Author: Andrew Grey
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Narrator: John Solo
Brian Watson knows close friends Gerald Young and Dieter Krumpf have an ulterior motive when they invite him to their Christmas party. Brian has taken over the case to secure the return of the famous painting called The Woman in Blue to Dieter, but they don’t want Brian to be all work and no play. They intend to set him up with a friend, but he’s not who catches Brian’s eye. Instead, it’s Nicolai, the deaf art restorer caring for the works already returned to Dieter.
But pursuing Nicolai won’t be easy. A year ago Nicolai had to fight to regain his independence after a bad break-up, and he’s reluctant to give up his freedom a second time. Plus, Brian has competition in Justin, Nicolai’s ex, who wants him back badly.
Nicolai’s reluctance isn’t the only roadblock. Brian was married to a woman for almost ten years. Now he has to confess to his mother, his ex-wife, and his young daughter that he loves a man—all while conducting a potentially groundbreaking court case and trying to convince Nicolai that love isn’t about co-dependence, it’s about support.
In a continuation of the saga of the pre-World War II painting hanging in a museum in Austria, this story focuses on a different couple but includes a lot of “air time” for Gerald and Dieter, the original couple. The famous painting is one that was stolen from Dieter Krumpf’s family when the Nazis occupied Austria, and this installment features Brian Watson, the attorney who took over the case from Dieter’s now life partner, Gerald, when the two became a committed couple.
Previously married, Brian has a little girl named Zoe who’s a sweetheart. A bit precocious, she’s not overly so, and when Brian meets a man who lights up his heart and libido but who happens to be deaf, Zoe joins Brian in learning sign language so Nicoai, an art restoration expert and the wonderful man who captured her father’s eye, won’t feel left out of conversations when he comes to visit or they go places together.
Those who love Andrew Grey will recognize his work as he builds an interesting story, no doubt based in part on a news story that caught his attention, but as always, it’s filled with love, romance, friendship and family. The good guys will prevail—eventually, and in the meantime, Brian and Nicolai will fall in love. The epilogue conclusion is in part a conclusion for both stories as the courts make a final ruling on just who owns the Krumpf family collection, and our guys make good on their promise for a bright future.
I enjoyed this audiobook narrated by John Solo whose vocalizations were definitely distinctive, and he even managed the nasty ex-wife and the little girl without sounding campy. The pace was good, the story interesting, and as I said, the narration was quite pleasant to listen to. Fans of Andrew Grey’s work and those who enjoy an MM romance with an older man, or a bisexual man in his first male romance, or even those who like stories of men with children should all find this very satisfying.