Rating: 3.75 stars
Buy Link: Amazon | All Romance
Spoiler Alert: And Call me in the Evening is a sequel to And Call Me in the Morning. As a result, this review will have spoilers for events in that first book as events take place about five years after And Call Me in the Morning
With five years under their belt as a couple, traveling the world with the Doctors Without Borders program, Eli is still reticent about PDA while Zane, true to form, is not. Illness while on assignment in Brazil left Eli in rough shape, forcing the men to return to Chicago for Eli to recuperate. Eli knows that the travel makes Zane happy and since it doesn’t “bother” him, he is willing to go with the flow. The thought of returning to the wild with the Doctors Without Borders program is starting to wear away at him, however, and typical of Eli, he keeps his doubts to himself.
Back in Chicago and on the mend, Eli has time to think of all of the things that have brought him to this point, along with his future with Zane. Standing at the window of their condo, Eli sees that the pharmacy across the street has closed. Reminiscing about getting shot, meeting Zane at the hospital’s free clinic, and Zane’s disappointment when the clinic he held near and dear to his heart closed, Eli feels that the pieces are coming together. Would Zane consider opening a free clinic across the street from their apartment where the now defunct drug store was instead of traveling the world?
A series of mysterious texts start showing up on Eli’s phone, and he finds out they are from his ex-wife Marybeth. Marybeth wants to see Eli again “for old time’s sake” and Eli decides that Zane does not need the hassle and keeps the information to himself. Zane finds out about the texts and the fallout is less than pretty. Zane is upset, Eli has no idea why, and a heartfelt discussion with Zane clears the air, until the men run into Marybeth while out on a date. In the aftermath of their fight, where accusations were flung at each other and the truth is finally spoken, Eli’s precarious health takes a sudden turn for the worse, and all Eli can think is that he has lost Zane for good.
I read And Call Me in the Evening immediately after And Call Me in the Morning and found that the flow was easy to follow but recognized that almost five years have elapsed for Zane, Eli, and their friends. With Zane and Eli now nearing their 50s, Eli is showing signs of slowing down. He is not as young as he used to be, while Zane seems as full of energy as always. Other than Taye and Richie having relationship issues, everyone else appears to have been put in cryogenic freeze and “woken up” exactly as they had been.
This truly is a continuation of And Call Me in the Morning and we are treated to a more in-depth look at Zane, Eli, and their friends, the challenges of their chosen paths, and the difficulties experienced when back in Chicago. Friends Taye and Richie’s relationship is on the rocks, Diana is the same snarky, fun woman she has always been, and Holly remains everyone’s mother hen. Richie’s short fuse has gotten him fired time and time again and he and Taye aren’t communicating, and Eli giving relationship advice is the funniest thing yet.
And Call Me in the Evening was like a long HEA epilogue that showed how true love can be found late in life, that even the best relationships can experience speed bumps along the way, and that as we age, our wants and needs change, like Zane’s. Granted, Eli has been avoiding dealing with the whole Marybeth issue and since Eli is a master at avoiding conflict and Zane is focused on what he wants. After all these years, the communication is still lacking.
I chose to read And Call Me in the Evening right after And Call Me in the Morning and found it a challenge. Zane and Eli did not feeI like they grew as individuals in the five years since we last met them. I also found the pacing to be slower than in the first book to the point that I found myself getting distracted often and even read and reviewed a different book part way through this one.
I would honestly say that if you enjoyed And Call Me in the Morning, you could easily stop and remain satisfied. That is not to say that you will end up disliking Zane and Eli, but the sequel just did not do it for me until near the end when Eli’s health issues resurface, as it is only at this point that the guys pull their heads out of their asses and finally start to talk.