-and-the-wolf?from_search=true

Blurb

Mark Cross is a junior in college working to pay his way through college while forgetting his troubles by partying and hooking up. He meets Scott and finds himself falling head over heels for a wealthy man who couldn’t be any further from his rural background. The mutual attraction is instant, but Mark, unwilling to put himself in a position where his heart is on the line, finds ways to bring up their upper-crust/working-class differences to torpedo their budding romance.

Scott Nolan feels old, even though he’s just thirty-four. Meeting Mark reinvigorates him and gives him a new sense of purpose. After a series of men who were only interested in his wealth and family background, he finally meets a man who doesn’t care about the family he comes from—in fact, Mark seems ready to blow everything up because he thinks they could never overcome their class differences. Scott must fight to show Mark that he doesn’t care about who has how much money, and what matters above all is that they could build something more together outside the bedroom.

Review

This book was … unsatisfying. There was a lot of sex and maybe this is simply a case where “erotica” is a better title than “romance” and that’s what the target audience should expect. But for me – I was wanting a bit more relationship development than I got.

The title caught my eye – but even in the blurb you can see that this is NOT a paranormal story and really I have no idea why the title is the title. Neither the color of Mark’s hair nor is there any real “wolfiness” in Scott take center stage thus making the title apropos.

I’m not a big fan of erotica for erotica sake – don’t get me wrong – I love me some hot smexy times – but this just didn’t go far enough into romance land to appeal to me. The sex was a bit much and didn’t have the corresponding feelz to balance it out. IMHO.

As others have noted before – the lack of condoms really didn’t fit nor feel appropriate and I think that alone lands this out of the “romance” column and into “porn/erotica”.

This wasn’t my cup of tea – but I could see some glimpses of potential – so I wouldn’t avoid this author in the future.

2.5 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Recent Release: Honeymoon For One by Keira Andrews

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41823691-honeymoon-for-one?from_search=true

Blurb

The wedding is off, but the love story is just beginning.

Betrayed the night before his wedding by the supposed boy of his dreams, Ethan Robinson escapes the devastating fallout by going on his honeymoon alone to the other side of the world. Hard of hearing and still struggling with the repercussions of being late-deafened, traveling by himself leaves him feeling painfully isolated with his raw, broken heart.

Clay Kelly never expected to be starting life over in his forties. He got hitched young, but now his wife has divorced him and remarried, his kids are grown, and he’s left his rural Outback town. In a new career driving a tour bus on Australia’s East Coast, Clay reckons he’s happy enough. He enjoys his cricket, a few beers, and a quiet life. If he’s a bit lonely, it’s not the end of the world.

Clay befriends Ethan, hoping he can cheer up the sad-eyed young man, and a crush on an unattainable straight guy is exactly the safe distraction Ethan needs. Yet as the days pass and their connection grows, long-repressed desires surface in Clay, and they are shocked to discover romance sparking. Clay is the sexy, rugged man of Ethan’s dreams, and as the clock counts down on their time together, neither wants this honeymoon to end.

Review

From the moment we are first introduced to Ethan as he is heading home on a New York train on the eve of his wedding, I was pulled in by his vulnerability. Hard of hearing and trying to cope in the noisy city environment, showed me in the first few pages here was a man that had faced personal heartbreaks and was doing his best to overcome them. But when he arrives home everything blows up in his face, the wedding is cancelled and he decideds to take the honeymoon trip alone.

As someone who grew up in the 80’s, on a screen diet of Neighbours and Crocodile Dundee (its still my husbands all time favourite film) Clay Kelly hit every one of my teenage nostalgia buttons. His Aussie slang made me laugh out loud more than once as did his love of cricket (which personally I find only second to golf in the boring sports stakes) and I thoroughly enjoyed reading the emotional, self-realization journey he took.

This book is a sweet, slow burn romance of two characters who take the time to get to know each other rather than insta-love, insta-sex of some stories. We, the reader also get time to understand how the characters think and how their life experiences have defined them into the men they are now. Both these men are truly likable and had me rooting for them (snigger) right from the start.

This book has in my mind all the elements that a good story should, allowing me to both laugh and cry over the tale as it unfolded.

4.5 stars out of 5

Copy Purchased for Review

 

 

Audiobook: My Fair Captain by J.L. Langley narrated by Joseph Morton

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/my-fair-captain-by-jl-langley-9628-b

Blurb: When Intergalactic Navy Captain Nathaniel Hawkins goes undercover to investigate the theft of an IN weapons stash, the mission raises painful memories from his past. Using a title he fled nearly two decades earlier, Nate once again becomes the Earl of Deverell, heir to the Duke of Hawthorne, in order to navigate the ins and outs of a Regency world. But planet Regelence—where young lords are supposed to remain pure until marriage—has a few surprises for Nate, not least of which is his attraction to Prince Aiden.

A talented artist, Prince Aiden Townsend isn’t interested in politics and the machinations of society gentlemen, and he adamantly rejects the idea of marriage and a consort. Aiden wants the freedom to pursue his art and determine his own future. But the arrival of the dashing and mysterious Deverell awakens feelings of passion and longing the young prince can’t deny.

As Nate uncovers a conspiracy reaching far beyond the stolen weapons, his future is irrevocably altered by the temptations of a life he never thought he could have. Drawn into the web of intrigue, Aiden is in danger of losing his life… and his heart.

Review:

Book reviewed previously: https://openskyebookreviews.com/release-day-review-my-fair-captain-by-j-l-langley/

Joseph Morton (new to me), had a nice voice. He didn’t attempt to ‘act’ out the different characters. Unfortunately, it also made the narration rather emotionless (to me); any emotion portrayed by the characters was delivered in the same (mono)tone.
Ovearll, the narration was okay – it was more reading, (which isn’t bad), than performance, but I liked it enough to get through the book. I will likely listen to the narrator again.

3 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Retro Read: See The Light Audiobook by Cassandra Carr Narrated by Jason Hilton

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17366214-see-the-light

Blurb:
Hockey player Jason Monroe lives a double life—star defenseman and soon-to-be Olympian on the ice and closeted gay man outside the rink. A serious relationship is out of the question, and Jason makes do with anonymous sex in barroom bathrooms, not willing to take the chance on coming out as gay in a decidedly macho sport.

Advisor to the US Olympic hockey team Patrick Parker knows a thing or two about being a professional hockey player who’s not out. He’s fifteen years older than Jason, and when he senses the sexy younger man is interested, he knows he shouldn’t give in to the attraction.

The two men can’t keep their hands off each other, though, and with each heated encounter it gets harder to hide their relationship. When their world blows up around them, forcing them into the limelight, though, will their love survive or be put on ice?

Review:

Wowee was this a sexy read. Jason “knows” he’s gay but has done very little to act upon this knowledge. He’s visited some clubs but never had a relationship and never really had the “full sexual experience” as he defines it (penetrative) and doesn’t know that he wants it. He’s a hockey player first and foremost and though he accepts that he likes men more than women, he’s not quite sure he’s comfortable identifying as a “gay man”, and he isn’t out to anyone.

Patrick is the opposite. He’s older. He’s had relationships. Though he still isn’t out professionally, he’s out to his friends and family. His interest in Jason at first is strictly professional, but when Jason begins acting peculiarly around him, he begins to have his suspicions. When he bravely acts on these suspicions he’s richly rewarded and the couple begins a deeply closeted affair, consisting of stolen moments over the course of months. They don’t even live in the same state, they have busy schedules and it is hard for them to be together.

The benefit of this is that Patrick can’t rush Jason or push him to doing anything that makes Jason uncomfortable and this helps ease Jason into accepting his sexuality more.
I thought the dialog between the guys felt very natural and masculine. Neither guy was overly “in touch with his feelings” much and so the natural hurdles that would exist between two recalcitrant males felt organic.

When the couple is in close contact during the Olympics things really begin to heat up. There is an uncomfortable moment when a homophobic slur is made that stops play during a game and Jason has a crisis of conscience about continuing his “straight” charade when others have to face discrimination without support. Patrick leaves the decision up to Jason on how much to reveal, advising that times might be changing, but there are never any guarantees.

Finally, an accident forces the couple to show their hands and they have to face the media, their team, and their family, and (especially hard for Jason) – themselves.
**
All in all, the story was really very well written. The slow movements toward couple-hood felt natural and well-paced. The sex was super hot and the emotions were real and fulfilling. I thought the hurdles were realistic and tackled in a way that seemed authentic.
The narrator did an excellent job. He has a very deep voice that really seemed to fit both Alpha Males and I really enjoyed his narration of their bantering dialog especially.
I hadn’t read the author or listened to the narrator before, but I will now be on the lookout! I highly recommend both the story and the audiobook and give both 4.5 of 5 stars.
Overall Impression:

4.5 of 5 stars

Copy Purchased for Review

Time to get paranormal: Slow Heat Audiobook by Leta Blake, Narrated by Michael Ferraiuolo

Audible link

https://www.audible.com/search?keywords=slow+heat+leta+blake&ref=a_pd_Love-Y_t1_header_search

Blurb:

Professor Vale Aman is an unbonded omega in his mid-30s who lost the hope of contracting with an Alpha. He’s content with his career, his poetry, his cat, and his small group of friends. When Jason Sabel imprints on Vale strong emotions and a deep sexual need to be together threatens to bring both men to ruin if they do not contract legally before consummating their bonding. Jason being such a young Alpha, with a much older Omega might just tear them apart.

Contracting with Jason also means Vale has to give up his independence trusting a young inexperienced alpha, not to mention facing the physical and emotional scars of his past. While Vale is not sure if giving up his comfortable life is worth it, Jason will not give up is fated mate and the future he knows they could share together.

Review

I have always avoided Omegeverse books, and MPREG has never been my thing, I felt like it’s never explained properly in many of them. But, as a Leta Blake book and the number of good reviews and recommendations this book gets I knew I had to read it. Leta has an amazing talent to write fantastic stories, heartbreaking, beautiful and gut twisting. This book was all these and more, and I am so happy to have read it at last. First, I want to say what an incredible world Leta created, the dynamic between characters, classes and Alpha-Omega-Beta is interesting and even though this is such an over explored genre, this book feels unique. It did take me a bit to get into the story, at first I was getting my bearings, but as soon as I did I was hooked and could not put it down! This book twisted me up and was so emotional, I felt deeply for each character.

The narration was superb, done with a sensitive touch and expert emotional timing, Michael Ferraiuolo lead me through the story like a sheep after its shepherd. He put the right emphasis on every note, tone and breath and brought life to the wonder that is this book. I have listened to another book narrated by him (Annabeth Albert’s On Point) and his narration was as moving and thrilling there as it was here. He has a wonderful way of capturing you and really delivering the atmosphere of the story. Knowing this book is as good as it is I would still not skip the pleasure of listening to the audio version.

Leta created amazing relationships between all the characters, and set them into a complex situation both dangerous and exhilarating. Jason and Xander have an amazing bond that is just wonderful to read, despite and painful decisions they had to make and endure. Discovering Vale Is Jason’s Erosgape is a shocking twist of fate and they both need to learn how to live this new, unexpected turn in their future. Jason is staggering to understand and adapt to the new role he now needs to fill as an Alpha to an Erosgape’, and it’s not a smooth transition.

I admired the way Leta wrote Jason’s transitioning from careless young man to bonded Alpha. This book embodies the struggle between the instinctual, animalistic, biological side of a person and the human, civilized side. And, unlike many shifter and Omegaverse stories there is not clean black and white, before and after split. Jason has all these new overwhelming instincts and urges, but he cannot turn off the person he was up to the point he met vale. That part with Xander, moved me to tears, it was intense, and so very realistically emotional. Xander is the one character that touched me the most. He is, without a doubt, the most miserable, sweet, twisted character I had the pleasure of reading and his part in this story was one of the best in my opinion.
I also loved Jason’s parents, and his Pater in particular, his story was so heartbreaking and really emphasized the difficult reality of their lives. Vale, too is such an interesting character, struggling to be independent in a culture that does everything to deprive him of said independence.

I enjoyed the laws and proceedings Leta created in this world when dealing with a possibility of bonding, both contracted and Erosgape’. It made the world real and gave it a cruel edge that I find so engaging in Leta’s writing. In this very fantastical setting, a make-believe reality that seems so far from our own there is an unmistakable thread of humanity and real, painful struggles. This is the undeniable reason for my complete infatuation with this book, these wonderful characters, this world that is both beautiful as it is ugly.

Number of stars out of 5
6 stars

 

Copy Purchased for Review

 

 

Recent Review: Rocked Hard by Morticia Knight

Pride Publishing Presents

https://www.pride-publishing.com/book/rocked-hard

Blurb

Can the touch of a rock god last forever?

Legendary alt rock singer, Aubrey King, is making a comeback after many years out of the spotlight. Rumors of his sexuality have always dogged him, and while he’s never come out publicly, his reasons for leaving the industry had nothing to do with his fear of discovery. What matters to him is the music. That’s his truth, and so far, his only real love. He aches to find someone to share his life with, but his propensity to fall fast and hard—along with chasing men he knows can never be his—has left him all alone.

Rock journalist Bryan Gallagher was first turned on to rock music at the age of twelve when he became obsessed with Aubrey’s band, Falling in Stereo. His friends, and even girlfriends, would sometimes tease him that he was hot for Aubrey. But it was all about the music and nothing else—at least that’s what he’s always told himself. When he’s approached about helping Aubrey write his memoir, it’s not only a dream assignment, but an exciting opportunity to work closely with his idol.

When Bryan meets Aubrey, the electric heat between them is unnerving. He’s further confused by how intense Aubrey’s attraction toward him is and how deeply they connect over their shared obsession of music. While Bryan struggles with uncertainty regarding his own sexuality, he also has to navigate through the perils of working with a lover and keeping their relationship a secret.

But Bryan’s biggest struggle of all might be determining whether declarations of true love from a rock star can ever be trusted.

Review by Xanthe
What a great story! I fully enjoyed the characters and the story line of this book from Morticia Knight.
Aubrey King is our rocker looking to make a comeback and has taken on Bryan Gallagher, rock journalist, to write his memoirs. Aubrey has always known he’s gay but the Rock and Roll life that he used to live never allowed him to be open as to who he truly was and he has never had anyone worth coming out for
Bryan, unlucky in love is about to meet and write for his inspiration for writing about the rock world. He’s been a fan since he was a boy and this is his ultimate dream come true. Though things take a turn he wasn’t expecting with some flirtation coming from Aubrey. Having never been attracted to a man before Bryan’s not quite sure how to handle things.
Moving forward with the project, both men become much more than they could have ever expected and big decisions have to be made for both of them.
This, for me, was an absorbing read. Constantly wanting to know how things are developing with both the MC’s and the life that they are moving towards. Aubrey’s lifestyle and person is a bit different to what Bryan was obviously expecting and I love when a character is sent off kilter in that way. Exploration between the two moves quickly and is hot(!) though Aubrey is very keen to point out that any and everything is going to go at the pace that Bryan wants, refusing to hurt or push him in any way. Bryan takes his time with thinking about the changes cropping up in his life since meeting Aubrey, even his interactions with others become interesting.
My only niggle with this book is the speed at which things happen in the beginning. I understand instant attraction and getting to know each other but for someone who has never experienced it with another man, it didn’t really ring true. However, Aubrey is such a lovable guy you can’t help but fall for him and how he expresses his feelings. Both he and Bryan bring out some of the best lines about the other man, just making you awwwww at them both.
There’s quite a bit of drama separate to but also impacting their relationship. It’s interesting to read how both men want to deal with things and the resulting changes it has on both of them.
I love some of the secondary characters we have – Rudy, tour manager and Jimmy, bassist, are the two guys to be truly relied upon, and Ed the man you love to hate. Bryan’s mother is adorable and I would have loved to have gotten more interaction with her and both men.
I’d definitely recommend this book!

Number of stars out of 5
5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Review by Sorel

I’m not quite sure what it was about this book, but it didn’t seem realistic enough to me and instead of feeling pulled into the story, I felt like quite detached from it.

Both Aubrey and Bryan were likeable enough characters, but from the very first meeting the whole relationship felt slightly off, even false. Maybe it is because I am not a big fan of insta-love and this was very, very instant.

As a character Bryan came across as very grounded and down to earth, but way too excepting of his attraction and very fast relationship with Aubrey. From never showing any interest in a man, to jumping into bed with one within a couple of days of their initial meeting, just doesn’t ring true.

As for Aubrey himself, at times I found his childlike quality towards love and commitment far too sugary and implausible. Even with the explanation we were given, the insecurities he displayed seemed more like a teenager than a rock star of 42 and had me pausing in annoyance on more than one occasion.

Overall, it was an easy, readable book, but it just didn’t grasp my attention like a good book should.

3 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

Recent Release: Any Given Lifetime by Leta Blake

 

Good Reads Link:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41733251-any-given-lifetime?from_search=true

 

Blurb

Neil isn’t a ghost, but he feels like one. Reincarnated with all his memories from his prior life, he spent twenty years trapped in a child’s body, wanting nothing more than to grow up and reclaim the love of his life.
As an adult, Neil finds there’s more than lost time separating them. Joshua has built a beautiful life since Neil’s death, and how exactly is Neil supposed to introduce himself? As Joshua’s long-dead lover in a new body? Heartbroken and hopeless, Neil takes refuge in his work, developing microscopic robots called nanites that can produce medical miracles.
When Joshua meets a young scientist working on a medical project, his soul senses something his rational mind can’t believe. Has Neil truly come back to him after twenty years? And if the impossible is real, can they be together at long last?

 

Review by Karen

One of the most original love stories I’ve ever read! A great twist on the popular May/December trope and an incredibly unique second chance at love story. It nearly broke my heart, but luckily the author stitched it back together!

 

Leta Blake has an incredible gift with words and shows true excellence in weaving together Neil and Joshua’s almost epic tale. The emotions in this story soar to great heights, but there is also a lot of sadness and loss to overcome. And it’s all written in such a beautiful and moving way, as if she’s writing on our hearts instead of on the pages of the book.

I don’t think anyone could read this story and not feel touched by it.  

I love the way she uses dreams and their symbolism to help the characters deal with everything that happens, and also gives them a way to connect with each other when that doesn’t seem possible in real life.

Neil is a strange and complex character, in both his lifetimes. He doesn’t make friends easily, so I was glad to see him form a friendship with Derek. Neil’s so intense and focused, so dedicated to his research, and to Joshua’s happiness. Absolutely amazing guy. I was so impatient for him to grow up so he could finally reconnect with Joshua. But the author knew better than to rush that, and she builds up the tension and emotion very skillfully.

Joshua has built a life for himself, though he never really stopped loving Neil or grieving for him.

I loved how the author gave him a way to be (mostly) happy during the years it takes Neil to grow up, again. A bittersweet interlude, that afterwards connects with Neil in the most wonderful way. Can’t say more about that, but absolutely loved it.

Alice, Neil’s “second” mother, is amazing. She loves her little boy with all her heart, knowing and accepting who he truly is, however far-fetched it must have seemed. She struck me as really special and precious, and I was glad to be given a glimpse of her HEA as well. I simply adored that we got scenes from her perspective too.

This is a truly extraordinary love story.

Number of stars out of 5: 5

 

 


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Review by Neta

I was ready for some heart ache reading when I started this book, but like any other Leta Novel I read to date I was grossly unprepared for the emotional weight of it.
Neil and Joshua’s story is a heart wrenching tale of humanity and love, and I was overcome with emotions about life in general while reading.
First, you start out with Joshua in pain after losing Neil, missing out so many things they never did together because of fear. And the way he slowly built his life, picked himself up and met Lee a few years after that was awe-inspiring. I loved how Leta wrote his emotions, his love for both men, how their lives were interwoven and connected through Neil and because of his death, or should I say his life. This book really got me thinking ABOUT life and what the near future might hold for me and my loved ones, because it dealt with all that in Joshua’s life. Also, through the advancement of the nanite technology in the years 2019-2032 (the future of our present-day the book takes place in) Leta also talks about how technology evolved in our lives. Some of it is amazing and saves lives, other parts of it are too rushed and end up doing more bad then good, or changing how we live irrevocably. It is a very relevant topic in our time today, I think, and I liked that this book, despite it being a Romance, managed to enfold so many real emotions and feeling/fears readers face now or might face in the future.

The non-linear timelines are interesting, and really emphasized the convoluted nature of their lives, of Neil’s very existence. They show glimpses into the past and expose the nature of the characters, not just details from their past.

Second, the reincarnation theme has been written about, and the concept of finding yourself stuck in a too-young body is often referred in a humoristic way in books and film. Not here, Leta brought the truest- most painful depiction of a reincarnated reality in Neil. Having been born with the full knowledge and most of his memories he is in a constant state of loss and longing for the Joshua. And his mother, god bless her soul, is such a wonderful character, a true image of motherhood and limitless love. Neither one asked to be in this situation, her expecting her dead boyfriend’s baby, and Neil to simply die and not be stuck in a child’s body, desperate to grow and meet Joshua again. It was such a twisted way to live, and you can’t help but want them to be together while liking Lee and Joshua as a couple too. And they are also surrounded by mazing friends, Derek and Chris who are accepting and supporting through thick and thin.

When Neil, now aged 20 again, and Joshua meet for the first time in this lifetime, it is an explosive, erotic expression of love and longing. They ARE meant to be together, and the strength of their love is incredible. Especially as Joshua keeps talking about Neil’s faults when he remembers him, Neil is not an ideal, a sweetened memory made better by time. He is as much alive in Joshua’s heart as he is in the future Neil’s soul.

This book is about life, in all its forms, and love, of the purest kind. It deals with humanity, is about setting up your goals in life, about the journey as much as the ending. About taking chances, knowing what you need and want, and I found myself grateful for friends and family, thinking about the years to come while reading. Only Leta can take you through such a journey while you read about two men in love longing to be together. I kinda wanted to re-read it straight away, but my heart needs some room to expand before I can do that again. An amazing book by an author I admire, go read it if you like May/December, Second Chance and are just plain looking for a book unlike any other. You won’t be disappointed.

 

5 magnificent stars.


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review