A Guest Review by Sammy
Review Summary: The pursuit of romance leads to painful truths revealed and hunger fulfilled.
Blurb: Nate Tippie and Brandon Wilde are gay, single, and both hoping to meet that special man, even though fate has not yet delivered him to their doorstep. Nate’s sister, Hannah, and her kooky best friend, Marilyn, are about to help fate with that task by creating a profile on the gay dating site, OpenHeartOpenMind. The two women are only exploring, but when they need a face and body for the persona they create, they use Nate as the model.
When Brandon comes across the false profile, he falls for the guy he sees online. Keeping up the charade, Hannah begins corresponding with him, posing as Nate. Real complications begin when Brandon wants to meet Nate, but Nate doesn’t even know he’s being used in the online dating ruse. Hannah and Marilyn concoct another story and send Nate out to let the guy down gently. But when Nate and Brandon meet, the two men feel an instant and powerful pull toward each other. Cupid seems to have shot his bow, but how do Nate and Brandon climb out from under a mountain of deceit without letting go of their chance at love?
Review: Hungry For Love meshes the wants and desires of several people and begs the question of how far one might go to have the love they desire. For Nate Tippie, that may very well mean confronting the lies he has woven surrounding his career and finally acknowledging that the endless parade of warm bodies in his bed will never provide the love he so desperately but unknowingly seeks.
Across the room from Nate sits his sister Hannah who wishes for just one tenth of the male companionship she sees her brother so callously use and then toss aside. So when she and her somewhat bitter friend decide to hook Nate’s profile to a gay dating website one drunken night, it is no surprise that it is Hannah, herself, who becomes smitten with the gay man they choose to email using Nate’s persona.
Brandon Wilde is plain fed up with the endless barrage of men looking for nothing more than a quick hookup and sex. The lies and evasiveness that so often accompanies his dating history have turned him to a dating website in one last ditch effort to find a man to love. An honest man…a man who yearns for the same type of commitment as Brandon. Nate is as far from that man as east is from west and yet when the two finally meet, there is an instant sense that they are home…that all is as it should be and that love is there right before them.
The two main characters, Brandon and Nate, were exquisitely drawn in this novel. Rick R. Reed establishes an emotional bead that echoes throughout his novel, keeping his characters constantly evolving and flowing. This author has an uncanny ability to write small vignettes where the mythical men he creates come to life, and begin to work out and live lives not so dissimilar to our very own. Who hasn’t wanted love at some point in their lives? Who hasn’t sometimes looked at the dating scene as a multi-headed monster that somehow must be endured? By creating realistic characters and then building simple yet profoundly real life situations around them, author Rick R. Reed immerses us in a world that is full of people we begin to care about and whose story draws us in and captures our imagination.
Perhaps the only real problem I found in this story lay in the rather strong yet well-meaning sister figure, Hannah. While I found her character understandable –the idea that women are attracted to gay men for many reasons believable, the neediness in her became grating for me. Even though the author pulled her character back from the edge time after time and allowed for her to have a loving heart for her brother, it was still hard for me to feel a great deal of compassion for her loveless plight and the somewhat mean machinations she chose to perform on her brother. I found her character really began to bother me in many ways and while this may have been the author’s intent, it was difficult for me to make the transition to caring about her toward the end of the novel.
However, this minor problem could not diminish the lovely way in which Hungry For Love by Rick R. Reed resonated beyond the page. I think I will end this review with the author’s own words–for they are not only lovely but ring with a resounding truth.
“But the thing about people and their flaws is this: it’s not that we have them, it’s what we do with them.”