Title: Finding Chandler (The Solitary Knights of Pelham Bay #1)
Author: Claire Thompson
Publisher: Romance Unbound
Buy link: Amazon.com (Second Edition)
Genre: Contemporary M/M
Length: short story (27 pages)
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
It started as a joke. Several guys burned by love decided to create a club that they dubbed the Solitary Knights – promising each other they would have nothing to do with love, preferring to play the field and keep their hearts intact.
One night, Drew Kensington, owner of the pub where the guys meet, issues a challenge, “Why don’t you find that one guy – the one that got away, the one you’ve never quite let fade from your dreams? Track him down. Reconnect. Then come back here and tell us what you found out.”
And so it began, the tales of the Solitary Knights. What will they find on their adventures into the past? Stop by Pelham Bay Pub to hear their stories.
Eric Moore seeks out the guy who had been his college lover, the one who had promised to wait forever for Eric to return, but Eric never did… until now. The man he discovers isn’t the boy he left behind so long ago… Will finding Chandler mean finding love at last?
Finding Chandler is the first book in this series and Claire Thompson came up with a unique premise to have all of these men who were burned by love ultimately find another chance at happiness. I will only introduce the main characters in this story because The Solitary Knights have many members who are soured on love but will each find the man of his dreams.
The protagonists in this story are Eric, a flawed hero and Chandler. I might be forgiven for wishing that Chandler would kick Eric to the curb. Eric left Chandler 23 years ago and never looked back. He was Chandler’s first love and first sexual experience but you wouldn’t have thought so from the way Eric treated him. He ignored his letters and never called him during his 6 year Army stint right after college, despite Chandler pouring his heart out in his letters, and eventually Chandler got the message that his love was not welcome. Over the yearsEric had thought briefly about Chandler but not enough apparently to look him up. Now he can’t stop thinking and wondering about him, and in the end he had to find out if there was a chance Chandler still felt the same way about him as he had all those years ago.
To no one’s surprise, when he tracked Chandler down the welcome mat was definitely not out. Chandler was a very successful dermatologist who had experienced his own heartbreak over the years, and he definitely was not looking to hook up with an old flame who had abandoned him. Eric had to use all of his powers of persuasion on the man he now knew he wanted in his life forever but who had many bad memories of a love gone sour, and it would take all of Eric’s persuasive talents to turn things around. I even felt a sneaking sympathy for Eric at times because Chandler was tough and unforgiving at first. Will romance bloom once more for Eric and Chandler or will this be one more missed opportunity?
The characters were very well drawn and I liked Chandler a lot, especially the fact that he was ready to show Eric the door and not make it easy for him to ease his way back into his life. Eric on the other hand was remorseful when he realized that his past callousness could result in him losing Chandler twice, and his change in attitude and love for Chandler were quite evident.
If this story is any indication of the quality of the writing for the rest of the series I will definitely be following the adventures of the other Solitary Knights of Pelham Bay.
Finding Chandler is a free story which is available here. Book 2 in the series A Test of Love (which is not free) will be reviewed tomorrow.