Melissa reviews Reunited by Victoria Zagar Published March 6th 2015 by Totally Bound, 49 pages.
Peter thought that Oliver was gone forever, but fate offers him one last chance to reunite with the man he loved and lost.
Peter’s undergoing chemotherapy for cancer. Dazed and confused, he finds himself at a community center he once frequented a long time ago. Going inside, he meets his old friend Oliver. There’s one problem—Oliver’s been dead for twenty-two years, lost to the ravages of AIDS in 1992. Suddenly the impossible has become possible, giving Peter a second chance with a man he thought lost to him forever.
Peter finally admits his feelings for Oliver, long hidden beneath layers of denial and grief. Oliver owns up to the reckless mistakes he made in life, the drugs and casual sex that led to his untimely demise. Unfurling the mysteries of how they have come to be reunited, Peter and Oliver embark on a weird and wonderful journey through their past and present lives, embracing the whirlwind romance they could only dream of when Oliver lay dying.
A free copy of this book was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Why I read this book: I read this book because I love a good 2nd chance story. I wanted to read about Oliver and Pete finally getting their HEA.
This was a short read (which I didn’t realize until I started reading it) that didn’t give a lot of surprises; the blurb said it all. I enjoyed this story because of what it represented: the afterlife and being able to be with the person you love. Peter and Oliver were flatmates who never got together as a couple, and missed their chance when Oliver got HIV/AIDS. Peter was the only person to care for Oliver after he got sick. Peter nursed Oliver when he wasn’t well, and made sure to touch and comfort him. He was with him when he breathed his last and 22 years later, they were given a second chance to spend their afterlife together. During Oliver’s illness, the two men grew to love each other, but never spoke of it.
When Peter dies, he meets Oliver in the afterlife and they don’t waste a second being together. It was romantic, a little cheesy and kinda sickeningly sweet, but a nice story. For such a short story, I learned a lot about these men and felt they were fully developed. It didn’t take much for me to get a sense of who they were when they were alive and who they became after Oliver’s diagnosis.
I did say this was a romantic story, but it’s also a tragic story for the subject matter – HIV/AIDS, and how Oliver contracts it is heartbreaking and I think unfortunately a reality for the times (early 90’s). Peter did suffer after Oliver died, but he managed to get through it as well as he could. I was so happy to see they finally get to be together. This story has ghosts, a short haunting at the end, and a long awaited Happy Ever After.
Victoria was born in the United Kingdom but emigrated to the United States at age 21. She’s bisexual, non- binary, happily married, and still shouts in a British accent. She lives with her husband in Pennsylvania where she spends a lot of time playing and talking about video games, especially Japanese role-playing games.
Besides the Culture Wars series, she is the author of a variety of LGBTQA titles, as well as forthcoming novels The Forbidden Zone (m/m) and The Best Of Both Worlds (f/f/m), contracted with Less Than Three Press. She loves to write about all colors of the rainbow and celebrate love wherever it may be found.