New York City Vice Detective Evan Cerelli has lost his wife, the only person he ever loved and slept with. He’s trying to get on with his life, build a life for his children.
Former Homicide Detective Matt Haight is a ladies’ man, all sex/no commitment. He’s depressed, having a midlife crisis, and not sure where his life is headed.
The two find friendship in the bottom of a shared bottle. When the friendship turns to love, it shakes two straight men to the core and flips their lives inside out. Kids, families, careers that are not gay-friendly — can all the love in the world overcome the obstacles to faith and fidelity?
This is what love feels like, he thought. I remember this feeling. I want this feeling again.
Wounded widower and depressed ex-cop meet – angst guaranteed.
Evan Cerelli had lost his wife in a car accident, and had been left alone with four children. It’s been a year, and he is still in deep grief, suffering in pain and misery, living only for his kids.
Matt Haight is a former cop, a ‘casual sex / no commitment’ type of guy. But he is tired of the one-night stands, depressed and lonely, and he hates his job.
When Evan and Matt meet, they recognize something familiar in each other.
Over the din of conversation Evan caught Matt’s eye and shrugged at his friends’ nonsense, smiled again. He wasn’t exactly sure why he was reaching out to this man— maybe force of habit. You see someone sitting that far down in the gutter, you lend him a hand.
Matt Haight let the conversational buzz and beer settle into his bones; it’d been a long time since he’d been drinking with anyone else around. And Evan Cerelli — well, there was something in his expression that Matt recognized. Neither one of them was entirely comfortable here, but, in the same breath, where else were they supposed to be? So Matt smiled back.
They find unexpected acceptance and open up for each other. The weekly meetings for a beer quickly turn into a deep friendship.
It was the highlight of his week, sitting in the near-dark, just talking, listening, drinking. They created a little cocoon of their misery, a safe haven in which to feel like a piece of garbage. To be tired and bitter and a failure, with no apologies. How exactly that moved to daily “shoot the shit” phone calls, he couldn’t exactly say.
And though both of them were heterosexual in all their lives, they start to have romantic and erotic feelings for each other.
He couldn’t pinpoint when he’d started noticing the little things, like the odd silver-blue color of Evan’s eyes, or the way he moved… in control. He tried not to spend too much time dwelling on any of it, because it posed a much larger question than Matt was willing to ponder.
Of course the not pondering didn’t help the situation once the dreams began.
The story is told from both of the main characters’ point of view (and from a couple of more, but later about that). Evan is broken: what happened to him is tragic, of course, and it is also very recent (IMO). BUT this time span is given, so let’s get over it. If the author made him capable of developing romantic feelings for someone else other than his wife, I think he is ready to move on. Still, he behaves like he is not, and he still punishes himself for Sherri’s death.
Evan sighed. “I would have made a fantastic martyr right?”
“Jesus would’ve given you a medal himself.”
Then it turns out that it is all because that the other person is a man. Evan’s fear of possible homophobic reactions takes over, and (SPOILER! HIGHLIGHT TO READ!) he ends things with Matt without telling him why. He doesn’t share his concerns and worries with him, the man he is allegedly in love with.
It scared the hell out of him, feeling this out of control. With a man. A man he craved and wanted with all his heart, and that was terrifying. And maybe deep down he was afraid it was wrong. Wrong for a man who had been married for seventeen years, wrong for a father…. What if the neighbors heard he was… sleeping with Matt? What if the children found out? Shaking a little, Evan put his hands up to his head, as if to stop the tremors. He couldn’t even fathom their reactions. They might be ridiculed, ostracized. It terrified him. And suddenly, a wave of panic swamped over him. He saw spots explode in front of his eyes… What if they rejected him?
Of course, everyone makes mistakes, and I really don’t want to hold it against him, because it is the part of the plot… but I didn’t like Evan. My rational self sympathized with him and felt for him, but the emotional one just couldn’t connect and get to love him.
I liked to be in Matt’s head. He was surprised more by falling in love than the fact that it was for a man. Of course, his desires for another man shocked him first, but the love issue was the bigger hit.
A few weeks ago he would have never imagined being in this state, being aroused and emotional and so… go ahead Matty, he thought wildly, admit it… So fucking in love he could barely function.
The words were still frightening but their power has lessened. Every time he confirmed and confessed his love for Evan, the rightness of it was reinforced.
I was pretty okay with the plot up until about 88%. But from that (from Miranda’s arrest) the story turns into a cheap melodrama. And what pisses me off the most is that after all the angst we don’t even get a proper ending. It’s rushed, gappy, and told rather than shown.
SPOILER! HIGHLIGHT TO READ! Evan doesn’t man up and calls Matt, no. I was wondering if Miranda wasn’t arrested, when would these two meet and make things right? I really don’t understand why one of the kids’ assistance needed to get them together. We have two adults here, don’t we?
Though Evan makes a lame apology, they don’t really talk things through. The reunion is awkward and tentative, and far from satisfying. Where are the beautiful words, redemption, sweet absolution, the reassurance of their love for each other, and most importantly, the hot make-up sex???
And what happened to all of Evan’s concerns suddenly? He simply talks to his boss and to his kids, and is that all resolved? Oh, and he makes Matt wait for another week when he finally lets him know that he deigns to let Matt in their life because everyone else is okay with that. WTF?
Random other problems
- Jumping / quickly changing / too many / unnecessary viewpoints.
- Too much melodrama: HIGHLIGHT TO READ! Evan’s evil stepfather; Evan is shot; Miranda’s arrest; Elena (or Helena’s?) lost love.
- A longer time span would have been more believable.
- Lots of things are told rather than shown.
- The non-communication was pissing me off at the end.
- The ending altogether was pissing me off.
- The sex scenes were lukewarm and awkward; there wasn’t even REAL sex…
It was not all bad though, there were some great moments (see my quotes), but I don’t think I will continue this series for now. Maybe later I’ll give the second book a try.
See my favorite quotes on my Tumblr page,
Daily Quotes by Exina.