Fred has never recovered from the divorce that left him alone two years ago. His near non-existent, strained relationship with his grown daughter doesn’t help, nor does the depression and failure to create the stories that are his livelihood. He whiles away the midnight hours at a local Denny’s and it’s there he meets a young man who is obviously running from his own demons, just like Fred, himself.
Callum is a rock star, literally, but after five years of hiding his sexuality and longing for a relationship, he is told by his label that he cannot come out as he had hoped he might. Now he’s running from the stifling career that once gave him so much joy. When he sees the handsome man sitting alone in the booth that night at Denny’s, he is immediately drawn to him. But both of them have unfinished business that may ever prevent them from thinking about something more in a relationship.
I think the best way to approach this review of Kim Dias’ story Breakfast at Midnight is to say that I felt it was, in essence, unfinished. There was not a cliffhanger at the end of this novella, but there was also no closure for either man or a happy ever after style ending, either. What remained was a bit of a mystery to me for the last few chapters of this book were so disjointed I wasn’t really sure what was going on between Fred and Callum.
Let me begin by saying that the potential between the two men—their chemistry, such as it was—stood out immediately. There was a definite connection there and it was both plausible and real. Despite the age difference, both Callum and Fred needed each other and there was such possibility for them to really grow and develop a genuine relationship that I was sad to see that falter and then drift aimlessly in the last third of this novella. I understood why Callum made the choice he did, but so many decisions by he and Fred were left undeveloped and unexplained that I felt as though the story was only half written.
I never really got a handle on what happened between Fred and his ex to cause their divorce. We definitely got hints that Fred had suffered from some form of depression most of their married life—a depression so deep it obviously stunted his ability to maintain his relationship with both his daughter and his husband. But the details of his former life were so sketchy that I never got a clear picture of what caused the break up or the roots of the miasma of despair that seemed to rule Fred’s life.
I do believe that author Kim Dias has incredible potential to write a compelling story. The pieces really are all there in Breakfast at Midnight, they simply aren’t fully explored, unpacked, and presented so that the reader can really sink their teeth into her story. Unfortunately, this one was a miss for me, but I certainly will look for other work by this author in the hope that she allows her creative abilities to more fully develop.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.