Just finished reading this story for the 2nd time.
Does anyone else do that? Read and re-read the same stories? I enjoy them in a different way in subsequent readings. The first time, curiosity and tension drive the reading. Most of the time, conflict is hard on me, so when I re-read I’m more relaxed and better able to enjoy all the details.
This time was no exception. I was able to appreciate the goodhearted characters and the way they showed respect and caring for one another right from the start. Yes. Josh was very take-charge, but there was never a mean or out-of-control moment. In fact, Josh’s primary characteristic is devotion and care for his family and friends.
There were a couple of special moments in the book. One romantic and the other wise.
Here’s the Romantic Moment
Chapter 25 – pp.6-7
‘”I could fall in love with you, Bear, and I’m a little afraid of that. All the years I worked to make it in the movies and I’m getting to the point where I would throw it all away as long as I got to keep you.” Ryan closed his eyes for a moment and took another deep breath.
“What scares you the most?” Josh ran his fingers through Ryan’s curls, soothing his lover with his touch.
“That you don’t feel the same. That this isn’t about love for you. That you see us as two friends who like each other and have great sex, but there’s nothing deeper to it.”
He saw the fear deep in Ryan’s eyes and knew he had to do something to reassure the man. Cradling Ryan’s face in his hands, he locked eyes with him and smiled.
“I don’t know what love is supposed to feel like, Ryan. Not the forever commitment kind of love anyway. I only know about the love I feel for Erin, Pedro, and my friends. That’s sort of like what I feel for you, only ours is deeper and stronger. It’s mixed up with the sex and the attraction, but those things don’t make it weaker, just bigger.”‘
Here’s the Wisdom
Chapter 32 – pp.7-8
Ryan Keller is a movie star. Josh Bauer is a construction worker and bartender. They are attending an awards ceremony and are seated at table with a famous gay couple, CJ Lamont and Garrett Johnson, a television star and a movie star. Each of them share a bit of advice for Ryan and Josh. Following is what CJ had to say.
‘”If I might offer a piece of advice as well,” CJ spoke up.
He nodded and noticed Josh doing the same.
CJ took Garrett’s hand in his and smiled at the actor. The love shining in his eyes drew a gasp from Ryan. Josh tightened his grip on Ryan’s hand, letting him know he was just as affected.
“Hold the ones you love close, especially the man who holds your heart. It’s easy to lose each other in this business, but if you keep your grip tight and your love strong, you’ll both survive.”
Watching Garrett kiss CJ, Ryan marveled at their ability to ignore the people around them and sink into each other. He turned to Josh.
“I want that,” he whispered, tilting his head to indicate the other couple.
Josh’s smile was gentle and full of love. “We’ll get there, honey. We’ve got all the time in the world to build a solid foundation…”
…and – we assume – they lived happily-ever-after… sigh…
Do you believe in happily-ever-after?
I do, but not in a fairytale kind of way. Real happily-ever-after is tempered by life and has to be tended carefully, to assure its healthy survival. Any good relationship thrives, because the people in it invest themselves and work at it.
I think Josh and Ryan have what it takes to make it work. Josh has proven his dedication by taking care of Erin since she was a teen and he was a young adult. He’s all about being there for the ones he loves. And Ryan is a caring and devoted person who has high standards and proven loyalty to family and friends. With those good qualities, how can they go wrong?