Title: The Replacement
Author: Christiane France
Publisher: Amber Allure
Pages/Word Count: 54 Pages
At a Glance: This is an interesting short story of a broken heart and second chances.
Reviewed By: Sadonna
Blurb: When Noah loses his life partner to kidney failure, he not only grieves personally, but he also needs a replacement to help run his restaurant business. After a couple of tryout failures, Noah eventually interviews the stunning Gavin Murray. Gavin has everything needed to become the perfect general manager.
He has the education, the experience, and the polish and sophistication required in a top executive. The only problem, however, is that Noah finds the man sexually attractive in a way that borders on pure obsession. He wants Gavin, but he tells himself that he can’t have him. He’s still mourning Brett and he’s far from ready to move on with his life. If he had any sense, he’d turn down Gavin’s application and send him on his way.
Instead, Noah eventually agrees to give Gavin a three-month trial period by convincing himself the man is his only option to fill the position and that business comes first.
But will Noah be able to resist the daily temptation he now faces with Gavin in such close proximity?
Review: Noah is alive, but he’s not living. Since his partner, Brett, has died, Noah is going through the motions. He gets up, works, goes home, goes to sleep. Wash, rinse, repeat. It’s been quite some time, and he really needs help running his restaurant business, but he is loath to replace Brett in that capacity as well.
He finally interviews Gavin Murray, who is not only perfect for the job, but pushes all of Noah’s buttons personally too. Though he finally feels attraction to Gavin, Noah feels a sense of guilt more than anything. He just cannot be disloyal to Brett in any way. If he gives in to his feelings for Gavin, he won’t be able to live with his betrayal of his love for Brett. He does realize that he has a business to run, though, so he takes Gavin on a trial three month period.
Noah also has some friends who decide to meddle just a tiny bit to try to get him out of his mourning melancholy. While he is enjoying his first foray into being social since Brett’s death, he has a chance encounter with Gavin that is completely unexpected. Noah can no longer deny his attraction, but he also drowns himself in guilt again.
Gavin does his best on the job, and he also tries to get Noah to see that they could really be good together. He also is sympathetic to Noah’s loss and tries not to push him. The question is, can Noah get past his loss and maybe learn to live and love again? You’ll have to read the book to find out.
I enjoyed this bittersweet story that exposes the difficulty of grief, loss and moving on. Noah’s loss of the love of his life – his business and life partner – knocks him for a loop, and he’s not sure he can ever be normal again. All his plans, both professionally and personally, have to be rewritten, and he’s consumed with guilt – all normal reactions to such a traumatic event. If I have any complaint, it would be that we don’t get to know Gavin well enough in this short story, but it’s an enjoyable and satisfying read that is perfect for those who love stories of second chances.
You can buy The Replacement here: