Lee Summers is enjoying the last incarnation of a farmers’ market before winter settles in when a dog steals his kebob, and Lee meets the dog’s owner, Felix Clymenos. Felix offers to buy Lee lunch to make up for his dog’s shenanigans, and Lee finds himself accepting. The two men have an easy rapport, and soon agree to see each other again. Their relationship moves very quickly, which surprises Lee since he’s an introvert that has never had more than one night stands. But the more time he spends with Felix, the more he knows that he cannot live without the man. Only when he finally has to make the choice to leave, does Lee find out the truth. And it’s so big, that Lee has trouble reconciling it with what he knows. Now Lee has a choice to make, and it won’t be easy.
All right, guys, I have to say that this lovely little story captured my interest from the very beginning and kept me glued to the pages until I was done. I adored Lee from the moment we met him and I loved being in his head as he met Felix and the relationship progressed. He’s a sweetheart, who actually has a pretty good self-awareness, for all that he’s missing a critical piece. He really knows himself, and I like that even though being with Felix wasn’t something he normally would have done, it felt right and Lee trusted himself. There are small hints that something larger is going on, that Lee trusting in Felix is destined or preordained or fate or something of that ilk. And it’s done incredibly well so as not to give too much away, but to make the whole thing rather believable.
This is a short story, and I think the author used the format to great advantage. The tale isn’t bogged down by anything extra, and we get only exactly what is needed to convey the story. Yes, there were a few parts where I would have liked a bit more information, but these were few and far between. This book was exactly what a short story should be, and I enjoyed it a lot.
But the thing is, I enjoyed it right up until the end and then I have to admit that I had an issue. I’m going to be fair and say that it might be a personal thing here, and I’m going to put it under a cut so as not to spoil anyone who would rather read to find out.
Lee is the reincarnated Persephone, and Felix is Hades made flesh. I don’t have any issues with the fact that Lee is reincarnated, and I actually thought it was explained rather well. What I do have a problem with is the implication that Lee is just a woman in a man’s body. For me, personally, this doesn’t sit well. Had it been handled differently, with an effort to explain that he’s a different person or something like that, I probably wouldn’t have had a problem with it. But I finished the story feeling like only reason they were together was because Lee was once a woman and that did bother me. Again, I say this is a personal preference, but one that did diminish my enjoyment of an otherwise wonderful tale.
Ultimately, I really liked this story and can recommend it to anyone who is a fan of reincarnation stories, Greek mythology, or looking for a quick, satisfying read.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.