Rating: 4.5 stars
Buy Links: Amazon | All Romance
At age 18, Shiloh Rabin is overwhelmed by the bullying at school and the fears of rejection for being gay, and decides the best solution is to kill himself. Just as he is slipping away, his life passes before his eyes. But not the life he has already lived. Instead Shiloh sees his life 18 years into the future, at age 36. There he works as a guidance counselor, helping young high school students deal with the pressures of life. He meets Travis Kahn, a gorgeous doctor, and the two men click instantly. It is like they are made for each other, and the men quickly fall into a intense and meaningful relationship. But something unexpected stands in their way and could ruin everything they have together.
When Shiloh wakes up in the hospital, he realizes that he is back in his 18-year-old body. What he assumes must have been a dream feels much more real, like a memory. And at his bedside is the young EMT who saved Shiloh, a man Shiloh recognizes immediately as Travis. Once again, the connection between the two is immediate and intense, even though to Travis they are meeting for the first time. And knowing what is ahead for them may just give Shiloh the strength he needs to move past his suicidal feelings and embrace the future he has envisioned.
In Another Life gives us such a unique story structure, one that is so creative and really kept me captivated. We start with young Shiloh as he is so overwhelmed he decides to end his life. Then we get to see him in his future, finding a job that fulfills him and allows him to help other kids. And meeting a man who is his perfect match. Shiloh and Travis connect immediately and fall hard for one another (yes, it is pretty much insta-love here, but for some reason it worked in this sort of magical, holiday story). It is not quite clear whether this is a dream, or a vision, or an alternate reality, but I think that ambiguity works here. It is a vision of the future that helps Shiloh realize that his life gets better, that there are things to live for, and people who care about him.
Then we jump back to Shiloh’s present, and right in front of him is the man he saw in his future. It is an interesting situation, in that Shiloh knows all about Travis and can still remember details of their lives together. But Travis knows nothing about this future. He is meeting Shiloh for the first time, and falling for him hard. I loved this sense of soul mates and the idea that these two men are meant for each other and that fate is bringing them together time and again. Once again Shiloh and Travis fall for each other awfully fast, but again it works here, and in Shiloh’s case makes sense because he is already in love with Travis.
These guys just worked together for me, mushy romance and all. The story has such a great holiday feel, with the ideas of true love and destiny, of finding that home and family, and ultimately acceptance. The story is part of the Dreamspinner Advent series, but although these guys are Jewish and Chanukah is mentioned in passing, there isn’t really a traditional religious element here. It is really more a feeling of the holiday magic, of comfort and love and finding your place with people who care about you.
I enjoyed this one quite a lot and found it unique in structure and very heartwarming and romantic. Definitely recommended.