Author: Rick R. Reed
Length: Novel (210pgs)
Publisher: Dreamspinner (24th October 2011)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥5Hearts
Blurb: It’s 1991, and Dan Calzolaio has just moved to Florida with his lover, Mark, having fled Chicago and Mark’s addictions to begin a new life on the Gulf Coast. Volunteering for the Tampa AIDS Alliance is just one part of that new beginning, and that’s how Dan meets his new buddy, Adam.
Adam Schmidt is not at all what Dan expected. The guy is an original—witty, wry, and sarcastic with a fondness for a smart black dress, Barbra Streisand, and a good mai tai. Adam doesn’t let his imminent death get him down, even through a downward spiral that sees him thrown in jail.
Each step of Adam’s journey teaches Dan new lessons about strength and resilience, but it’s Adam’s lover, Sullivan, to whom Dan feels an almost irresistible pull. Dan knows the attraction isn’t right, even after he dumps his cheating, drug-abusing boyfriend. But then Adam passes away, and it leaves Sullivan and Dan both alone to see if they can turn their love for Adam into something whole and real for each other.
Review: Rick R. Reed, you do not get to do this to me. You do not get to write a book that is caring, beautiful, touching and wonderful. You do not get to write a book that even now has me trying to stifle the tears as I write this review… You’re supposed to write horror stories and if you change style it should be rubbish not this incredible piece of writing.
Dan Shoemaker is a writer who has written a story ‘Caregiver’. After it is rejected by his agent he rereads it and finally admits that maybe it is a bit of a memoir, ’Caregiver’ is about Dan Calzolaio who volunteers with the Tampa AIDS Alliance. He meets Adam and through him, Adam’s lover, Sullivan, Dan’s having problems with his lover Mark and it’s with Adam’s help that he faces the reality of his relationship. Adam touched my heart and it made me incredibly sad to see what he was going through and how it affected him. I got to admit if it was me I’d do my damndest to go out with a bang. Sullivan I felt for, I really did, and he loves Adam so much he will forgive him anything, but he’s too scared to physically love Adam. so Adam ends up looking elsewhere for it, a never-ending cycle of love, hurt, guilt, betrayal and forgiveness. Dan has to find the courage within himself to stop hiding from his problems with Mark and Mark has to face up to his addictions and what it’s doing to him.
Watching the progression of this story was brilliant, following these men’s relationships as they progress and change as they lose a loved one and make changes was incredible. Rick R. Reed has written a story that any author would be proud of. These characters touch you, they make you feel for them and they make you wish that they would all get a happy ever after but you know it can’t happen that way. You know Dan’s choice towards the end is heart breaking for him and it breaks your heart as well.
This story gives you a range of emotions to experience, love, betrayal, sadness, happiness, guilt and hope, the love-making is wonderful, this is a true love story that is not to be missed so I recommend this to everyone and I hope you love it as much as I did.