Always Saying Goodbye by Hollis Shiloh ~ Review by Marc

I received an advanced copy of this short story for an honest review from Netgalley. I had no idea what to expect and was positively surprised by a well-written and realistic historical. I loved the flawed characters and the way that their journey didn’t seem forced. So often problems are created where none are  to artificially create drama between 2 MC, but here the relationship problems seem very organic and understandable. Definitively recommend you guys to pick up and read a copy, when it is released in ten days 😉

Always Saying Goodbye

The facts: This 11,000 word short story will be released by LT3P on January 15, 2013.

From the publisher:

Tired of a life of secrecy with a lover who only seems to want him for the sex, Jeremy opts for a whole new life: new country, new job, and perhaps even a chance to date a beautiful woman he could someday marry. It’s           exactly what he needs, despite Gavin’s last-ditch efforts to convince him to stay, and definitely for the best that they’ll never see each other again …

preorder it at LT3P to get it one day early 😉 https://www.lessthanthreepress.com/books/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=552

The cover & the title: The cover is nice, but din’t really draw me in as others have. It goes well with the new country being mentioned in the blurb, leaving for a new life. It is more effective through the fitting title that implies that they have to say goodbye to each other again and again and even more so after one realizes their jobs. I’m not really sure if it would have hooked me without the blurb, but together they did intrigue me enough to request a copy of this book, so that’s definitively on the plus side 🙂 Personally though, I’m more a fan of covers like the author’s “Songs By Heart” cover. That one is truly beautiful 😉

The story: So I really didn’t know what to expect. The blurb brings you to the beginning of the story, as the MC has found a girl he might fall in love with, a new job opportunity and the chance to cut ties with the ex who seems too have used him for easy access to sex. I loved that he is a real bisexual character. Amazingly, it is really, really rare to find a character like that in the genre, at least in my opinion. Mostly when MCs have girlfriends in some part of a story, it is because they hide who they truly are and become miserable. I loved that the MC is unhappy with his boyfriend and actually feels loved and appreciated by the daughter of his new boss. He doesn’t try to begin something with her, because he is scared of his sexuality, but because he is tired of quick blowjobs during commercial breaks of games and wants and needs more. He accepts that he can appreciate both genders and knows how he wants to be treated.

Not that he doesn’t run away, it’s just for different reasons. It’s never easy to put your heart on the line, especially if you think you are the only one risking their heart being crushed. Pride and miscommunication get in the way of these guys, but not the kind of miscommunication where you scream the the book character to just tell the truth and talk about it, because watching a relationship break for nothing is sad. For me the reasons why there were problems seemed understandable and realistic and the way the time jump allowed me to see what happened to them after years of living with the consequences of their choices was really great.

I haven’t read anything from this author before, but I’m going to have to change that ASAP 🙂

 

*~*~*

Excerpt: Always Saying Goodbye

England, 1979

“He can’t keep your last cheque from you,” said Iris, holding her knife and fork poised in elegant hands.

“Well, he won’t send it.” Jeremy remembered to use his napkin. He and Gavin usually ate in fish and chip shops, but the daughter of a publishing mogul was used to better, particularly on a Sunday evening. He tried to remember his best manners. He couldn’t help admiring her long, sculpted fingers. He couldn’t wait to start working with her in America. And maybe more.

“Won’t he?” She looked at him, waiting.

“He won’t.” Jeremy shrugged. “It doesn’t matter to me. One week’s wages is nothing to whinge about. I don’t mind losing it if I don’t have to see Gavin and Pritchard again.” Gavin … It would be easier this way.

“Really?” She stared at him, head tilted slightly.

Jeremy Cammish spread his hands. “Trust me. You don’t know them. I’d rather just get on the plane and leave without telling them we’re going.”

He hated to see that disappointed look on her face. Her soft mouth looked so inviting, even tilted down. He wanted to kiss that expression off of her, till she melted in his arms.

They were in the early stages of a relationship—if it was going to be a relationship. The ‘will we or won’t we’ grey area, the tingling, new excitement of enjoying being around each other but not quite pushing it any further yet. Jeremy was still figuring out his own feelings and was uncertain how Iris felt about him. But he felt warm inside every time she smiled at him.

Plus, Iris had a rich father, and that complicated everything. Jeremy had been the lad who was mocked at school for his clothes and seemed to spend a childhood in perpetual hunger. Things were better now that he was older, but he’d never be posh. He barely remembered to use his napkin some days.

“I’d like to meet them. Especially Gavin. And surely you plan to say goodbye?” They looked into each other’s eyes. “I’m so curious about them, Jeremy. You speak as though they’re horrible people, yet you’ve become such a great reporter, they can’t be all bad. You’ve made me really curious, you know! Especially your stories about Gavin.”

He found himself smiling at her, a warm feeling rising in his chest. She thinks I’m good. She really thinks I’m good! Even though she’d already helped him find a great job in another country, the feeling still made him want to laugh out loud with pleasure.

Feeling braver with her sweet gaze on him, he nodded. “Okay. Let’s go see them tomorrow on Monday. I’ll pick up my cheque then and you can meet the great Gavin and Pritchard. You’ll see just how well I did just to get out alive.” He gave her a wink.

Iris lowered her head, a faint pink colour tingeing her cheek. She finally ate her bite of fish.

 

*~*~*

The newspaper office was more or less the way it always was, busy and disorganised. Today many people were out getting stories. Jeremy hoped Gavin would be one of them.

They nearly made it to Pritchard’s office when he spotted a familiar figure.

“Oh, hey! Look who it is. Howdy, stranger!” Gavin Tramontin walked up with a bounce in his step, grinning at Jeremy as if he hadn’t been happier in weeks. He thumped him on the shoulder, hard enough that Jeremy had to brace himself.

He gave Gavin a hard look in return, but Gavin only smiled.

Gavin was a handsome bloke: tall, blond, and broad-shouldered. But he had a slightly unfinished look, as if he was still getting used to his long limbs. The clumsy, bumbling appearance was mostly inaccurate. Gavin knew his own strength, was deadly in a pub fight, and the best man in the world to have by your side if the scene got a little hot for a couple of newspapermen.

Gavin turned to Iris. “And this is the lucky lady. Pleased to meet you.” He caught her hand and kissed the back of it. “It’s wonderful to meet you, you know. Jeremy’s kept you, why, practically a secret. He almost never talked about you.” He smirked.

I bloody did. Okay, not till near the end. But he had talked about her. Once or twice.

“Some of us don’t like to cast our pearls before swine.”

“Calling me a swine?” Gavin’s mouth twisted up. His blue eyes held a darkness despite the bouncy good cheer he was trying for.

Jeremy ignored him and extricated Iris gently from Gavin. He gave Gavin a very pointed look. “We came for the last of my wages and to say goodbye. Where’s Pritchard?”

“Oh, he’s out. I’ll get it for you.”

“But—”

“It’s no problem, sunshine.” Gavin walked away smoothly.

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

Brandilyn
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3 thoughts on “Always Saying Goodbye by Hollis Shiloh ~ Review by Marc

  1. I may pick this one up eventually, it sounds good, but like you said the cover doesn’t suck me in and I a generally not an historical fan. However I enjoyed your review and am adding it to my maybe list 🙂

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