Blurb: Three years ago Vince lost his partner and has been alone since. One day he meets Rob, a student who lives next door. Rob and Vince, who is 24 years his senior, start a relationship eventually, but Vince still is not 100% certain this will work out.
Review: Vince is 45 and finds himself checking out his 21 year old neighbour. He can’t believe it himself and tries to ignore the attraction. Rob, who is extremely mature for his age and always liked older men, knows he’s finally found what he’s looking for. Until those two men find a way to stay together they have to go through some serious self-induced troubled times.
Vince and Rob are two great characters. Vince is afraid and until very late in the book does everything he can to destroy whatever it is he and Rob have going on – even if sometimes only subconsciously. Rob, on the other hand, is a strong young man, who in a lot of ways can teach Vince a thing or two about trust and going with the flow. They were great together. Often it is as if their parts were reversed and Rob was the older one of the two.
For once a couple who decides to take it slow does exactly that. They take it slow in the real sense of the word. They just spend time together, go out, see films etc. and only when they feel the time is right they give in to their desire. By that time the sexual tension had built up quite a bit. This was a nice change to the usual hopping into bed the first day based on instant attraction only. In Ms. Gold short story "Special delivery" the two protagonists do the same and prefer to get to know each other first, so I don’t know whether this is characteristic for her, or whether it is just a coincidence. Either way, I liked this a lot.
Ms. Gold put a quote at the beginning of every chapter. The quotes are fitting the chapters very well and give you a hint of what’s to come. Being a quote lover I found some great ones to add to my collection.
The story very much focuses on the feelings of the two men with a few nice secondary characters thrown in. Rob’s flat mates are interesting and range from the supportive best friend to a rather condescending friend who changes his attitude in the course of the book. Rob’s family also wasn’t all happy about the age gap, even though I felt that there could have been a bit more details about the negative reactions from that side. They were only hinted at. It was good to see that not everybody reacted with benevolence to Vince and Rob’s relationship. Even nowadays an age difference of 24 years is frowned upon by a lot of people, so everything else would have been extremely unrealistic.
Until now I didn’t consider myself to be a fan of stories with the young man – older man constellation, but after reading this story I think I am.
One more word about the overall theme of this story. I came across the term “May – December romance” only recently and it annoyed me right away. If you assigned a month to the characters May and December would imply that one of the partners is almost in the middle of his life and the other at the very end. I might take this too literally but I don’t get that term at all. I read on the net that there is a new politically correct term for this sort of romance, which is “age-gap relationship”. I’m all for calling a spade a spade and this is exactly why this time I prefer the PC term by far.
Available at Red Rose Publishing