Author: Rick R. Reed
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Finding and keeping love can be a challenge in the modern world of blogging, social media, and online dating, as one man will learn in this trilogy.
VGL Male Seeks Same
Poor Ethan Schwartz. At forty-two, he’s alone, his bed is empty, and his HDTV is overworked. He’s tried bars and other places where gay men are supposed to find each other, but it never works out. Maybe he should get a cat?
But his life is about to change…
Poor Ethan. He’s received the most shocking news a gay man can get—he’s HIV positive. Until today his life was perfect, with a job he loves and Brian, who could be “the one.” The one to complete him and fill his lonely life with laughter, hot sex, and romance.
But Ethan’s in for another shock. Could Brian have infected him?
Alone again, Ethan wonders if life is worth living, even with a cat. When an old nemesis sends a Facebook friend request, Ethan is suspicious but intrigued. It seems this old acquaintance has turned his life around, and the changes might hold the key to Ethan getting a new lease on life… and love.
This story is divided into three segments, two were formerly released as short books, and the third is new. I’ll review each and then summarize the whole. And I’m keeping this as spoiler-free as possible.
VGL Male Seeks Same:
This segment was really terrific. The self-deprecating humor of MC Ethan was outstanding. In fact, there were so many times when I found it outright hilarious I laughed so hard I couldn’t catch my breath, and that’s just not something I normally do. In general, I have a good sense of humor, but I’m pretty reserved and rarely laugh out loud. Specifically, the first date scene outside the coffee shop when Ethan tipped the table over and then got carried away cleaning Brian up and then fell again—onto one knee—totally cracked me up. Talk about a suave first impression. Not!
The fact that both men were able to overcome their fabrications and accept each other for who they were made for an enjoyable story, and as the scene faded at the end of the first segment, it appeared the men would find a firm foundation.
Ethan receives heartbreaking news as this segment opens. He’s so upset, in fact, he can’t even pay attention to his doctor and has to go home to absorb the shock. He’s diagnosed as HIV positive, and though his heart wants to deny it, his head tells him it had to be Brian who infected him. Most of the story revolves around the internal and external clash that occurs because of this conflict, and the ending was a surprise. A happy one, but a surprise nevertheless.
At fifty-one, lonely Ethan can’t seem to cope with life—not day to day at home and not day to day at work. As those with a lot of time on their hands often do, Ethan turns to Facebook for his entertainment and socializing. There he’s surprised by a friend request from a former receptionist who we met in the first segment of the book. Ethan used to call him Bubbles since he was a flighty, snarky, and flamboyant young gay man who seemed to spend most of his time gossiping—often about Ethan.
But as it turns out, this “new” Ben is not the same at all, and remarkably, it turns out this new Ben may hold the key to Ethan’s future happiness—once Ethan accepts that people can change.
I really enjoyed this book! Tremendously funny, and yet heartbreakingly painful at times, the author takes us through an emotional journey that ends with a beautiful four letter word: HOPE.