Author: R.J. Scott
Publisher: Love Lane Books
Cover Artist: unknown
Rating: 4.0 of 5 Stars
When Andrew Craig dies, he leaves his brother Jason a list of places that he wanted to visit but couldn’t. Attending a school reunion, London, Stonehenge, these are all on the list and Jason is determined to cross everything off and work through his grief at the same time.
Closeted soap actor Mark Wesley is shocked when a blast from the past looks him up, and devastated when he realizes he will never have a chance to make things right.
Together Jason and Mark agree to work on the list. But what happens when Jason and Mark grow closer, when passion and even love begins to grow?
Was this what Andrew wanted to happen all along between his brother and his friend?
NB: Originally a short unfinished blog story, readers of RJ’s blog insisted the story be expanded and finished and she listened to them. With twenty five thousand words added, expansion of the story line, and more scenes set in the UK, this story is very different to how it began.
Oh, dear, here I am, four in the morning in California, my internal clock all off kilter because of travel, happy tears filling my eyes at RJ Scott’s latest.
“The Bucket List” is a low-key, tender-hearted story of coping with grief and putting to rest the ghosts of an unhappy past.
Soap-star Mark Wesley finds himself having coffee with Jason Craig after eighteen years. Jason’s older brother Andrew has recently died at the age of thirty-three, after a long battle with cancer. Andrew’s dying wish was for his little brother and onetime best friend to get together and do a list of things that he’d wanted to do himself but never had the chance.
Andrew’s bucket list becomes a way for Jason to deal with his sorrow; and a path by which Mark can face the fear and sadness that has haunted him since he was fifteen.
Scott has the ability to write characters who are real without being over-drawn. She leaves many details just out of sight, because they are not essential to the core of her story. We are not handed great amounts of angst, nor are there horrific traumas unexpectedly revealed. Yes, there is a mystery that needs explaining; and there is sorrow in Mark’s youth that needs to be exorcised. Scott gives us just enough to help us embrace both Jason and Mark for all the good things they are, and to understand their motivations as they rediscover each other through their shared love of Andrew and grief over his untimely death.
Romances can take many forms, and that variety is one of the things that appeals to me most about the genre. “The Bucket List,” however, is pretty purely a romance. In its purity and simplicity lies its success. Sometimes, less is more.
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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