Author: Lynn Charles
Publisher: Interlude Press
Cover Artist: CB Messer
Rating: 4.75 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 04/07/2016
Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)
Genre: Contemporary, Gay Romance
No matter how busy he keeps himself, successful Broadway musician Tobias Spence can’t outrun the memory of a tragic car crash in his past that claimed a friend’s life and permanently injured his former boyfriend, Emmett.
Even after losing Tobias, Emmett Henderson made peace with that awful night; he lives in his Indiana hometown, where he has become a revered choral director. When his students are asked to perform in New York City, he decides to chance reconnecting with his former love, if for no other reason than to get a proper goodbye.
When Emmett and Tobias finally meet 15 years after parting ways, it is clear to both of them that their feelings for each other have not changed. As they explore their renewed relationship, the two men face old hurts and the new challenges of a long-distance romance. Will Tobias lose his second chance at love to the ghosts he can t seem to put to rest?
A tender story of past hurts, guilt, and the promise of second chances, Black Dust follows the growing apart and tentative, cautious coming together of Tobias and Emmett. Two talented musicians on the brink of adulthood and a promising future, their plans for beginning it together come to a tragic halt in a horrific car accident. Emmett’s injuries, the loss of a dear friend, and Tobias’s overwhelming guilt create a rift they cannot overcome, and they embark on their futures as individuals instead of as a couple. Fifteen years later, they have a chance to start over, to reclaim the young love they once had. However, obstacles both past and present are difficult to conquer, and they must both face the issues that stand in the way of a future together.
Oh, this is such a lovely story! Emmett and Tobias are just beautiful together, both in their youth and as men in their 30’s, established in their careers and longing for a second chance at the love they once had. There is so much to adore in these two characters, from their shared passion for the musical theater to their heartbreaking struggle to overcome the past and try again for a future together. Completely different individuals who fit together like puzzle pieces, Emmett and Tobias are richly drawn and lovingly crafted, settling into the reader’s heart and bringing an impressive range of emotion and complexity to the page.
Lynn Charles allows the reader to feel and understand that range–the guilt, the loss, the love—all without it becoming overwhelming. She clearly and compassionately portrays the emotions without bogging down the story or miring her characters in them. The angst is there, yes, but it is well-balanced with forgiveness, understanding, and (gasp!) communication. The characters are given opportunities to work through their issues and to try to come out the other side with clarification and healing, their development and their fight for reconnection unhindered by the distraction of external conflict.
Black Dust is truly a m/m romance after my own heart. As an educator and former choir/drama club geek, I connected with it on so many levels. However, readers don’t have to have a background in musical theater or teaching to appreciate this captivating novel. It is incredibly appealing to anyone who enjoys reading about second chances at true love and appreciates well-crafted characters who know how to fight for one another even as they discover their own strengths and inner truths. I highly recommend it.
Also, kudos to the cover artist, CB Messer. This cover is stunning and perfectly compliments Emmett and Tobias’s story. Well done!
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
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