When Toby fell in love with Emmett, Scotty became his best friend as well. Then a missed stop sign while Toby was driving left Scotty dead, Emmett injured, and Toby forever changed. Toby stayed by Emmett’s side, but Emmett’s pain and rage, as well as his own guilt, became too much for Toby to bear and he walked away.
Fifteen years later, Toby is a successful Broadway musician and Emmett is a choral director. When Emmett’s students perform in NYC, the men reconnect. Well, they have always been connected as they never did let the other go and there is so much unfinished business. The fire is still there, but so are the ghosts as well as years of what’s been left unsaid.
Toby and Emmett begin a new relationship as well as pick up where they left off. But a long distance relationship coupled with Toby’s inability to face the past may have him losing Emmett not only for a second time, but for good.
Black Dust features young love, first love, and the tragedy that pulled them apart. When Toby and Emmett met they just got each other. They shared a love of music and when they were together all was right with the world. They were too young to be able to handle what happened to them and they shattered along with their hopes and dreams for their future. The book primarily takes place present day, fifteen years after the accident, with well placed flashbacks to illustrate their past.
When Toby and Emmett reconnect, from the first phone call it was like old times. They had always held each other in their hearts and they still held a deep love for each other. They always just got what the other one needed and they spoke to each other through their shared love of music. It’s the music that also guides them to find their way back to each other.
Even with the tragedy, the writing had a light and airy touch, which is a style that I can get into. But the way it was presented here, it was like getting their story and the emotion behind it through a filter where the emotion, much of time, lay just out of reach. There were moments and emotions that came into sharper focus all of a sudden and I would have liked more of that. Emmett has comes to terms with the accident and his injuries. Toby, however, has never stopped running. His job keeps him traveling and since he can’t move on, he just keeps moving and he has never dealt with his pain.
When the men get together again, much of their conversations revolve around their work. They talk about their jobs and their shared love of music in detail and then they talk about their work some more. While they clearly had a passion for music and their careers, the entire path of the storyline was just way too slow for me. Also, both men were in their mid 30s. Yet they both spoke to each other and carried themselves as dapper elderly gentlemen, which disconnected them from their own story.
While I had some issues with the style and the pacing, there is hurt and comfort to be found here as well as love and redemption between two characters trying for that second chance, even when they think they don’t deserve it.