Author: Evan Gilbert
Length: Novella (84pgs)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (13th June 2012)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥3Hearts
Blurb: Twenty years ago, Eli Calero fell in love with Kevin Murphy, a jock whose mob boss father physically and emotionally abused him. Twenty years ago, Eli Calero got his heart broken, and he’s never gotten over it.
Now, after a career as an investigative reporter, Eli is a true crime author living in Pasadena. He has no interest in attending a reunion back in St. Louis, but he ends up going anyway—and since he’s in the area, Eli decides to settle an old score. He’s determined to gather enough evidence to take down Kevin’s father.
But Eli doesn’t have all the facts, and there are a few things he didn’t count on: Kevin’s still in town. He still has feelings for Eli. And he’s about to get caught in the crossfire.
Review: Eli lost the love of his life, Kevin Murphy, twenty years ago and he has never forgotten him. Now, he is going back to St. Louis for a school reunion and he takes the opportunity to dig into the business of Kevin’s father to bring him down… but, not everything is as he thought.
This is a good storyline of love lost and found again, of holding your hands up and accepting your dues and of hoping for a fresh beginning. Eli is still bitter about being dumped by his first love even after twenty years and when he revisits his home town for a school reunion, he decides it’s about time that someone made Jameson Murphy pay for his crimes. And when he sees Kevin Murphy again, after so long, he is more determined than ever to make Jameson pay. But, Eli gets a shock when he learns the truth and it leaves him with a hard choice to make.
So, a tale of young love shattered, love never forgotten, forgiveness, accepting your punishment and the promising hope of a new beginning, which will keep you reading and hoping for a happy ending for these two characters, Eli and Kevin. I must admit that I couldn’t understand why it took Eli so long to return to St. Louis to settle old scores, when he knew everything that Kevin’s father had done to him. and it puzzled me why he suddenly decided to do it now instead of years earlier, I mean twenty years is a long time. I could totally understand him still being in love with Kevin and rekindling that love and even being willing to give everything up for him. Although, he forgave him very easily for the past (I’d have shouted and screamed at him a bit more).
Both characters are interesting, although we only see things from Eli’s perspective and their characters are quite unique when they are together… Kevin, the mobster’s son, turns vulnerable and needy when with Eli, while Eli is protective and wanting to shelter Kevin from all harm. The progression of the story is quite good and the truth about Kevin’s father is surprising, but I found the ending difficult to deal with. It left me feeling disappointed because it wasn’t a HEA and I couldn’t even call it a HFN, because it felt like it was left dangling in space with just a hint of promise. I would much rather have seen them a couple of years later after Kevin had paid his dues, because then I would have known that they would be together rather than the promise of them being together.
So, I will recommend this to those who love mobsters, a vulnerable heart under a hard exterior, some hot sex, love lost and found and a promise of a happy ending.