Title: Falling Again
Author: Chris Quinton
Length: 5,625 words
Publisher: Self Published
Genre: m/m Contemporary Romance
Thanks to a lucky win on the Power Ball Lottery, Joel has fulfilled his ambition – an island of his own. All he needs to do now is show it to Gray, his best friend and ex-lover, who had shared that childhood dream. But life moves on and people change. So do connections. They can transmute into something wonderful and lasting, but only if both men want the same thing.
I’ve really enjoyed the books that I’ve read by this author, especially those published by Manifold Press, so I was looking forward to reading this self published short. It tells of Joel who has reconnected with a past lover, Gray. They are just friends but Joel is hoping for so much more. As the story begins Joel is taking Gray to his island home which involves a row boat. Gray is surly and refusing to get in the boat. It takes an accident and Joel’s powers of persuasion to get Gray around to his way of thinking.
There was much to like about the story, particularly the character of Joel who I liked a great deal. He has an optimistic outlook but Gray’s increasingly bad temper is wearing him down. His fondness for Gray and his wish to carry things to the next level come across strongly and I wished him well, even if I did wonder why he put up with Gray’s grumpiness. I also understood his hesitancy which overcame his impatience to make the first move. Given Gray’s character, it seemed realistic that he would hold back a little and wait for the right moment.
Gray is rather an enigma and it’s difficult to know exactly what he is thinking even when he begins to open up to Joel, but Joel tells us that Gray is the sort of man who gives little away, so I could forgive that aspect of his character, especially as the whole story is from Joel’s point of view.
The story ends with a very satisfying resolution as Joel has all his dreams fulfilled. Normally in such a short story, I want for more, and wish that the story had been longer. In the case of this book, which was essentially the culmination of a possible romance which just needed a slight push to flower, I felt that the balance was just right and whilst I liked the characters I was happy to wave them off onto their HEA.
If you’re looking for a 10-15 minute quickie for a reasonable price, then you can’t go too wrong with this one and I would recommend it.