Title: Gerry’s Lion
Author: Ashavan Doyon
Length: 230 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (25 April 2015)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥3.5 Hearts
Blurb: Gerald Tanner lost the piece of his life he loved most, his husband Adam. When faced with the prospect of another Christmas with a family who thinks he’s better off now that Adam is gone, Gerry decides instead to revisit the memory of when they met, and boards a Christmas cruise on the Sunrise. He’s not expecting to meet Leo Ystrabov. He certainly never imagined the courageous young man would challenge him into feelings of desire and the possibility of a love that isn’t his precious Adam.
Leo Ystrabov doesn’t quite know how to handle the shattered heart Gerry presents so hesitantly. But the offer is precious, and Leo can’t resist. However, with two families none too eager to accept them and a lot of baggage on both sides, their relationship faces an uphill battle.
Leo will have to find his courage to be the lion Gerry sees in him.
Review: This book is a real slow burn. You also better get your tissues ready, too, if you’re picking up this poignant and emotive read. This is the first book that I’ve read by author Ashavan Doyon and I would definitely love to read more. The writing style is both chock-a-block full of emotion but the words just flow so easy I could not read this fast enough!
The story is about Gerald Tanner, who is an artist. His husband died of cancer just the year before. But now he is attempting to move on, just as Adam wanted him to. Not sure how Gerry decided that going on a cruise ship that he has frequented for years, with his husband, would be the way to go. But it was all perfect timing because on the cruise he meets Leo Ystrabov (and who doesn’t love a sexy Russian?!).
The story is about moving on, obviously, but it done beautifully. Gerry isn’t in a rush to move on. In fact he is struggling letting his husband go though at the same time he is ready for something serious to happen with Leo. Much of the first half/ two-thirds of the book is about Gerry trying to move on. Things actually move along at a fairly slow pace here before we start the race to the finish line.
The second half we see Leo and Gerry get closer together as Gerry comes to terms with his life, which is when we get to know more about Leo – which I absolutely loved. I know introducing this part of the story earlier would have taken away from Gerry’s part of the story, but part of me wanted to know more about Leo and the heartache he had to endure.
That leads me to two parts of the story that popped up at seemingly random times. Firstly, there is another part of Leo’s story, it’s actually the little tit-bit of information that is suddenly such a big part of his life and kicks off the rest of his story – it literally came out of nowhere somewhere in the second third of the story.
It really bugged me at the time when I read it, though I eventually forgot as I continued reading. The other thing is actually quite minor in the whole scheme of things – we find out that Gerry is African-American – the thing that annoyed me is that all of a sudden in the last third race suddenly mattered.
Despite my issues this is a really lovely book to read. If you’re looking for something a bit different to read and want to read something about someone moving on from grief, then this is a great book I recommend in a heartbeat. It is both joy and hope, and despair and grief. I cried like a baby more than once, the words play with more than your heartstrings.
* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through http://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com *