Title: Never Let Go of Hope
Author: Edward Kendrick
Publisher: JMS Books
Pages/Word Count: 112 Pages
At a Glance: A lovely romance starring mature characters dealing with real life challenges and insecurities.
Reviewed By: Sadonna
Blurb: Well-known artist Ellis Williams is in a slump and feeling all his fifty-three years. He’s lost the joy which used to permeate his painting and despairs of ever regaining it. It doesn’t help when he runs into a young man who comes on to him to win a bet, thus destroying more of Ellis’s confidence.
Then, at a party, Ellis meets Martin Lovell, a man his age whose partner died soon after they adopted their son. Will these two middle-aged men learn they should never let go of hope? Or is it too late for men their age to open themselves to the possibility of love and being loved?
Review: Ellis is an artist who feels like he’s hit middle-age and is really just going through the motions. He’s lost his creative fire, although he is still painting things that sell. He meets a young guy and they seem to hit it off, but then he discovers that the whole thing is part of a bet and he’s furious. This definitely jumpstarts him—but not necessarily in a positive way. He continues to stew about it and it colors his outlook for a while.
Then he meets Martin at a party given by friends. They are at a similar place in life, as far as age, but Martin is raising a son after losing his partner soon after the adoption. Needless to say his focus is on raising his child, but he’s wondering if there might be more to his life than just his son. Maybe he could at least have some adult friendships, if not more.
As Martin and Ellis develop a friendship, they both wonder if it could lead to more. They genuinely like each other and would like to explore a potential relationship, but Martin is concerned about the priority his son has to take, and Ellis is wondering what he really has to offer and if he can actually do this. Martin’s son, Todd, is a delightfully typical child. It’s been him and his dad for a while, but he’s pretty enthusiastic about another adult to give him attention—particularly since he is interested in art. 🙂
I really enjoyed the way this relationship builds. There is no rush; they take their time getting to know each other and really form a solid basis for a relationship. While Ellis is the more cautious, Martin respects his boundaries and allows things to take their natural course.
I so appreciate that this author writes mature characters who are believably dealing with real life and the challenges of aging in a youth-focused society. The dialogue is not forced and the progression of the story is not rushed. I found this to be a nice change of pace from some of the other contemporary books I’ve read. I think anyone who enjoys seeing someone other than 20-somethings get their HEAs will really like this story.
You can buy Never Let Go of Hope here: