Title: All By Myself
Author: Ken Bachtold
Length: Novel (200 pages)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (February 2nd, 2015)
Heat Level: Low
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥5Heearts
Blurb: Mitch Donnelly and Grady Gilmore are two damaged souls. While walking in Central Park, novelist Mitch finds actor Grady in terrible distress, digging up the grass as if he can bury himself in the ground. After hearing the story of Grady’s long-time partner’s betrayal, Mitch is afraid to leave him alone, so he invites him to stay in his spare room until he feels better. Mitch understands—he lost his first love in a car accident.
Upon Grady’s arrival, Mitch is much happier and his writing improves. Grady, with Mitch’s constant support, auditions and is cast as Iago in a production of Othello. Attraction slowly blossoms, but each man has been so terribly hurt in the past, both are afraid to act on it.
With the encouragement of Emma Latimore, Mitch’s outspoken landlady and friend, and constant chatter from a parakeet named Tweet, Mitch and Grady might find the courage to face their doubts and find a second chance at happiness.
Product Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6002
Review: I really liked this book. Mostly this had the potential to be full of excruciating angst, which at a certain point I can’t stand and declare a book stupid or over the top. Thankfully, instead of unnecessary angst (which I think would be ridiculous for two grown men) we have been given a story that is full of sweetness, uncertainty, healing and to different degrees, mourning. Okay, so I got back on my first sentence, I really loved this book.
This is the story of Mitch Donnelly, who comes across Grady Gilmore in New York’s Central Park amidst a type of breakdown. Mitch hasn’t let another man close to him in years since the death of his partner, Jared in San Francisco. Grady on the other hand has found out the hard way that the man who had been his best friend and now boyfriend hadn’t been faithful. To top it all off, both these guys don’t seem to have anything that anchors them to New York.
The story is charming. This isn’t the type of insta-love where they fall into bed together. Instead there is mostly friendship, a lot of yearning and encouragement as these two guys try to come to terms with their respective pasts and bring their future forward. I will admit, some people will find the will they or won’t they theme annoying. However, to me it reminds me more like a Bollywood movie in that sense, i.e. the kiss that never happens until the HEA at the end. The advantage of this is also that we get a chance to see both Mitch and Grady being them before being Mitch and Grady together.
Another worthy mention is the minor characters. Although, Mitch’s good friend and land lady, Emma, is basically a main character in her own right, she and her new friend, Sarah are wonderful people. They both move the main plot along nicely as well as having a nice sub plot of their own. There are also parallels between Emma and Mitch, and Sarah with another minor character. We have a villain, Hank, who occasionally pops up to once again drive Grady forward.
Then there is Brandon and David – David only pops up at the end but when they make their appearance it’s a bit difficult to gauge them. There is certainly more to them than their simple back stories, which makes me wonder if there are going to be more books or was it just convenience? And let’s not forget precocious animals – Emma’s smart mouthed bird Tweet is almost like a prophet, dare I say?
And yes, you may be forgiven to think of the song by the same name… because Mitch thinks about it in the beginning and end of the book! I really liked that extra touch and it wasn’t too corny for me.
* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through http://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com *