White-Knuckled Moments

Title: White-Knuckled Moments
Author: Madeleine Ribbon
Buy Link:  Buy Link White-Knuckled Moments
Genre:  contemporary
Length:  136 pages
Rating:  4.75 stars out of 5

A Guest Review by Andrea

Review Summary: One of the best books I’ve read in a long time, and much more heartwarming and upbeat than I expected.

Blurb: Cory’s life has a deadline, and he’s working hard to make the most of the time he has left. He knows he won’t be able to complete everything on his bucket list, but the first entry is the most important to him. He wants to come out to his intensely religious family so they’ll remember him a little more accurately once he’s gone.

When Tai falls for Cory, he does his best to convince Cory to date him. When he’s turned down flat, he talks Cory into a one night stand, knowing that once he gets under his coworker’s skin, Cory will want more. Much more. Tai knows that a relationship with Cory is going to be complicated, but he has some impressive persuasion techniques up his sleeve. He’s giving Cory the chance to fall in love–one thing that Cory has refused to add to his bucket list because he never thought it could happen.

Please don’t let Cory’s dire prognosis stop you from reading this book.  Its not the maudlin tearjerker you might expect from reading the blurb.  Cory is a young man choosing to die on his own terms.  Obviously, there are some sad scenes where Tai and Cory’s family struggle to accept his decisions, but the happiness greatly outweighs the sadness.  I swear, it’s worth a few painful moments to read this book.

Cory has lived with brain tumors since he was 10.  He’s gone through multiple rounds of surgeries, chemo, and radiation.  He has hit the end of the line as far as his treatment options.  Sure, he could go for another round of chemo and hope to extend his life by a month or two, but he would spend that month sick and miserable.  No matter what he chooses to do, he is going to die soon.  He is going to make the best of it.  He has accepted it and refuses to live his remaining days in fear.  He decides to use his remaining months by focusing on making the best of what little time he has left.

Now that he has made his decision, he needs to take care of a few things.  He has to tell his family he quit cancer treatment.  He wants to tell them he’s gay and give them a chance to know the man he truly is but has kept hidden.  He also wants to start crossing the items off his ever expanding bucket list. For the first time in his adult life, he decides to focus on himself and what he wants.  He refuses to die having lived a lie just to make his family and church happy.  It’s his time to live, even if it’s only for a little while.  There are so many things he wants to experience and he’s finally taking the steps to make them happen.  One of those steps brings him to Tai, and Tai is offering everything Cory ever dreamed of having.

I loved this book!  Tai and Cory were so wonderful.  They faced some really difficult times and they had to make some excruciating decisions, but they did it with their eyes and hearts wide open.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a couple so completely invested in giving each other all their love and support.  I could go on and on about how great they were and how much I loved them together.  I’ll spare you and simply say that they are one of my favorite couple ever.  It would have been a good book if it had only been Tai and Cory, but it also had Cory’s large conservative family too.  They brought it to a higher level.  I appreciated how realistic and varied their reactions were when Cory revealed the secrets he had been keeping.   For each of them, it strained their unique relationship and collectively it tested the bonds of family.

As I was reading this book I was stressing over how it was going to end.  I really didn’t want it to end with Cory dying or me crying.  I don’t want to spoil it but I feel the need to let other readers know that it doesn’t end with death.  It doesn’t miraculously become a HEA ending, but it does end with hope and love.   I finished it with a smile on my face and not a tear in sight.  I highly recommend White-Knuckled Moments.





  • I LOVED White-Knuckled Moments, too!
    I was so worried that Cory was going to die, and was so happy how it ended; on a beautiful, hopeful note.

    Thanks for the great review, Andrea! 🙂

  • I really enjoyed this one – character and tone were realistic but not heavy, I loved the array of second character relationships, and the ending holds a ray of hope. I’m glad more readers may try it now.

  • Thanks for the great review. I had been avoiding this one for the reasons you mentioned. I’ll give it another consideration now!

  • Thanks for letting us know that it does not end with death Andrea. If Cory died the book would have been a no go for me no matter how well it is written. As many I am sure I have had loved ones loose a battle to cancer and at least in fiction I want to see some hope – probably from what you are describing miraculous HEA would have been annoying too in this book.

    So yeah really appreciate that you let us know – otherwise I would have pestered you to email me off list and let me know about the ending. I remember when this book was offered for review but since it came with a warning about lots and lots of angst I was not in the mood. I will definitely check it out . Thank you.

    • Thanks, I was so worried about giving away the ending in my review. 😕

      I know I steer clear of books focused on someone dying of cancer and I was hoping to help out the other readers who do the same.


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