Title: Moment of Fate (Moments in Time: Book Five)
Author: Karen Stivali
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 244 Pages
At a Glance: This is truly a beautifully written love story between two pretty dissimilar guys who overcome the odds.
Reviewed By: Sadonna
Blurb: Bryan Dane’s been living the dream—photography student by day, up-and-coming rocker by night. His summer goals are to earn his last few credits, graduate from NYU, spend as much time in the recording studio as possible, and survive the next few months without sex so he can complete his yearlong goal of self-imposed celibacy. Everything is on track, until he meets Oliver Newcastle.
For years Oliver planned a marriage of convenience with his high school BFF, but now that she’s fallen in love for real, with someone else, it’s no longer convenient. So Oliver came out to his family, quit his job, and left small-town New England for NYC, an intensive summer study program, and a chance to find his own happiness.
From the moment they meet the sexual tension between Bryan and Oliver sizzles. But Bryan wants no part of a relationship, and Oliver wants to sew his wild oats—he just isn’t sure how. Oliver seeks Bryan’s help navigating the NYC gay scene, which throws them together in increasingly more sexual situations until they can no longer deny they’re hot for each other. Bryan is desperate to keep things simple, but fate might have other plans.
Note: While technically the fifth book in this series, it can easily be read as a standalone.
Review: Bryan Dane splits his time between his band, Wasabi Incident, and his college commitments at NYU, finishing up his photography degree. He’s burned the candle at both ends for a while, and after a scare with a friend, he’s decided to focus and give celibacy a try for a year, and get his last requirements finished so he can graduate. He’s taken it easy over the summer with the band—no tours, only local gigs. He’s content and sure he will make it through the summer just fine.
Enter Oliver Newcastle. Oliver is a writer who is doing a summer course at NYU. When Bryan meets him, he can’t believe this stunning guy has just landed in front of him. But, given Bryan’s plan for celibacy, he is determined to be nothing more than a friend to Oliver. He helps him navigate the city and also tries to help him figure out a way to navigate the gay scene as he’s recently called of an engagement to his female BFF, come out to his family, and left his small town in New Hampshire where he has been teaching.
As the summer goes on and Bryan and Oliver spend more and more time together, Bryan is having a hard time keeping things in the “friend zone.” After a particularly adventurous evening, it seems Bryan and Oliver can no longer keep things strictly friendly, and a sexual relationship explodes between them. Oliver isn’t very experienced, but he certainly is enthusiastic and eager.
Bryan knows he’s developing real feelings for Oliver, but he’s scared to death of being left—of having his heart broken again. It seems Bryan has suffered some pretty damaging events over the past few years, and while he tries to keep it together, the pressure of too many things overwhelms him at one point, and he becomes more honest with Oliver. The real problem, however, is that Bryan is not being really honest with either himself or Oliver. When a family crisis and issues with the band come to a head and add additional pressure to Bryan, he doesn’t handle it well. In trying to protect himself, he ends up hurting more people.
Wow! I was really blown away by this story. I wasn’t a huge fan of the first three books in this series, and I’ve yet to read book four even though I bought right when it was released. This story is so well written; although, if you’re not a fan of angst, you might have a tough go of it. Bryan has a lot going on and some of the crap that he has to deal with is pretty intense. He’s proud and a bit damaged.
Oliver is such a lovely guy, truly a good man who is so right for Bryan in pretty much every way. Together they have to overcome Bryan’s fear and tendency to protect himself at all costs.
This is truly a beautifully written love story between two pretty dissimilar guys who overcome the odds. Highly recommended, particularly for lovers of underdogs who grow and triumph.
You can buy Moment of Fate here: