Erryn reviews Blink by Rick R. Reed. The ebook was released October 16, 2019 and is 264 pages. The audiobook was narrated by Brian Stoddard. It was released June 17, 2022 and is 7 hours and 28 minutes. A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Life can change in the blink of an eye.
That’s a truth Andy Slater learns as a young man in 1982, taking the Chicago “L” to work every morning. Andy’s life is laid out before him: a good job, marriage to his female college sweetheart, and the white picket fence existence he believes in. But when he sees Carlos Castillo for the first time, Carlos’ dark eyes and Latin appeal mesmerize him. Fate continues to throw them together until the two finally agree to meet up. At Andy’s apartment, the pent-up passion of both young men is ignited, but is snuffed out by an inopportune and poorly-timed phone call.
Flash forward to present day. Andy is alone, having married, divorced, and become the father of a gay son. He’s comfortable but alone, and has never forgotten the powerful pull of Carlos’ gaze on the “L” train. He vows to find him once more, hoping for a second chance.
If life can change in the blink of an eye, what will the passage of 30 years do? To find out, Andy begins a search that might lead to heartache and disappointment or a love that will last forever….
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I admit to going in blind to the book – just open to new possibilities. I’d read a previous book by this author so figured I had a good chance of enjoying this one. Boy, did I ever. Even from the non-traditional start – hello 1982 – to the interesting culmination – hello 2012 – this book had me enraptured.
I loved Andy. He’s got his life planned out – marriage, baby, white picket fence. He doesn’t count on meeting a stranger on the “L”. Now, this book is quintessential Chicago. I only understood one or two of the references, but I felt immersed in the culture. I love when a book does that – takes me to a different place.
Anyway, Andy meets Carlos. At first, it’s just glances and shy smiles. Eventually he gets bolder and eventually the men speak. They make plans, but when the time comes, Andy receives a phone call that brings him back down to earth. He’s committed to marrying a woman – everyone expects this of him. He lets Carlos go in the most painful of ways and the men move on with their lives.
Fast forward a whole bunch of years. Andy’s divorced, has a gay son – Tate – and can’t stop thinking about that missed connection of sorts. His best female friend encourages him to find Carlos. After all, Andy’s had a couple of relationships with men, but none have lasted. He hasn’t met Mr. Right.
Carlos has changed jobs. Along the way, he met someone. He’s had a good life and, truthfully, hasn’t spent any time dwelling on what could’ve been with that guy. When Andy comes back into his life, it’s unexpected.
I won’t give more away. Of course I was rooting for the men, and wanted them to have their happily ever after. But thirty years is a long time. I loved the epilogue.
I will mention Brian Stoddard. He narrated the other Rick R. Reed which I enjoyed and he did a good job with this one. My only complaint – and it’s minor – is that there wasn’t a huge differentiation in the voices of the two main characters. Sometimes I struggled to remember whose POV I was in. Like I said, minor issue. Nothing that detracted from my enjoyment of the great love story.
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Rick R. Reed is all about exploring the romantic entanglements of gay men in contemporary, realistic settings. While his stories often contain elements of suspense, mystery and the paranormal, his focus ultimately returns to the power of love. He is the author of dozens of published novels, novellas, and short stories. He is a three-time EPIC eBook Award winner (for Caregiver, Orientation and The Blue Moon Cafe). His novel, Raining Men, won the Rainbow Award for Best Contemporary General Fiction. Lambda Literary Review has called him, “a writer that doesn’t disappoint.” Rick lives in Seattle with his husband and a very spoiled Boston terrier. He is forever “at work on another novel.”