I wasn’t expecting the emotional impact that this story had on me, and I applaud A.J. DeWall on this beautiful debut novel.
Publisher: Interlude Press
Cover Artist: Buckeyegrrl Design
Rating: 4.75 of 5 Stars
A bond forged in Catholic school; an unspoken attraction that outlasts years of separation and other relationships. Ren and Cole never acted on that thing that always bubbled beneath the surface of their friendship, not until a chance encounter in a Santa Fe bar and a song that would tip the scales forced them to confront their feelings. Will the influence of a music superstar, a New York socialite and a mystical property manager finally bring them together, or will a history of missed opportunities, their own fears and an impending wedding keep them apart? Can they just have one night, and then walk away? Forever Man is a story of the consequences of the choices we make, and how the courage to change can last a lifetime.
Ren and Cole have harbored feelings for one another since their days in prep school, feelings that have never truly been addressed or acted upon despite over ten years of churning under the guise of a platonic friendship. When they meet one another again by chance in a Santa Fe bar, they are forced to confront their desires, and now they must face some difficult truths about their past, present, and future.
Note: This story has left me with an incredible book hangover, and though I am not sure if that is the best or worst time to write a review, I’ll take my chances and go for it.
How many of us have locked away a deep, abiding love from the past, keeping it concealed within our hearts, hidden away because no one else can know of it? How often do we pull it out and look at it in secret, running our fingers over its worn surface as if it were a treasured photo, and wonder what would have happened if…? What if…?
Forever Man is that story. It is the story of how life is messy, and how humans are, blessedly and perfectly, imperfect. It is about the secret truths that we live with, hide, push away, and try to forget in the midst of going about our daily lives. It is about that buried secret we all have and hope is never unearthed because the moment it is, the results could be devastating. It is about those gray areas of our existence, those ideals that don’t actually reside in our souls in clear black and white as we’d like to think, but that hover and blur in nebulous shapes and force us to realize that our values and perceptions of what is right and wrong sometimes change with our circumstances.
This is the story of Ren and Cole, their nearly life-long secret, and how the doubts and insecurities of their youth have affected their choices and life decisions as adults. These two characters are achingly human, perfect in their imperfections. They must ask themselves the tough questions about what loving someone truly means, the questions of “what if,” and make the choices between right and wrong when the delineation between the two is murky with emotion and years of unfulfilled longing. Complications, past regrets, and trying to justify actions are some of the issues on the table as Ren and Cole take stock of their current situations and face decisions that could irrevocably change the course of their lives.
Set amidst the beautifully sacred and spiritual desert city of Santa Fe, New Mexico, local color and culture are vividly woven into this heart-rending tale of unrequited love, passion, and betrayal that could be anyone’s secret story. The worlds of the music industry and interior design are skillfully blended into storyline with care and humor. Artfully drawn secondary characters add moments of brilliance and depth through rich, engaging dialogue and strong presence upon the page. Though there were a few situations in which I thought scrutiny and discretion would have realistically played a larger part regarding character actions, these issues were overshadowed by the many aspects of the story that I enjoyed.
Emotionally intense and fiercely passionate, Forever Man packs a powerful punch and keeps the reader in its relentless grip even after the closing of the final page. I can’t help but return to my favorite parts and relive them, and yes, I will be reading it again soon, from cover to cover.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
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,
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