Moving On

Title: Moving On
Author: H. J. Holt
Cover Artist: Anne Cain
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Buy Link: Amazon Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance
Length: 210 pages
Rating: 3.75 out 5 rating stars

A Guest Review by Raine

Summary Review: Good organic development of new and important relationship between two bruised men but an excess of sex proved you can have too much of a good thing.

Blurb: Twenty-two-year-old foster care survivor Luke Kearsey got out of his abusive relationship and then got out of the country. Now he lives in England, where he works at a burger bar. Maybe his life is directionless, but at least he’s safe.

When thirty-six-year-old schoolteacher Paul Blackwell meets Luke at a club, neither man expects anything more than some no-strings-attached sex. Paul is still grieving the death of his partner of five years, and he’s not looking for anything serious. Not when it means he could get hurt again.

But despite all their differences, something clicks between them. Though Luke lacks confidence and finds it difficult to believe he can offer Paul much in a relationship, and though Paul is wary about starting a relationship with someone so different, they begin to explore the possibilities that could help them heal. With the love and support they provide each other, Luke and Paul begin to put their pasts behind them—but then Luke’s past shows up in England, and it wants him back. Is Luke really ready to move on?


There were many well managed elements to this book; interesting, far from obvious, main characters and a slowly developed relationship with a realistic array of problems to be dealt with. However…. I’m guessing you can hear the obvious ‘ but ‘ a mile away….unusually I had a problem with the amount of sex filling the pages. To put this into a personal context so you can perhaps judge this for yourselves, I have never found there to be too much sex in K. A. Mitchell’s outstanding books and know other readers have. Also Slow Bloom by Anah Crow and Dianne Fox, which is very much a sexual development of a relationship is one of my forever, never fails, books. So that gives a base line of where I am coming from. So just to be clear, the relationship here is based originally on a hook up and it is the heated sexual connection that drives both Paul and Luke to keep meeting. Moreover there is some well written very hot top dominant sex going on between them. There is just far too much of it, my reaction started to be, ‘ oh no not again ‘ and that is clearly not how it should be.

In spite of this unexpected flaw, as previously mentioned I enjoyed a lot about this thoughtfully developed relationship. Luke’s miserable life growing up within the American care system has left him very uncertain, lacking self confidence in anything other than an instinct to please people sexually. His self defence mechanism’s are well developed and it was lovely to see Paul, older, wiser and careful help him overcome his problems, without it being a white horse rescue job. Likewise Paul’s situation while fuelling his occasional doubts felt realistic. Indeed  I generally found the thought processes of both guys to be believable. The connection between Paul and Luke was grown at a nice organic pace.

Although set in the UK  I liked that the background wasn’t obtrusive being without the slightly  self conscious Brit references that often seem over cooked to me.

A couple of things in the plot took me out of the story, Luke truly does seem to be very unlucky, life goes out of it’s way to batter him and a situation that arises out of his job, seemed a little unnecessary. He already had all my sympathy. Likewise that his abusive ex followed him to the UK seemed over the top, especially given the tone of the conversation between them. We also had Paul’s protective friend to add to the general atmosphere of kicking a guy when he’s down. However eventually when Luke’s life started to turn round it was a nicely satisfying outcome.

The gradual building of trust, love and a new life for both of the guys made, in the main, for a rewarding read.



  • Chiming in to agree how awesome Slow Bloom was! I’d never have thought I could like and believe in such an extreme age-difference, yet it really worked for me. I’ve reread it a few times and love it every time. So, Sirius, I hope you’ll give it another try. 😀

    Thanks, Raine, I think you’ve talked me out of this book. 🙂 Because as much as I loved Slow Bloom and KA Mitchell’s books, if this has more than that it would have to be truly extraordinary to work for me.

    • Whoops not sure I meant to put everybody off this, cos it is a good read….bad reviewer! 😕

      Oh jeayci so pleased to hear you love Slow Bloom, :hurrah: I ration myself with the rereads cos I think it is just special. I have not come across another character as interesting, complex and intelligent as Jack. Some of my favourite book quotes come from him. I also loved that the characters had past / present / future and lives away from the relationship that felt real. My only disappointment is that aside from One Real Thing none of their other books have pleased me as much.

      • I agree Slow Bloom is special and that the characters having real lives apart from the relationship is a big part of that. 🙂 It’s far and away my favorite book by these authors. I liked One Real Thing, but not nearly as much. Have you read Pit Road? I still didn’t love it nearly as much as Slow Bloom, but more than One Real Thing.

        • I reviewed Pit Road……but struggled with it as the characters didn’t quite work for me. 🙁 It’s strange cos I found their relationship claustrophobic in its intensity and yet I really like that about One Real Thing…..never said I was consistent.

          On a happier note I think we’ve managed to browbeat….I mean persuade ….Sirius into taking another look at Slow Bloom!

          • LOL, you can be pretty convincing :). I will let you know. I decided to make some dents in my TBR while I am at it and I am reminded rather painfully why I stopped reading Clare Thompson’s books long time ago.

  • The thing with the sex in Slow Bloom was that it developed very distinctly along with the relationship, I didn’t feel that with this one. It really affected my reaction to what is a good read. 🙁

    Have definite urge to reread Slow Bloom…..again. I just admire Jack soooo much. 😀

    • Hmmm, maybe I should try to push myself past those few chapters with Slow Bloom since you like it so much. It worked with Hard Tail LOL – fourth time was the charm.

  • Ok – Slow Bloom was wonderfully written but I had to stop reading after few chapters – too much sex for me. If this one has more – pass with no hesitation whatsoever. Thanks for saving me some money.


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