Alessandro, known to his friends as Sandro, is having a much needed night out. Well, his friends think he needs to get out, but after his ex broke his heart and cleaned out his apartment, Sandro has no interest in small talk. Sandro is a famous ballet dancer and his career is all he needs right now. Still, he finds himself at an art gallery gazing at beautiful paintings drawn by an equally beautiful man.
Greg hasn’t even finished art school and has landed his own art show to showcase his talents. He’s shy and tentative, but a glance at Sandro is all ne needs to fall hard and fast. When they don’t connect that first night, the universe conspires to bring them together again, but the universe can also tear them apart.
Vague. The key word here is vague because there is so much of this book that cannot be shared. But I’ll start with what can be told. When Sandro and Greg glance at each other at the gallery, it’s tangible and believable. Told from Sandro’s first person POV, his thoughts and feelings are clearly on display. He’s still trying to recover from his last relationship and he’s wary and hesitant. He briefly tries to run from his feelings for Greg, but initially the story has a good tone with that magical meant-to-be-vibe.
Greg is fairly alone in the world. He left home in upstate NY after graduation for his Aunt’s home in Idaho to get away from his abusive father and the bullying he endured from classmates. This was where the story started to come apart for me. Greg states that he had to eventually leave Idaho because the bullies from high school followed him to Idaho to continue to harass him. Say what now?
The connection between Sandro and Greg flowed well at the start. Greg has never been with a man before and their first time together started out as a good scene. The bulk of their first time together was fade to black and some of it was ill timed. Now the focus of the scene wasn’t on the physical, which was perfectly fine, but all of the emotion was largely off page as well. The connection between these guys was the central focus of this book and the style here detracted from their moment and the scene then felt off. In the middle of all of this, Sandro offers a single passage of what Greg will accomplish in the near future and it didn’t fit in with the way the rest of the story was structured.
Time then moves quickly and a year passes in an overview style. The guys get a dog, but Greg doesn’t want any dog, he wants a Spitz. So that day they go to a shelter in NYC and find that exact breed of dog. There were several other instances like this as well where specific things were called out as being improbable or the characters contradicted themselves or there where inconsistencies that arose. One such instance was when two secondary characters were getting married in Colorado and they stated that they would be having a civil union “unless they pass gay marriage.” This is a new release and if it was written before gay marriage was legalized it should have been properly amended. The story of Sandro’s ex is wound in through all of this, but not the full story. If the full story wasn’t offered, I wasn’t exactly sure what the purpose was of only giving some of the details and then devoting so much page time to this storyline only to leave so many questions unanswered.
The book is broken into two parts and this is where it gets tricky. I cannot tell you anything about part two. I do feel responsible to mention that this book has moments that are sweet, but also moments that are bitter and this book would fall into the category of non-traditional romance with an alternative storyline. I am all for that and will often seek out unique storylines within the genre, but the execution here was lacking. The book takes a paranormal route (think ghosts) and it was handled with such broad strokes in so few pages and part two crashed and burned right in front of me. While this book had some moments upfront and some initial appeal, looking at it in its entirety, it’s not a book that is shouting read me.