Hungry for Love meshes the wants and desires of several people and begs the question of how far one might go to have the love they desire. For Nate Tippie, that may very well mean confronting the lies he has woven surrounding his career and finally acknowledging that the endless parade of warm bodies in his bed will never provide the love he so desperately, but unknowingly seeks.
Across the room from Nate sits his sister, Hannah, who wishes for just one tenth of the male companionship she sees her brother so callously use and then toss aside. So when she and her somewhat bitter friend decide to hook Nate’s profile to a gay dating website one drunken night, it is no surprise that it is Hannah, herself, who becomes smitten with the gay man they choose to email using Nate’s persona.
Brandon Wilde is plain fed up with the endless barrage of men looking for nothing more than a quick hookup and sex. The lies and evasiveness that so often accompanies his dating history have turned him to a dating website in one last ditch effort to find a man to love. An honest man, a man who yearns for the same type of commitment as Brandon. Nate is as far from that man as east is from west and yet, when the two finally meet, there is an instant sense that they are home, that all is as it should be and that love is there right before them.
The two main characters, Brandon and Nate, are exquisitely drawn in this novel. Rick R. Reed establishes an emotional bead that echoes throughout the book, keeping his characters constantly evolving and flowing. This author has an uncanny ability to write small vignettes where the mythical men he creates come to life, and begin to work out and live lives not unsimilar to our very own. Who hasn’t wanted love at some point in their lives? Who hasn’t sometimes looked at the dating scene as a multi-headed monster that somehow must be endured? By creating realistic characters and then building simple yet real life situations around them, Reed immerses us in a world that is full of people we begin to care about and whose story draws us in and captures our imagination.
Perhaps the only real problem I found in this story lay in the rather strong, yet well-meaning sister figure, Hannah. While I found her character understandable –the idea that women are attracted to gay men for many reasons is believable to me–her neediness became grating for me. Even though the author pulled her character back from the edge time after time and allowed for her to have a loving heart for her brother, it was still hard for me to feel a great deal of compassion for her loveless plight and the somewhat mean machinations she chooses to perform on her brother. I found her character really began to bother me in many ways and, while this may have been the author’s intent, it was difficult for me to make the transition to caring about her toward the end of the novel.
However, this minor problem could not diminish the lovely way in which Hungry for Love seems to resonate beyond the page. I think I will end this review with the author’s own words–for they are not only lovely, but will stick with me for a long time.
“But the thing about people and their flaws is this: it’s not that we have them, it’s what we do with them.”