Title: Any Given Lifetime
Author: Leta Blake
Publisher: Leta Blake Books
Release Date: September 13, 2018
Genre(s): M/M Fantasy/Romance
Length: 301 pages
Reviewed by: CrabbyPatty
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
He’ll love him in any lifetime.
Neil isn’t a ghost, but he feels like one. Reincarnated with all his memories from his prior life, he spent twenty years trapped in a child’s body, wanting nothing more than to grow up and reclaim the love of his life.
As an adult, Neil finds there’s more than lost time separating them. Joshua has built a beautiful life since Neil’s death, and how exactly is Neil supposed to introduce himself? As Joshua’s long-dead lover in a new body? Heartbroken and hopeless, Neil takes refuge in his work, developing microscopic robots called nanites that can produce medical miracles.
When Joshua meets a young scientist working on a medical project, his soul senses something his rational mind can’t believe. Has Neil truly come back to him after twenty years? And if the impossible is real, can they be together at long last?
Any Given Lifetime is a stand-alone, slow burn, second chance gay romance by Leta Blake featuring reincarnation and true love. This story includes some angst, some steam, an age gap, and, of course, a happy ending.
If reincarnation is a favorite theme of yours, you’ll really enjoy “Any Given Lifetime” and even if it really isn’t your thing, you’ll love this book for its depiction of a love that truly lasts a lifetime, and beyond.
When Joshua and Neil fall in love for the first time, Joshua is “a skittish country boy stewing in internalized homophobia, and Neil […] a very busy research scientist.” They are only together a short time before Neil dies, leaving Joshua with his family fortune which Joshua uses to create the Neil Russell Foundation for Advanced Nanite Research.
Neil is reborn as Alice Quinley’s child Neil Joseph and compared to his first life in a relative lap of luxury, this life is a hard scrabble one, with little money and an abusive father who leaves when Neil is eight. Alice fiercely loves this strange child, whose first words were “I miss Joshua” and who acts like an old man in a skinny little body. “He’d always been a child who seemed to find everyday miracles not only to be old hat, but really kind of annoying.”
Leta Blake sets this story into motion, and then gives us a series of flashbacks to when Joshua and Neil first met, interspersed with updates on Joshua’s current life and Neil struggling through a second childhood, awaiting the day until he and Joshua meet again. I love this plot as Blake explores the experiences and emotions of both men – Joshua going from a young man who was frightened of so many things with Neil, to having another loving relationship, to having an unimaginable second chance at love. And Neil being, well … Neil, but experiencing his mother’s overwhelming love and belief in him and getting some big-time lessons in patience and appreciation.
If you read Blake’s excellent “Wake Up Married” series, Neil may remind you of Dr. Patrick McCloud, the genius neurosurgeon with absolutely no social awareness of just how much of a jerk he can be. And like Will and Patrick in that series, Joshua and Neil may be imperfect, but they are perfect for each other. Their chemistry is so intense, and there is a lot of very steamy sex (as well as sex with other partners). The story clips along quickly and the ending is pretty darn perfect. 4.5 stars and a Recommended Read for “Any Given Lifetime.”