Title : The Return
Author : Brad Boney
Publisher : Dreamspinner Press (BUY IT HERE)
Genre : M/M, Contemporary
Length : 350 pages (e-book)
Published : July 5, 2013
Music. Topher Manning rarely thinks about anything else, but his day job as a mechanic doesn’t exactly mesh with his rock star ambitions. Unless he can find a way to unlock all the songs in his head, his band will soon be on the fast track to obscurity.
Then the South by Southwest music festival and a broken-down car drop New York critic Stanton Porter into his life. Stanton offers Topher a ticket to the Bruce Springsteen concert, where a hesitant kiss and phantom vibrations from Topher’s cell phone kick off a love story that promises to transcend ordinary possibility.
This is another one I had no idea what I was getting myself into! This is is a story of reincarnation. The blurb never says a thing about that but that’s what this is. Admittedly that’s not my thing but for the most part I liked the book.
The story is told in two parts, past and present but it flops back and forth throughout the book. I know some people hate flashbacks but this is more two stories being told at the same time. The joining thread is Stanton the music critic. One part is him at twenty and discovering love and friendships for the first time in the early eighties. The second part is him at fifty and finding someone who makes him want to try again. Topher is almost half Stanton’s age and has never been with a man but there is something beyond normal attraction pulling them together. Lots of little hints from their few dates bring back memories of a happier time in Stanton’s life but with that comes the heartache he felt when it was all taken from him. Topher is also a budding musician with amazing talent and music is what Stanton’s life revolves around. He helps Topher and his band by giving a shout out on a radio show which catapults their career. That’s the story I thought I was going to read about. Without the reincarnation stuff. Hopefully that’s not too spoilerish but I wouldn’t know how to review this properly without putting that in this review. Some people just won’t want to read about it.
The details and coincidences Mr. Boney comes up with are both a little obvious and charming. I think if he would have stopped at the four guys I could have bought into it a little more. However, it’s fiction so I rolled with it. The idea behind the ending bordered on fairy tale but I liked it the more I thought about it. Kind of wish fulfillment for the HEA lover in me. I really enjoyed the characters. They were fun, sweet,witty and flawed. I think they’re what made the book for me.
Besides the theme, which I’m trying not to hold against it because that’s my issue, I did have a few problems with the book. The dual relationships with Stanton from his past and present made it difficult for me to enjoy both couples. I wanted one couple together more than the other which left half the book with me wishing everything had turned out differently. Not so good for the “not favorite” guy. Also, the back and forth between past and present slow the pace of the book. There is no way I could read this in one sitting. The changes occurred so often I was lost until I found someone’s name on page that wasn’t Stanton so I knew which decade the guys were in at that moment. It was a bit confusing for a while.
Overall I liked the book. Some parts were a little much for me personally but I laughed and cried. Fell a little in love with the guys. So, for me this was worth the read.
Rated 4 stars by Whit