A Guest Review by Aunt Lynn
One Sentence Review: A sweet romance that built up slowly — maybe a little too slowly.
Sparks fly when actor Alec Bannerman meets art historian Peter Leavesley at a London museum gala, but a series of clueless questions and vague answers leaves both men confused. Alec isn’t sure if Peter is gay, and Peter is wary of another relationship after a messy break-up.
The stalemate has Alec in emotional turmoil as he is pulled between wanting Peter and fearing the humiliation of rejection, while Peter is fighting specters from the past. If between fear and family they can finally find each other, can they also find forever after?
Finding Forever is the first book by this author that I’ve read, and apparently is the prequel to the story What’s Past Is Presence released earlier in 2010 (which I have not read). While there is nothing I could point out that is incredibly negative about this tale, I was left with a “meh” feeling at the end.
Alec is a stage actor looking for his big break in London. He has spent most summers there with his Aunt Jo, and has recently moved there for good. Meeting art historian Peter at a museum event, he’s immediately attracted. The problem is that Alec isn’t sure Peter is gay and doesn’t want to be on the recipient of a homophobic rant in case he’s wrong, so he doesn’t make the first move. He later finds out that Peter is, indeed, gay, and after some time, they have their first date. Peter has concerns, however, as Alec isn’t out and Peter has just left a relationship where that was an issue. Things come to a head when Alec’s parents announce they are coming to visit, and Alec must make some decisions.
Finding Forever is is a sweet, romantic tale told almost completely via Alec’s third-person POV (though we do jump into Peter’s head a few times). It is presented mostly in snippets of time — a few hours, a day, maybe a few — every so often over the course of eighteen months. And while I love me a gentle and slow build to a relationship, I admit that it was a bit too slow and gentle for me here. With little conflict or angst, I found the first two-thirds kinda dragging at times for me. Though this isn’t terrible, it just added to the “meh”ness for me. Other readers may not feel the same. Things picked up in the last third of the book, however, as there is an incident with Peter.
Both protags were believable and likeable, and the few secondary characters were as well. I have never been to London (so I cannot say if all of the details are correct or not), but the author included many London-y things — neighborhoods, sights, establishments — that made it seem real to me.
A sweet story with a gentle build-up that left me feeling a bit ambivalent. If you read What’s Past Is Presence, you’ll probably want to pick this one up to get the backstory.