In Another Life
Title : In Another Life
Author : Cardeno C
Publisher : Dreamspinner Press (BUY HERE)
Genre : M/M, Contemporary, Holiday
Length : 84 pages (e-book)
Published : December 1, 2013
Rating : ★★★★1/2
At age 18, Shiloh Raben is tired. He no longer has the energy to deal with mean classmates, inner doubt, and fear of familial rejection, so he takes a razor to his wrist. When he wakes up in the hospital, Shiloh meets Travis Kahn, the EMT who saved him and didn’t leave his side.
Travis is handsome, smart, and funny—the type of guy Shiloh would never be brave enough to approach. But his near-death experience has an unusual side effect: the life that flashed before his eyes wasn’t the one he had already lived, but rather the one he could live. With visions of a future by Travis’s side, will Shiloh find the strength to confront his fears and build a life worth fighting for?
This is a story from the Dreamspinner Press 2013 Advent Calendar package “Heartwarming”.
Shiloh Raben is eighteen when we first meet him and is at a critical time in his life. He has decided life is not worth living and finally committed an act which will end it. He tells us that instead of having his life pass before his eyes, he sees what life he would have lived, eighteen years in the future. This is when he realizes he does have someone to live for: himself.
Flash forward to Shiloh who, at at thirty-six years old, has a career he enjoys. One night he meets a man. Travis Kahn is chaperoning a dance at the school Shiloh works at. He is at his wit’s end and outside for a smoke. They end up discussing the school’s no smoking policies and Travis’ niece Jessica, who goes to the school. Shiloh tells Travis he will try to help keep an eye on her and they are about to say good-bye when Travis asks if he could call Shiloh, for more than professional reasons. Caught off guard, but pleased, he says yes. It almost seems as if Travis changed his mind about calling when they meet again outside of Shiloh’s house. Travis is his new temporary neighbor, renting the house next door until he can find a place to buy in the area. Once again, something just clicks between the two of them. It is as if fate has brought them together. They have a comfort with one another that neither has ever felt with anyone else. As they get to know one another, they find they are both Jewish and plan their Hanukkah celebrations together. It is going to be a wonderful way for them to meet each other’s families. Then something completely unexpected happens and we are back to Shiloh at age eighteen.
Shiloh is being awakened in the hospital. He looks up into familiar eyes and realizes it is Travis Kahn, eighteen years younger than in his vision. Travis is a young EMT who helped transport Shiloh to the hospital and saved his life. Is this his chance to change his fate?
This is a lovely story about how we look at ourselves. Shiloh has so much that he is carrying alone. He feels no one will ever like him; bullied at school, and afraid his family will not accept him because he is gay. Dealing with this and having no support has brought him to the decision we find him in at the beginning of the story. I loved the way the author gave him a glimpse of the future, how he could take these feelings, share his concerns and learn to love himself and help others.
There is so much that happens in the last third of the book and I do not want to spoil. The story is told from Shiloh’s point of view and we go with him through the three transitions of this book, feeling his loneliness at eighteen, his happiness at thirty-six, and then what Shiloh does with his second chance. There is a fantasy element to the story and the characters are very accepting of things that some might not find believable, but mostly it is a very sweet love story. It is about the choices we make and the opportunities we might never get to experience, depending on those choices. It is about loving yourself and reaching out.
I thoroughly enjoyed the story. There were several very funny moments that had me laughing out loud and some that were heart-wrenching. Even with the serious subject matter that is central to the book, the story is thoughtful and has some light-hearted moments. A lovely addition to your holiday reading list.
Rated 4.5 stars by Deb