Bryan will tell you that he’s not counting, but it has been 259 days since he’s had sex. He made a deal with himself and abstaining for one year was the best way for him to refocus. Well, Bryan does take care of himself, but having another man touch him is completely off limits. He’s been doing okay as he’s studying photography at NYU during the day and playing gigs with his band at night. Bryan is fine with being on a hiatus, really, until his eyes land on Oliver.
Oliver is new to NYC and new to city life. He left New Hampshire after his engagement of convenience to his best friend ended when she fell in love for real. Oliver then came out and signed up for a summer program at NYU and for the first time he’s trying to find his way on his own terms.
But Oliver has no idea how to navigate the gay scene anywhere, let alone NYC, and that’s where Bryan comes in. Sure the attraction and tension between the men is thick enough to strangle them, but Bryan is committed to his last three months of celibacy and certainly doesn’t want a relationship. Oliver thinks he wants to date and check out the club scene and Bryan leads the way. But, Bryan slowly loses his mind with each interaction as all thoughts lead to sex–sex between him and Oliver that is. Until, those thoughts become more and Bryan wants it all with Oliver, but, Bryan has been burned before and he thinks he can only rely on himself. Trying to stick to his carefully crafted rules, Bryan becomes his own obstacle, but one chance meeting and one moment may have been just enough to show Bryan what may truly be his fate.
An excerpt for Moment of Fate was added at the end of the previous book in this series and that one excerpt intrigued me so much and I have been waiting for this book. That scene opens with:
Here’s a tip: If you’ve been edging for a few hours and someone knocks on the door, don’t answer it.
The rest of that scene fully delivers in a way that only Bryan can.
During the wait for release day, the author posted several teasers with each one ramping up the intensity. It was amazing to finally have all of those excerpts not only come together, but for the book to be everything that I hoped it would be.
The book is told primarily from Bryan’s POV and it’s to Stivali’s credit that she gets us fully into Bryan’s mind. He’s a good guy. He’s there for his friends and his family and he’s close to finishing his degree. Things had always been easy for Bryan, that’s just how his life was, until medical issues, coupled with family issues, all caught up to him and he’s a little depressed and a lot closed off. His last relationship also devastated him and he’s not looking to go through that again. He’s definitely reeling when he admits to himself that he has a “good old fashioned crush” on Oliver.
Oliver captivates Bryan like no one else ever has. Oliver is out of his element in the city, which only endears him to Bryan further and Bryan wants to be the one to give Oliver all of his new experiences. But, Bryan is determined to complete his year of abstinence, although where Oliver is concerned he may just be hiding behind that vow so he doesn’t have to put himself or all of his feelings out there again.
Now for a book with a main character that has taken a temporary vow of celibacy, there is a lot of sex in this book and it’s well crafted how Stivali achieves this. Bryan is quite a sensual guy and the author continually ramps up the incredible chemistry and tension between him and Oliver. It’s always clear throughout the entire book what Bryan wants, even when he doesn’t want to admit it, and part of the enjoyment of this book may hinge on how you feel about being in Bryan’s head. But, it’s a rare gift for an author to allow the reader to fully inhabit the same space as the character and Stivali indeed created something special with Bryan. We don’t get as much from Oliver during most of the book. We get to know him through his blog and the posts are mostly about his past. Toward the end, we get a little more from him through conversation and if there was one thing missing here for me it would have been to have had more from his view as well. Oliver does, however, at one point title a post Blogging the Blow, which is an entertaining and somewhat interactive take on…well…you’ll see.
Moment of Fate is dirty and flirty and one of the best books I have read from Stivali. While it fits into the Moments in Time universe, it can easily be read as a standalone and I would encourage you to see how Bryan and Oliver find their way to each other.
“Sure, when we first met I thought I wanted to fuck my brains out with a different guy every night, but that was because I didn’t know you existed. Once I found out, I wanted you. Only you.”
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.