I will admit up front that, for me, the ‘gay/out for you trope’ is one that I don’t always find terribly believable. But author Sara Dobie Bauer gives a much more unique and realistic storyline in the novel, Abstract Love. With great success, this writer paints the picture of a newly divorced man who finds himself attracted to someone much younger than he and who is his polar opposite. It is a case of stone wall (Donovan) meeting a lightning bolt (Sam), with the result being explosively sexy and really fun to watch.
Sam is a force to be reckoned with in the graphic design world. A recent graduate who racks up awards and a reputation for brilliance in short order, he leaves New York for a firm in his hometown of Ohio. No one is privy to the real reason Sam decides to take the job but himself and his best friend, Zen. With his chaotic fashion choices and his endless array of brightly colored, yet hideous socks, Sam Shelby sweeps into Donovan Cooper’s firm and turns everything upside down, including the boss.
Donovan is perpetually grumpy. It may be due to his impending divorce, or that he lost his passion for the job and company he runs long ago, or it may be the fact that the new whiz kid gets under his skin every time they interact. All Donovan knows is that the sight of Sam Shelby does something to him no man has ever done before and it scares the pants off him—or maybe that’s just Sam being his usual, sexy, frustrating self. Either way, noticing a man sexually is a first for Donovan and it has him reeling.
Abstract Love follows two men who could not be more different from each other. Donovan lives an ordered life, where the only place he allows his real self and his artistic passions to come out is in a locked room in his apartment. But he hasn’t gone in there in some time—even his love of painting has fizzled over the years, just as his marriage did. Sam is like a burst of energy—chaotic, sloppy, brilliant, and allergic to committed relationships. No one ever sleeps over and everyone knows up front that Sam is not looking for anything long term. He enjoys multiple partners and refuses to allow himself to be pinned own.
Before long, Donovan must admit that he is not exactly straight and that he cares for Sam way more than he should. Sam, on the other hand, is trying to balance a family that had turned their backs on him eight years before, a new job with a huge contract to be landed, and a boss who gives him what no one else ever has in the bedroom—a place to submit. For Sam, it’s a recipe for disaster; for Donovan, it is an awakening.
With humor, compassion, heated intimacy, and lots of trial and error, Abstract Love takes two men–one lonely and tired, and one scared commitment-phobe–and allows them to discover together just what is most important to them. There will be times of pain and times of joy, with a healthy dose of craziness thrown in the mix, but there will also be a profound recognition that love really can happen and last. Somehow, it really works that Donovan discovers he is interested in men only after falling for Sam. Even Zen, Sam’s gal pal, warns Sam that Donovan could just be experimenting and on the rebound. But Donovan really searches his soul in this story and it makes the whole premise work. I think these two are a match made in heaven. This story made me laugh, cry, and cheer, all in short order. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and highly recommend it to you.