Author: Wayne Mansfield
Publisher: JMS Books
Cover Artist: Written Ink Designs
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
As Clayton stares mournfully into the full-length mirror, he sees a 48-year-old stranger reflected back, an aging man whose paunch and saggy skin make him hard to recognize as the toned, athletic man he once was. In the youth-obsessed gay world, the older, more unattractive, and more overweight you are, the more difficult it is to find love and companionship. The prospect of having to endure his twilight years alone terrifies Clayton.
Then two events occur, both of which impact on his life.
The first is the arrival of a new neighbor. Dean is a hot young man in his early thirties — more than fifteen years Clayton’s junior. That doesn’t stop Clayton from fantasizing about something intimate, and even romantic, happening between them. But in his haste to make his fantasies real, he commits a terrible faux pas.
The second, and infinitely more devastating, event is the bombshell dropped by his oldest and best friend, Emmett. Neither he nor Emmett has any way of knowing the end result. But even in their wildest imaginations, they couldn’t come close to guessing the eventual, and wholly surprising, outcome.
I have a particular empathy with Clayton. He’s staring down turning 50, and he’s keenly aware that he is no longer young. His body is showing distinct signs of aging, and he’s not particularly attractive to the young, buff guys who he’s always favored. As a woman who is about this same age, I can attest that it’s a shocking self revelation when you first look in the mirror and a young person is no longer staring back.
Clayton is struggling to come to grips with his age when a gorgeous new neighbor moves into the neighborhood. He can’t stop fantasizing about this young hottie, and he becomes a tad fixated on him. Unfortunately, Clayton seriously embarrasses himself in a clumsy attempt to recapture his past sexual prowess with this younger man. Meanwhile, Clayton’s best friend and fellow middle ager Emmett has frightening news that helps Clayton to realize his life priorities.
This is a nice story about a man who’s not the young, beautiful hero we so often see in M/M romance. Clayton is older, he’s a bit pudgy around the middle, and all of the lines on his face don’t make him look distinguished. He’s real, not too thrilled about getting older, and he makes one last desperately embarrassing attempt to recapture his youth. He also hasn’t seen what’s been right in front of his face all along – his best friend, Emmett. While Clayton and Emmett’s new physical intimacy feels more sweetly familiar than particularly hot and sexy, you do know these two men genuinely care for each other.
Don’t miss this life affirming story.
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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