Jason’s life growing up in Brooklyn was good, but not without structure. His father was a respected rabbi and Jason and his sisters were expected to stay in line. When he went off to NYU, Jason fell for a guy for the first time, although the wrong guy, came out to his family, and his father promptly disowned him. Jason persevered, graduated, and now runs a LGBTQ teen shelter in NYC. He is dedicated to his work, but Jason’s love life is still no better and currently he seems to be falling for the wrong guy once again for he cannot keep his eyes or his thoughts off of Quinn.
Quinn started working with Jason at the shelter and everyone he meets thinks the man is gorgeous and charming and kind. Jason doesn’t think Quinn is gay, but that hardly seems to matter as Quinn is one ceremony away from his final vows to become a Catholic priest. The guys spend lots of time together in work and out and then one night Quinn makes the first move. The men fall into a tentative relationship based on both love and lust and for Jason it’s the stuff dreams are made of. But Quinn has a lot to deal with and a deadline and when he leaves for a retreat, Jason knows the silence may be permanent because in a moment of silence, everything can change.
Moment of Silence is listed as the fourth book in the Moments in Time series. While both Jason and Quinn were introduced in earlier books, this book can be read as a standalone. While I definitely enjoyed Collin and Tanner’s earlier story from the series, this book upped Stivali’s talent with an edgier and more tightly written narrative.
Despite being on his own after his entire family turned their back on him, Jason has made a path for himself in the world at a young age. He has made attempts to break free from his upbringing by doing things frowned upon by his parents, such as getting tattoos, watching The Grinch, and spending Christmas with friends at the shelter. That doesn’t mean the loss of his family is any less difficult for him even years later and it still affects how he views himself.
That sums me up. A family problem. The one son. The massive disappointment. The gay sheep. The shameful secret. That was me.
The book is solely from Jason’s point of view and he has an entertaining inner dialogue. He spends most of the time being freaked out and neurotic. He constantly thinks of Quinn and then constantly berates himself for his thoughts.
How stupid was that? I didn’t want her flirting with my co-worker, the almost priest, who was likely straight. I shook my head at my own ridiculousness. God help me.
I had a feeling he wouldn’t.
He also can’t seem to help himself and as the men spend more and more time together and every move Quinn makes sparks thoughts of desire and just having a meal together becomes excruciating.
“This was aweome.” Quinn licked a purple streak of blueberry off his fork before setting it down and pushing his plate away.
I was too mesmerized by the sight of his tongue to speak right away.
But Jason really has no idea what is going on with Quinn and when they run into one of Jason’s exes who is set on making Jason feel uncomfortable, Quinn comes to the rescue in confusing ways that just amps up Jason’s neuroses.
He’s holding my hand. He’s holding my hand, right here in the restaurant, right in the middle of a roomful of people…. My heart hammered so hard. I could feel every racing beat. What is he doing? Is he trying to be my beard? My reverse beard? Can a straight guy even be a beard? He’s the antibeard.
Religion is a huge portion of both of their lives in different ways and while it is one of the foundations for the story, it is not delved into too heavily and becomes more of a secondary character, a backdrop, and the landscape of their lives.
What was missing for me was more from Quinn. He has a life altering decision to make and we are never given a true view into his thought process. He tells Jason that he is unsure what the future of their relationship will be and then all of his decisions are off page. Like Jason, during a good portion of the book, I was left wondering just what Quinn was going through. As for Jason and his family issues, while he starts out slow and attempts to reconnect to his roots through the traditional foods of his childhood, for all the loss and pain he went through, he made it exceptionally easy for all of them.
Looking for a HEA? This one is spectacular. The little touches Stivali uses to pull the small details together were perfect. This book was an excellent addition to the series and the entertaining and scandalous excerpt for the next book ensures that I will eagerly await a return to this world.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.