Title: September (Pride and Joy #1)
Author: Robert Winter
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: December 9th 2016
Page Count: 290
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 3,5 stars out of 5
David James is smart, successful, handsome… and alone. After the death of his lover, Kyle, from cancer, he buried himself in his law practice and the gym. At forty-eight, he is haunted by his memories and walled off from the world. When David injures himself working out, he’s assigned to Brandon Smith for physical therapy. The vibrant young therapist is attracted to David and realizes he needs a hand to get back into dating. What begins as a practice coffee date escalates to friendship, passion, and maybe something more, as they navigate a new relationship in Washington, DC, and the gay mecca of Provincetown.
But David remains trapped behind the barrier of fear and guilt. Will he remain loyal to Kyle’s memory if he moves on? Can he and Brandon manage a twenty-two-year age gap? Brandon thinks he understands David’s concerns, and for him, the answer to those questions is yes. He wants to be with David, and he believes he can overcome David’s barriers. But Brandon fails to account for the world’s reaction to a handsome young man attached to an older, wealthy lover. David’s memories, Brandon’s pride, and an unexpected tragedy might cost them something very special.
This was a very interesting debut novel. Some parts I enjoyed, some others bothered me a little, and there were scenes that I absolutely adored! See why I’m finding it hard to write a review? In any case, I expect to see more from this author, and I’m looking forward to the next book in the series. I’m settling with 3.5 stars for the overall experience.
What I liked:
~The slow burn. There’s a lot of it and I loved the dates, the banter, and the building tension.
~Kyle. The dead partner was a big part of the story but he wasn’t an ever-present ghost that screwed up everything for the MCs, despite the convos inside David’s head. Also, he was treated with respect.
~The steam! Brandon and David had crazy chemistry and it showed! The sex scenes felt pretty unique.
~There was a nice dose of feels. Straight to the gut sometimes. I like this kind of relationship angst.
What I loved:
~The opening and closing scene reminded me of a theatrical script or a screenplay. So interesting, refreshing and evocative. The last scene, in particular, left me wide eyed and goosebumped!
~The letter. That damn letter.
What didn’t work:
~I found some things to be a little inconsiderate (like the repetition of the word “fat” from someone that was all muscles), or just a bad stereotype (like Brandon instantly assuming that Kyle died of AIDS. Aren’t there any other causes of death for gay men?).
~The “bad” characters were maybe a little OTT bad.
~It felt a little wordy to me. I think it could have been shorter.
Overall, I enjoyed this and I think it was a nice debut. Like I said, I’m looking forward to more stories from the author.