Rating: 5 stars
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Spring Affair is all about the journey. Sometimes the journey we are on is steady, rarely strenuous, and unchanging, the landscape remaining the same. But all too often, our journey can take us places where the pathway is rocky and uncertain and it takes everything within us to weather the constantly changing and sometimes hostile terrain. Sloan has lost his mother and is now in her former house surrounded by memories that leave him sad and feeling lonely. While his friends are clearly on his side, he has struggled for a great while with a crush on one of them, Asher. Unfortunately, Asher is a one-time guy and while he and Sloan are close, he does not nor will he ever think of entertaining the idea of exploring a relationship with him. So, in many ways, Sloan is adrift and hurting and just slowly moving through a life full of questions with no clear answers.
When Sloan meets his seemingly happily married neighbor Max, life takes a decided turn. Max is married to an ambitious, controlling woman who is determined to keep her small family in line and on the path she has determined for them, which may include moving them to Paris if she has her way. Max, on the other hand, has been hiding his real needs so deeply while fulfilling everyone’s expectations of how he should live his life that he is slowly beginning to realize that he has been trapped in a life that may not be the one meant for him. After the startling revelation that his son Logan is gay and his wife’s timely business trip to Paris, Mac finds himself drawn again and again to his grieving next-door neighbor, Sloan. Brought together time after time, Sloan and Max begin to learn much about each other and themselves and the revelations that burst on the scene leave them both with real concerns and a growing love which both grapple with.
There are going to be elements to this book that I believe some may grapple with, particularly a changing point of view that is continually revealing the inner dialogue that both Sloan and Max reveal immediately prior to voicing it, or a variation of it. I, in fact, thoroughly enjoyed this little caveat. Author B.G. Thomas deftly pours out his character’s inner heart and voice on to the page by making the decision that allows us to see the turmoil and desires that each man is struggling with at the time. You see, because we are privy to the soundtrack that plays in each man’s mind, we are really given a chance to understand these men more fully and, consequently, these two are so fully developed, fully human, and most endearing. Thomas writes about real people and he allows their strengths and weaknesses to be revealed in all their messy glory.
Earlier I talked about the idea of life being a journey. This book, Spring Affair, is about two men and their journeys. For Sloan, his is the opportunity to overcome the unrealistic crush he has for one of his best friends and to reconnect with who he is, solidifying his own buried internal strength. Max is on a journey of self-discovery. Finally coming to terms with the fact that he has buried his own desires so completely under the burden of responsibilities he has shouldered because others have expected him to do so. In so many ways, Sloan is the fulfillment of everything Max has given up. Surrounding these two are a rich cast of characters that bring the level of entertainment in this book to an all time high.
Spring Affair by B.G. Thomas is more than a simple love story. It is an exploration of all we can be and all that we push away in fear that we will never be the person others expect of us. It is a moment when a person finally realizes that they must live the life they were intended to live despite how it may alter their course forever. I highly recommend this amazing novel to you.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.