Title: For Never and Always
Author: Ana J. Phoenix
Release Date: 3/10/2016
Genre(s): m/m Contemporary; Paranormal, Friends-to-lovers
Page Count: 173 Pages
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Seth finds himself alone at an abandoned train station, with no idea what happened, or how he got there. He boards a train, only to discover it’s a special express transporting the recently deceased to their final destination. The conductor tells him he’s having a near-death experience. Seth wonders if it has something to do with his violent boyfriend, but that doesn’t matter. All that matters is getting the hell off the train before he actually dies. But when he spots his best friend and secret crush among the traveling dead, the urge to leave fades…
4.5 No Regrets Stars rounded up to 5 Stars!!
This was an amazing book written by Ana J. Phoenix that deals with a couple subjects we all have to face and that is living your life to the best of your ability, because at the end you want no regrets. Ms. Phoenix has taken a subject that many shy away from, death, and made it into a story that will capture your heart. The characters in this book are real. They have flaws, they have been unhappy, they don’t feel like they got the best change at certain things — having characters who are real allows the reader to really connect to the story. The setting is very creative, an after-life that is set on a passenger train with a conductor who is at times a little bit of a pain and mysterious.
Seth wakes up and finds himself alone at an abandoned train station, with no idea what happened, or how he got there. The train seems to call to him:
“Come. Come aboard. We are taking you where you need to be. Don’t be afraid”
Once he gets on the train, the conductor explains to him that he is having a near-death experience; and while on this train he has to make a choice, stay or go back to his life. As Seth tries to come to terms with this weird situation, disoriented doesn’t explain what he feels like only to them be escorted to his cabin and see his roommate, his best-friend – Carter. But, Carter isn’t dead, why is he on this train? Come to find out that yes, Carter is dead and he has six stops to come to terms with his life and move on or he will be stuck. These two best friends are together in the after-life for a reason, they need to admit things to each other, overcome problems, deal with regrets, and accept what has come to pass. Sounds easy right? Well, just in-case they get stuck the train has two special rooms a library and a baggage room. In the library you will find a book with every single written communication ever addressed to you whether is was mailed/texted/emailed or even deleted it’s there for you to view as you make peace with your life. The baggage room, its not where old luggage is stored.. no instead it is a room full of physical and emotional baggage you struggled with throughout your life. Oh and don’t forget the windows that show you movie like scenes from your life so you can literally watch your life play out before your eyes! Yes Ms. Phoenix thought of it all in this book and this train is your last stop before eternity where you either come to grips or you become one of the lost souls to wander the after-life forever.
I just have to say that the entire concept of this story is amazing and unique! I love it! I cannot state enough how much the characters in this story were perfect for the story. Lets not forget that this is a romance story as well though, and when Seth and Carter both admit to each other that they have had crushes on each other for years.. Seth is floored because Carter has always been his straight best friend. Carter he is frustrated to say the least because he is dead – so what good does it do now to finally find out that his best-friend feels the same way for him?
“No matter what had happened before or what would come after –this moment, Seth was his. And as Seth reached up to wrap his arms around Carter’s neck, he knew that he was Seth’s too. Now and forever. He could live with that.”
As the two continue their journey together they realize that the more they come to trust each other and share with each other the clearer the choices become about Seth either staying or going back to live his life. Will these two find a way to be together or are they destined to just be friends?
For Never and Always is a book I recommend to all who have an open mind and are looking for a book that will make you think and warm your heart.
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