Title: Author: Sean Michael
Publisher: Genre: Contemporary M/M
Length: Novella (18K words)
Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5
Drake is a musician and singer with a career that has spun out of his control. When he gets an invitation from an old friend to come and spend some downtime in the country, he happily turns off his cell phone and heads to the middle of nowhere.
Artist Scott hopes Drake will find some peace on his little farm, and sets about making his old buddy right at home. Can the two of them fight off Drake’s fame and find happiness together, at least for the Christmas season?
Drake was sick of the rat race. Being a hot singer and the recipient of all the trappings that went along with it was causing him a lot of stress. Everyone wanted a piece of him. His agent wanted him to go on tour and make other personal appearances but he wasn’t interested. He wasn’t writing music and lyrics any more and his last two albums were mostly written by others because he was burned out. He needed a vacation away from everyone, and by chance that morning he received a letter from a very old friend, Soctt Dean, which seemed like an answer to a prayer. He and Scotty had been in middle school together and although they had not kept in touch he knew he could trust him so he packed a bag and drove four days to Scott’s ranch to see if he was as good a friend as in the past.
When Scott saw Drake he asked no questions and just took care of him. The best thing he did was let him breathe, and by his actions showed Drake he was there for him in case he needed him or wanted to talk. This went on for weeks, during which time they were getting reacquainted with each other as they went for rides on the ranch. For Drake, or Dee as Scotty called him, the ranch was the haven he needed in order to recover and he realized how much he loved being outdoors because it was so different from his real life that he left behind which had been slowly suffocating him and his ability to write the music he loved. There were no crowds demanding he sing for them, no agents wanting to control his life and no one else demanding his attention. In the middle of all this relaxation Dee was falling in love with Scotty, but he was a stranger in a strange land because he had never been with a man and in fact had once been married, although the marriage didn’t last beyond a few days, as soon as he realized that he was gay. Scotty on the other hand had been in love with his friend since they were in school, and having him living in his home was a dream come true as well as a torment, because although he was also gay and had had a serious relationship before, it had been a while since he had been with someone.
No Regrets is a Sean Michael Classic and a re-release of the original Single Shot published in December 2006. This book may surprise readers familiar with this author’s work. The wonderful writing is definitely there but there was no sex until almost half way through the book which is a departure for those of us who are accustomed to Michael’s characters jumping each other’s bones within the first chapter most of the time. The pace of this book is easy – I can’t find a more appropriate word to describe it. 20 years after each went his separate way for different reasons Dee and Scotty are back together and this time there is a lot of sexual tension. All of these pent up feelings had to find an outlet and when they eventually got together the sex was explosive. Sean Michael’s sex scenes are still some of the best in M/M and in No Regrets the sex was intense, white hot and hard, as well as emotional and sensuous as the protagonists didn’t want to let go now that they had found each other again. And of course once the mutual attraction became obvious there was no stopping them. Here’s a short excerpt –
Dee went, one step after another, color working its way up Dee’s neck into his face. “I just want to try… You know.”
“Going to fuck me, honey? I haven’t had it in a long, long time.”
“And I never have. Just don’t let me hurt you, Scotty.” Dee looked right at him, need and want and a bit of nerves there.
“You won’t. We’ll take it easy.” He knew Dee. Dee would stop if he needed it.
That Christmas at the ranch had some of the best food I have ever read about in a book and I was positively drooling as Scotty cooked for his man.
The protagonists were well drawn and likable and No Regrets was all about finding and keeping love. Both characters were in different media, Scotty was an artist and Dee was a singer/songwriter, and because they understood the creative process they gave each other the space they needed which probably was the strength of the relationship. I thought that Sean Michael did an excellent job on both the plot and the characters and made the love between them seem credible and real 20 years later. In the end Dee was home, Scotty’s and his home.
The only reason I didn’t rate this book higher was because there was no conflict between the protagonists – they realized they loved each other and the rest of the story was designed to move the relationship toward it’s HEA. Definitely recommended.