Paul Thompson left home after high school graduation and hasn’t been back in 20 years. In the tiny town of Liddon, Saskatchewan, he thought he was the only gay person. Now with his grandmother’s 100th birthday party, he’s going home again. But a chance encounter with a high school friend in nearby Regina proves him wrong. Dylan Shevchenko is gay, and when the two men reconnect, sparks fly. And with Dylan by his side, Paul is ready to take the next step in his life.
This short novella is part of the Dreamspinner Press World of Love collection, and there’s a great sense of place woven through the story. Wiley perfectly showcases both a tiny town, and the bigger city of Regina. I was drawn in by the author’s lyrical writing, absorbed completely in the melodic tone. The style and description pulled me in and allowed me to get lost in the story.
Paul needed a different life, and the moment he got the chance to escape, he did. While I was a little surprised by how much he didn’t know about his life back home, I really enjoyed watching him react and relearn about the place where he’d grown up, and about those with whom he’d spent his formative years. He’s settled in his skin, but he needs to open his eyes. And I loved the journey he went on.
The romance is sweet and lovely, a reconnection with a classmate who has changed and grown in the years apart. Dylan wasn’t the best of people, it seems, but at the start of the story, he begins to show that he’s changed. And as Paul and Dylan reconnect, Dylan shares his thoughts and feelings from so long ago.
This was a really well done short. So much so that I wanted more. I wanted to see more of these guys together, more of their connection. It’s not that it was missing in the story, exactly, because all of that was there. But I would have loved to spend more time with them, and really see their love story.
If you’re looking for a quick, wonderful read, then this is definitely one you should check out.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.