November 20th, 2016

andrew potter

2016 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Unnatural by Joanna Chambers (401-09-05-2016)

1) A tangle of tensions, of the push and pull between an “unnatural” desire and the demands of family and society. The setting and era are beautifully evoked, and although the relationship is frustrating, it is a believable consequence of those men in that time.

2) A very nice historical novel. The characters are both believable and people I'd like to meet, and also fit into their historical era really well. The story is exciting and paced just right. It wasn't quite a 10 on plot development as I felt I'd read very similar stories before, but that is the nature of the genre to some extent. The sense of place was well drawn and I felt I knew the area as I read along; sense​s​ of touch, taste, ​and ​smell were included to bring the scenes alive. ​An obviously skilled author with a good writing style.

3) I enjoyed this book. The jumping time frames were a little distracting, but allowed the reader to get an insight to the characters relationship that linear would not have allowed within the context. Thought the author was true to the times and did a good job of making the complications of gay relationships both plausible and still romantic in nature. Both main characters were well written and multidimensional.

4) The Regency era in this story was described beautifully as was the hardships of the taboo relationships as well. The characters are likable and quite believable. The plot runs smoothly and the reader can quite comprehend the story without words or terms that would detract from the story. Overall, this is a well-written story and I'm looking forward to reading the previous books as well as other stories from this wonderful author.​

Unnatural by Joanna Chambers
Gay Historical Romance
Paperback: 250 pages
Publisher: Samhain Publishing (November 24, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1619232391
ISBN-13: 978-1619232396
Amazon: Unnatural
Amazon Kindle: Unnatural

The heart breaks but does not change. An Enlightenment Story Captain Iain Sinclair. Perfect son, perfect soldier, hero of Waterloo. A man living a lie. The only person who really knows him is his childhood friend, scientist James Hart. But they've been estranged since Iain brutally destroyed their friendship following a passionate encounter. Iain is poised to leave the King's service to become an undercover agent in India. Before he leaves his old life behind, he's determined to reconcile with James. An invitation to a country house party from James's sister provides the perfect opportunity to pin the man down. James has loved Iain all his life, but his years of accepting crumbs from Iain's table are over. Forgiving Iain is one thing-restoring their friendship is quite another. In the face of James's determined resistance, Iain is forced to confront his reasons for mending the wounds between them. And accept the possibility that James holds the key to his heart's desire-if only he has the courage to reach for it. Warning: Contains a dashing military hero with one weakness-a scientist who feels their chemistry in every cell of his body. Kissing in the rain, skinny dipping, and emotional flashbacks. Huzzah!

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andrew potter

2016 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: The Beacon Hill Sorcerer Series (344-08-30-2016)

1) Great mix of suspense, mystery and paranormal. The sex scene that develops in the first chapter is a mix of romantic meeting erotica. i was perfectly fine with this introduction, however, it may turn off the reader who isn’t prepared for graphic sex at the get-go. Some m/m romance readers want build up. Some crave erotic. Some crave erotica. This book mixes all three for the reader’s benefit although in this case, the build-up is the strengthening relationship. Necromancer’s Dilemma is a great follow up to Necromancer’s Dance. Both have had a moving plot, tension between the main characters and great writing pace. Necromancer’s Dilemma showcases the relationship between Angel, a sorcerer, and Simeon, a vampire. Great story showcasing these characters more and therefore encouraging the reader to read more in the series.

2) I was hooked by these stories from the word go. Interesting characters, and magic system/world building, and cutest dragon ever. It felt as though I had stepping into a fully formed universe with a complex history, and I am very pleased there is more to look forward to in this series. A few typos etc, but they didn't detract from the story at all, and the more I read the less I noticed them.  Very enjoyable bonus short at the end of the 2nd book too.

The Necromancer's Dance and The Necromancer's Dilemma (2 books as 1 submission) by S.J. Himes
Gay Fantasy

The Necromancer's Dance (The Beacon Hill Sorcerer #1)
Series: The Beacon Hill Sorcerer
Paperback: 284 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (February 25, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 153083693X
ISBN-13: 978-1530836932
Amazon: The Necromancer's Dance (The Beacon Hill Sorcerer #1)
Amazon Kinlde: The Necromancer's Dance (The Beacon Hill Sorcerer #1)

In a world where magic is real and evil walks amongst humanity, a young sorcerer is beset upon by enemies, both old and new. Angelus Salvatore is the only necromancer in all of Boston, and his name is whispered warily by the undead and fellow sorcerers alike. He and his brother Isaac are the lone survivors of an attack by an army of the undead, in which Angel used a spell so powerful it forever marked his place in history. Now, years later, Angel struggles to balance his career as a teacher of the higher magical arts, his role as big brother, and a tenuous relationship with an Elder vampire from the local clan. When his brother's boyfriend is used as a pawn in a mysterious plot to draw Angel out, Angel is once again drawn back into the old hostilities that fueled the Blood Wars and led to his family's death. Leaning on others for help is something Angel cannot do, and while he searches for clues into who may be targeting him and his brother, Angel finds his heart steadily growing occupied with Simeon, Elder and vampire. Dealing with death magic and vampires on a daily basis may leave Angel jaded when it comes to life and staying that way, but the more time he spends fending off the ancient vampire's attention and affections, the more he realizes he wants to give in. Can Angel find out who wants him dead, and keep his heart safe in the process? How can he fall for a vampire, when his whole family was torn apart by an army of the undead? Death stalks the streets of Boston's historic Beacon Hill....and there is no one more suited to battle against death than a necromancer.

The Necromancer's Dilemma (The Beacon Hill Sorcerer #2)
Series: The Beacon Hill Sorcerer
Paperback: 280 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (July 1, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1535135514
ISBN-13: 978-1535135511
Amazon: The Necromancer's Dilemma (The Beacon Hill Sorcerer #2)
Amazon Kinlde: The Necromancer's Dilemma (The Beacon Hill Sorcerer #2)

Even love can die without trust. Angel’s brother, Isaac, has returned home, and the pair begins to make slow and awkward attempts back to each other. Learning how to be a brother to a grown man instead of a parental figure has Angel adjusting his behaviors and habits, and Isaac still remains a mystery. Was it merely entering adulthood that turned Isaac away from an overprotective Angel, or does Isaac carry a secret that will keep them from finally being a real family? Daniel Macavoy, Angel’s new apprentice, is torn between his bond with Angel and the grasping machinations of his father. Dealing with a traumatized apprentice with dangerous holes in his magical education, saving Daniel may be harder than Angel first thought—especially since the biggest problem is not revenge, but guilt. The one shining beacon in his life is Simeon, Elder vampire of Boston’s only Bloodclan. Four hundred years old and sexy as sin, Simeon is warrior and sage, patient and cunning. The strength Angel draws from Simeon’s devotion and the newborn mate-bond between them is steadfast and true…and the fount of death magic that animates the undead lord places Angel in the midst of a power struggle for control over himself, his lover, and his family. Through it all, Angel is beleaguered by the unwanted attention of a troll-hybrid, the adventures of a dragon in the city, and a serial killer has decided to hunt the back alleys and midnight streets of Boston.

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andrew potter

2016 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Farm Fresh by Posy Roberts (388-09-04-2016)

1) This book fit its title so perfectly---it was fresh, organic, unique, just a delight to read. I'd be hard pressed to say what I loved most about it--the setting, the characters, the writing... I've hardly ever read a book with so much sex in where each and every sex scene actually had a purpose beyond the obvious, either for plot development or character growth. And they were all well written, paced just right and with the perfect mix of erotic, dirty and sweet for me. The organic farming commune setting was as lovingly drawn as the characters, the descriptions of both locale and backstories seamlessly worked into the narrative to form a vivid picture in the reader's mind. I loved the character growth both Hudson and Jude went through, how they found healing from their traumatic pasts with the help of their chosen family. Hudson and Jude were a great pairing, very different personalities that complemented each other so well, both likeable on their own and just adorable as a couple. The secondary main couple, Leo and Charlie, weren't quite as present as Hudson and Jude but just as wonderful; all four of them fascinating personalities I'd really love to meet in person.

2) This story is like taking a refreshing breath. I was beautifully written with very well liked characters. Bringing back the commune era, it brings us to what is happening with our planet right at this day and age, where, while most people outside of the outside of the commune are consumers of the quick and easy, in other words, what I call plastic, these people are in there to bring knowledge and teach others to consume fresh and natural. Also, the idea of not being ashamed of our bodies, as we see so rampant today, is a bonus. It brings back the long lost idea of Peace, Love, and Freedom. Totally refreshing! I'd love to read more books that leave me feeling in such great Peace as this one did.

Farm Fresh (Naked Organics #1) by Posy Roberts
Gay Contemporary Romance
Series: Naked Organics
Paperback: 202 pages
Publisher: Labyrinth Bound Press (January 28, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1523219505
ISBN-13: 978-1523219506
Amazon: Farm Fresh (Naked Organics #1)
Amazon Kindle: Farm Fresh (Naked Organics #1)

Jude Garrity visits the farmers market every Saturday. As an environmental engineering student, he’s curious about living off the grid and sustainable agriculture. And one particular farmer. Hudson Oliva has worked hard to support his commune, where queer people live without fear of harm or retribution. When Jude asks pointed questions about living there, Hudson realizes he needs to be honest about his home. Few people know what the farm is actually about, but Jude is insistent. Jude moves to Kaleidoscope Gardens, however his sexual hang-ups make it hard to adjust. He’s an uptight virgin living among people who have sex freely and with multiple partners. When Jude finally loosens up, Hudson is flooded with emotions. Falling for Jude wasn’t part of Hudson’s life plan. But when vindictive rumors about the commune begin to spread, love might be all he has left.

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andrew potter

2016 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: The Mystery of Nevermore by C.S. Poe (352-08-30-2016)

1) I enjoyed this book and look forward to future episodes in the series. I really liked the early development of Calvin’s character and was jarred when he suddenly started acting short and mean. I felt the shift was a bit out of left field and not foreshadowed. I was also concerned that a person with severe PTSD could be a homicide detective. I worried for him and the people he was supposed to protect. I particularly liked the EA Poe details in the story.

2) I found this book to be quite exciting and thrilling. It is well written and well developed. The only issues I had were with the MCs. Their first time together was rushed, too soon, and with no obvious reason but that they were horny. Being that the officer was investigating a murder case, he should've waited (IMO) at least until Sebastian was cleared of charges before the detective went down on his knees. The murder investigations were well written, kept me interested in learning who the perp was until the end.

The Mystery of Nevermore (Snow & Winter #1) by C.S. Poe
Gay Mystery / Thriller
Series: Snow & Winter (Book 1)
Paperback: 216 pages
Publisher: DSP Publications (August 30, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1634770692
ISBN-13: 978-1634770699
Amazon: The Mystery of Nevermore (Snow & Winter #1)
Amazon Kinlde: The Mystery of Nevermore (Snow & Winter #1)

Snow & Winter: Book One

It's Christmas, and all antique dealer Sebastian Snow wants is for his business to make money and to save his floundering relationship with closeted CSU detective Neil Millett. When Snow's Antique Emporium is broken into and a heart is found under the floorboards, Sebastian can't let the mystery rest.

He soon finds himself caught up in murder investigations that echo the macabre stories of Edgar Allan Poe. To make matters worse, Sebastian's sleuthing is causing his relationship with Neil to crumble, while at the same time he's falling hard for the lead detective on the case, Calvin Winter. Sebastian and Calvin must work together to unravel the mystery behind the killings, despite the mounting danger and sexual tension, before Sebastian becomes the next victim.

In the end, Sebastian only wants to get out of this mess alive and live happily ever after with Calvin.

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andrew potter

2016 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Restitution: A Love Story by Aubrey Cullens (384-09-03-2016)

1) Really enjoyed the characters and the flow of the story; so emotionally satisfying.

2)  A well-written, slow burn romance with solid set up and compelling characters.

Restitution: A Love Story by Aubrey Cullens
Gay Contemporary Romance
Publisher: LoveLight Press (October 29, 2015)
Amazon Kindle: Restitution: A Love Story

Nate Parker has spent the last few years imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit. His wrongful conviction cost him his job, his fiancée, his reputation, and his hope for the future. His name has been cleared, but after everything he’s lost, he doesn’t know how to find his way back to the life that was taken from him.

Parker Campbell is raising his 9-year-old niece, Emma, on his own. Working for a homophobic boss in a gay-unfriendly town, he treads carefully, knowing that his job security has to be his priority when he’s all Emma has.

Parker has never considered starting a relationship with another employee… until he hires Nate. It should have been easy to avoid getting involved, since Nate keeps insisting that he's not gay. Parker is used to life not being easy, though, and Nate may find that what he really needs isn't at all what he thought he was looking for.

(Restitution is a standalone m/m contemporary gay romance of approximately 60,000 words containing profanity, mature adult content, two men who deserve love, and a happily ever after ending.)

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andrew potter

2016 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Falling by Sierra Riley (382-09-03-2016)

Funny, quirky, sweet, and oh, so adorable! I truly enjoyed this funny, cheery romance. As they say, opposites attract, and these two MCs couldn't be more opposites! I'm usually leery about gay for you stories, but the way the straight MC was portrayed in this one, it was just perfect, simply because he, Nick, the straight man and trainer, didn't fall for Jeremy, bookstore owner, from the get-go. Instead we see a gradual attraction. I salute the author for making it a slooow thing to come. Too many times I see a supposed straight man falling head over heels for a gay man. Nope, never happens that way...At all! So, Thank you, Sierra, for bringing such a sweet story for us to enjoy!

Falling by Sierra Riley
Gay Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 354 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (July 12, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1535217944
ISBN-13: 978-1535217941
Amazon: Falling
Amazon Kindle: Falling

“You’re the best fake boyfriend I ever had.”

“Love exists… in books, at least.”
There’s no way bookstore owner Jeremy Bennett is going to his ten-year class reunion after accidentally drunk-posting on the reunion’s Facebook page and making himself sound a) much more interesting than he actually is, by b) claiming to do the kind of things he actually only reads about, and c) worse, also claiming to have a super hot boyfriend, when in reality, d) his dating history is more like the bastard love child of a trainwreck and a what-not-to-do reality show.

“I’m no good at romance.”
When one of Nick Roberts’ personal training clients mistakes him for the boyfriend of a new gym member, Nick decides to play along on a whim. After all, he can’t let the guy die from embarrassment, and besides, even though Nick isn’t gay, he has a feeling that the story behind the mistaken identity might prove to be the most fun he’s had since moving to Tulsa.

“I went from faking it to feeling it. Don’t tell me this isn’t real.”
Falling for your fake boyfriend is a guaranteed dating fail. Unless the stars align…

Falling is a steamy, standalone gay romance novel with a HEA and no cliffhangers. It is set in the same series-world as “Someday,” Danny and Mace’s story, and “Delicious,” Gavin and Ben’s story.

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andrew potter

2016 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: The Heart As He Hears It by A.M. Arthur (402-09-05-2016)

1) Loved this book. This author has a talent for taking unusual characters with unusual issues, giving them a great story and an even better happily ever after. Just an amazing read.

2) This is a truly heartfelt story. It left me wanting to take Isaac and envelop him in my arms and protect him from the world, to reassure him that no one would hurt him ever again. I appreciated the patience and room Jon and Henry gave him. I loved Henry as well. A sweet dying man who didn't know he had a son, now dead, let alone a grandson, the only family he had left. I loved Jon for his tenderness toward Isaac, the love he felt for him. This was truly a great story and I'm looking forward to reading the previous books.

The Heart As He Hears It (Perspectives) by A.M. Arthur
Gay Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 280 pages
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd. (April 19, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1619234335
ISBN-13: 978-1619234338
Amazon: The Heart As He Hears It (Perspectives)
Amazon Kindle: The Heart As He Hears It (Perspectives)

Love can slip through the smallest crack in the door.

Perspectives, Book 3

While most of his friends have moved on to “real” careers, Jon Buchanan is content skating through life as a part-time waiter and gay porn star. Firmly single thanks to a previous relationship disaster, he focuses his spare time on Henry, a dear friend dying of cancer.

And with Henry's happiness paramount, Jon is on a mission to help Henry meet his recently discovered grandson.

Isaac Gregory hasn't set foot outside for the past year. He has everything he needs delivered, and his remaining family knows better than to visit. When a complete stranger shows up claiming to be his grandfather-with a distractingly handsome younger man in tow-his carefully structured routines are shaken.

Despite his instant attraction, Jon senses Isaac is too fragile for a relationship. Yet tentative friendship grows into genuine companionship. And when Henry's health begins to fail, they realize Fate brought them together for a reason.

Warning: Product contains a neurotic porn star with body image issues, a virgin hero with severe agoraphobia, and a fluffy ball of gray cuteness you'll want to take home and cuddle. Also contains references to past abuse some readers might find disturbing.

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andrew potter

2016 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Cardinal Sins by Lissa Kasey (166-07-04-2016)

This is the story that grabs at my heart and holds me until the very end. I know I will now buy this series.

Cardinal Sins (Hidden Gem #2) by Lissa Kasey
Gay Sci-fi / Futuristic
Paperback: 290 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (November 13, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 163476580X
ISBN-13: 978-1634765800
Amazon: Cardinal Sins (Hidden Gem #2)
Amazon Kindle: Cardinal Sins (Hidden Gem #2)

Hidden Gem: Book Two

Paris Hansworth, star whore turned senator and the most powerful man in City M, has been hiding his terminal illness for years. Searching for a way to reverse the toxic environment that’s killing him, Paris stumbles upon a lost research facility, and a merman named Rain.

Years alone have made Rain long for companionship, and the beautiful man on the other side of the glass intrigues him. But Rain speaks the wrong language, and is decades out of touch. He isn’t quite sure what to think of the new environment he’s been thrust into.

As a virus spreads through the city targeting City M's most private residents―A-Ms―Paris realizes he’s out of time. He’s willing to sacrifice everything, even his own life, to stop it. But Rain might just be the missing DNA link to explain the mutations created in the last plague, maybe even the cure.

Watching Paris race to save his friends, Rain knows he's found someone special and will do anything to stay by his side. But the past Paris thought he’d escaped is seeking revenge, and he’s forced to adapt yet again, possibly even becoming a monster. He only hopes Rain will still want him.

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andrew potter

2016 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: The Promise by Victoria Sue (137-06-07-2016)

I absolutely loved this one. There were a few errors, and sometimes the character’s names in scenes were crossed up, the story was solid all the way. I will have to read the next book asap!

The Promise (Sirius Wolves #4) by Victoria Sue
Gay Paranormal Romance
Paperback: 234 pages
Publisher: Dark Hollows Press, LLC (January 14, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1532790406
ISBN-13: 978-1532790409
Amazon: The Promise (Sirius Wolves #4)
Amazon Kindle: The Promise (Sirius Wolves #4)

The time of Anubis is at hand.

Working together against him, the goddess Sirius and the god Orion have helped mankind prepare by uniting Blaze, Conner, Darric, and Aden to fight the evil in the world. But in the war to come, the werewolves will need more allies, and this will extend beyond werewolf kind. Marcus, an ex-Marine who’d lost both his legs in a landmine accident, is now Human Liaison Officer for Blaze's pack. Having lost his lover when the man couldn’t bear to live with "a cripple", Marcus never expected that he'd fall in love again, let alone with the werewolf Kellan, who seemed to be universally hated by the pack.

The Winter Circle is moving, and a psychopathic pastor has abducted Nate, one of the wolves from Hunter's pack. For once the wolves cannot rescue him — it has to be a human — and now Marcus must save the wolves from their biggest threat: one of their own.

If Marcus succeeds, he will bring in a new era in mankind’s battle against the power of evil, starting with a simple promise and ultimately mending four broken hearts.

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andrew potter

2016 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Chemical Bonds by L.M. Somerton (173-07-13-2016)

This is a wonderful story. I can't say how realistic it is, but the characters feel real and they're all sympathetic. They're also three-dimensional, Max being submissive but strong too, as he discovers, and Blake has a tough exterior but a soft center, like hard candy. The writing is fluent and easy to follow, and the author has made the Dom-sub experience enjoyable and fresh. This is going to my favorite pile, to be re-read at the earliest convenience. Loved it!

Chemical Bonds by L.M. Somerton
Gay Erotic Romance
Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: Pride Publishing (May 17, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1786513374
ISBN-13: 978-1786513373
Amazon: Chemical Bonds
Amazon Kindle: Chemical Bonds

Even the best-planned experiment can have unpredictable consequences.

Max Allenby loves his job as a chemist with Armacom, developing new protective materials. He harbours a secret crush for the CEO, the stern and distant Blake Winters, which makes dealing with his harridan of a boss, Dr. Ella Preston, bearable.

Blake Winters is a lifestyle Dom. He spotted Max when he first joined Armacom, but has kept his distance from the talented, young scientist. When his Head of Security, who also happens to be Max’s older brother, tells him about Max’s feelings, Blake decides its time to make the pretty young man his.

Blake proposes a dating experiment to Max. For three hours a night over five nights, Max will give Blake his complete submission. Max is conflicted but decides to take the plunge and get a taste of a lifestyle he secretly craves.

Each date night introduces Max to a new level of submission. He loves every minute but is also conflicted—unable to believe a man like Blake wants him as anything more than a temporary plaything.

Blake understands that experiments do not always turn out as expected. He takes steps to convince Max of his feelings and to reassure him that his submissive streak is a strength, not a weakness.

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andrew potter

2016 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Small Steps by Chris McHart (195-07-24-2016)

1) A moving romance that is different from anything I’ve read before. I love that the author took risks to explore how far love can take us. There were a few minor issues with the writing, but none of them detracted from this compelling read. The development of Sebastian’s character in particular is realistic and has great depth. The secondary characters were also well written. I’m looking forward to reading more from Chris McHart.

2) Once I got over the strange feeling of reading a story set in Germany, written in English by a seemingly non native speaker, the story started to grow on me.  It took awhile to warm up to the self destructive lead character, but I'm glad to see character transformation.  It's more of a story of redemption and forgiveness.  A nice slow burner.

Small Steps (Long Way to Happiness #1) by Chris McHart
Gay Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (September 7, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1517202566
ISBN-13: 978-1517202569
Amazon: Small Steps (Long Way to Happiness #1)
Amazon Kindle: Small Steps (Long Way to Happiness #1)

Ben Amann currently hates everything: The accident that temporarily put him in a wheelchair, the fact that he has to go for rehab and live in an assisted living home as well. Sebastian Hofers, the good looking but equally bad-tempered new assistant to his rehab therapist changes that. Sebastian has two choices after causing an accident while driving drunk: community service hours or go to jail. The decision is a no-brainer, and so he meets Ben at the rehab center. The two of them hit it off and slowly, Sebastian sees more than just a patient in Ben. But their growing relationship faces hard trials, not only because of Sebastian’s heavy drinking, but also because of the truth: The two of them already met on an icy street, eight months ago. Can love and forgiveness overcome the overwhelming guilt and resentment? Contains: Two ill-tempered men, a lot of hang-ups, a shared hope, and a destroyed dream. Trigger Warning: deals with alcohol abuse and alcoholism.

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