We read and review for the love and joy of books.
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Dominic has been with Luke for 10 years and they have slipped into a space where passion seems to be gone, but neither want to say they might not want the same things anymore. Then Dominic meets Gabe at work, who has been in an open relationship for 4 years and seems to have all the passion of life that Dominic might be missing.
The story is told from Dominic’s point of view.
This was a very well written story, it comes across as a very realistic situation for a long term couple. It starts on New Year’s Eve of 1999, so the couple of Dominic and Luke have managed to be a couple through the high profile AIDS/HIV period and not only are they still a couple, they are still alive and clean. As wonderful as that is, is it enough to keep a relationship going after you’ve been together for 10 years? And that is what this book explores, somewhat, from Dominic’s point of view.
I have seen in a couple of other reviews that the synopsis did not really describe this book properly, and I would agree with that. I read it like one relationship had been going strong for 10 years but when the one long term person met someone who was in a relationship but wasn’t happy, the long term person decided to question his life. While that factors into the story, reading the book, the questioning was already there when Dominic met Gabe.
I will advise that while sexual cheating does not occur in this book, I would say that emotional cheating does and physical in the sense that the two main characters spend time together without their boyfriends knowing about it.
Normally, I am not a fan of stories with any kind of cheating, however, as you read further, there really are no bad guys in this story. Luke can be thoughtless in some ways, but when Dominic goes through a bout of depression, Luke is right there for him. For Gabe, the issue with his boyfriend is a codependence both of them have adopted – his boyfriend plays victim and Gabe accepts the guilt. That is why I say this book is very realistic in that the relationships are not unhealthy because of any kind of abuse or poor behavior, but one has gone for a long time because it is easy and one is ongoing because of dysfunctional emotional baggage.
Undoubtedly, Dominic and Gabe click when they first meet, but I did wonder if both Dominic and Luke had stopped trying to work on their relationship or just thought it should be easy after the amount of time they had been together and were not sure how to try when it now seemed like work. That, unfortunately, was not explored, although Dominic was able to appreciate Luke closer to the end of the book, but not enough to connect with him as a friend again, which I found a bit odd after spending 10 years with someone, but perhaps it was still too soon by the time the book finished.
As I have said, this is a well written book, and I would recommend it for readers who enjoy more realistic stories with a fair amount of drama, twists and turns – not a clear romantic journey!