Title: The Return by Brad Boney
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic, M/M, Romance
Length: 350 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Author
Music. Topher Manning rarely thinks about anything else, but his day job as a mechanic doesn’t exactly mesh with his rock star ambitions. Unless he can find a way to unlock all the songs in his head, his band will soon be on the fast track to obscurity.
Then the South by Southwest music festival and a broken-down car drop New York critic Stanton Porter into his life. Stanton offers Topher a ticket to the Bruce Springsteen concert, where a hesitant kiss and phantom vibrations from Topher’s cell phone kick off a love story that promises to transcend ordinary possibility.
If you are one of those people who believe things happen for a reason, then you are going to love Brad Boney’s latest release, The Return. It is a well-written and engaging novel about the powerful bonds of love and the somewhat mystical circumstances that bring together two very different men.
On the surface, music critic Stanton Porter and aspiring musician Topher Manning are unlikely lovers. Stanton is much older and established in a successful career while Topher’s band is struggling to break into the music scene. Both men have concerns about entering into a long distance relationship and Stanton is troubled by their age difference. But the biggest obstacle between them might just be an unresolved relationship from Stanton’s past…
Stanton’s relationship with Topher is inexplicably intertwined with a romance from his past. Events in the present are interspersed with flashbacks to Stanton’s relationship in the early 1980s. These flashbacks lay the foundation for the unfolding story in the present, and the two storylines eventually converge in a delightfully unique plot twist that is full of unexpected connections.
Although Stanton and Topher have a few issues to overcome, their conflicts are resolved fairly quickly with very little angst. Topher is at first angry at Stanton’s unexpected revelation, but he soon embraces the unusual circumstances of their relationship. Afraid that history will repeat itself Stanton is reluctant to commit to their relationship, but will Topher find a way for Stanton to make peace with the tragic events from his past?
A charming cast of characters, a nostalgic step back in time and a magical story line prove to be an irresistible combination in Brad Boney’s latest release. A little poignant with just a hint of whimsy, The Return is a welcome departure from the typical romance. An overall terrific read that I highly recommend.