Review: Kelly Jensen – When Was the Last Time

when wasAuthor: Kelly Jensen
Reviewer: Lucy
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: MM Novella

Rating: ★★★★¼ 

Summary: Paul Summerfield is stunned by the gentle reminder it has been over a year since he and his partner, Evan Akkerman, have made love. He vows to take Evan out for Valentine’s Day. Dinner and sex. Lots of sex. There’s only one catch—he’s supposed to be in San Francisco that week cataloging the art collection of an important new client. No problem, he’ll just change his schedule and cut his trip short by a day.

In San Francisco, Paul struggles with regrets and the fear his love is slipping away from him. Every call to Evan seems only to prove the distance between them is increasing. All this, and a key piece of his client’s catalog is caught up in customs. To keep their Valentine’s date, Paul will have to choose between the career he’s built over fifteen years and the man he’s loved for just as long.
Review: First off, this story is about an established, long-time couple. I love this because so often we get to see their beginning but then we don’t know where it goes from there. Keeping a relationship going takes time and effort and maybe it’s not as exciting as reading about “how they met” but for me, at least, it’s an integral part of the character’s story.
Paul and Evan have been together for fifteen years. Evan is very supportive of Paul and his career and his life, but maybe Paul’s taking things for granted a little. He doesn’t realize it until Evan very gently asks, “Did you know it’s been a year since we last made love?” Paul hasn’t been completely hands off, they’ve had quickie hand jobs and such but they haven’t made love. Paul now starts to notice the little things that are different. “Evan reached for the hand Paul had resting on the table. Tracking the movement, Paul saw hesitancy in the gesture…. When had Evan become afraid to touch him?”
There’s no person to hate here. It’s a case of growing apart without meaning too, without realizing it. We all know how life gets in the way of the little things and suddenly, they are big things. “Evan had unwittingly pointed out the fault that let their relationship burn down to a banked ember: His distraction. His preoccupation.” Something I loved was that Paul and Evan didn’t throw accusations at each other or toss blame. But once the words were out there, “Did you know it’s been a year since we last made love?” Paul starts noticing things and is desperate to make things right. Is it too late?
So often we get caught up in the day to day things and we do take things for granted. Sometimes we have to make a choice between what we have to do and what we want to do. It’s just that we have to remember, sometimes those things are the same. This is a sweet story of two people trying to find their way back to each other and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Recommended.

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