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Time Between Us
Tamara Ireland Stone
The Luckiest - Piper Vaughn, M.J. O'Shea **** ADDITIONAL POSTING INFORMATION COMING SOON ****Overall Rating: 5Book Cover / Book Blurb = 5 / 5 = total of 5Writer’s Voice = 5Character Development = 5Story Appreciation = 5Worth the Chili = 5 [$6.39 on Amazon or $6.63 Barnes & Noble]I have a confession to make. I am pretty sure I want to be a gay man in my next life. I mean think about it. I love men. Most everything about a man. I love their hands, their beard [think of it scratching against your fingertips and ... things], the conformation of the "man ass", the softness of their … you get my drift?Have you ever thought about the pleasure you take from touching a man’s chest … grazing your fingernail over his nipple and the sharp indrawn breath? Was it yours? Was it his? What about looking into a strong face, a little rough with a day’s growth of whisker and notice the softness of the lip – you just want a nibble, not much. Or the fullness of the pout when you’ve told them something they don’t quite like – whisper you have to wait until later because the baby is crying... maybe? Or, maybe, just maybe this IS the reason you’ve denied them? To see the pout only so you can kiss it off… Have you thought about the strength and contour of the leg at the same time you feel the silkiness of the skin beneath; the hard and the soft? Oh. My. God! I want to be a gay man – they can appreciate like I can appreciate it. To live in this skin all day and then to be able to touch it whenever you want; to then be able to touch two at a time … WOW! Are you following me? I'd be someone who worked doing something physical ... I could be a football player or a martial arts expert. How about a motorcycle mechanic with the loud groan of the bike between your legs as you start it up to test it out, reminding you of your lover’s groaned rumble from the morning tumble… This book makes me appreciate men even more than I already do. And, I do appreciate a man. I need a fan… with a cold spritz mist … *sigh* Three things I liked about this book:1.) Nicky & Luka. A perfect couple. The randomness of love. Fate and all that rot. These two would never have met if Nick hadn’t hit rock bottom. He did and ended in rehab where Luka is his nutritionist. Sexy? Not really when you think of the premise, but in practice, very. Who doesn’t love Celebrity Rehab. I’ve sat and watched that show and fell in love with the unlovable. Dennis Rodman. What a wonderful person you glimpse inside the tough exterior. MacKenzie Phillips. A more tortured person you’ve never met and even Heidi Fliess. So, the premise of this story had high appeal for me. Nick is a tough guy with a terrible past. He feels un-anchored because his brother, his anchor, is in a new committed relationship for the first time. This leaves Nicky feeling left out. You wouldn’t think this would gain much of your sympathy when the man is almost 30 years old, but it does as we learn about Nick's past. And there is Luka. He is such a grounded, self-confident, loving person. He wants to help Nick because it is his job, then because he comes to know Nick and sees his worth as a person, and then because he comes to care about him. This storyline sounds wonky, but it really works.Nick wrapped his arms and legs around Luka’s body and pulled his face down for a kiss. “I’ve screwed up so my things in my life,” he whispered into the kiss. “Sometimes it seems like getting shit wrong was what I was best at. But maybe all those screw-ups happened for a reason. Maybe they brought me here, to this moment. With you. I feel like the luckiest guy in the world right now.”2.) This writing team of Vaughn and O’Shea create characters you fall in love with almost immediately. In Luka’s case, he is a bit of a flamer. He calls people “hon”, and puts the “y” on the end of names; Nicky, Jeanny... It is a bit stereotypical, but we love him. He has heart, a huge heart, and is so self-confident. He is very happy in his skin and at one point tells Nick to come to grips with himself and their relationship because he has “never been in the closet and you aren’t going to put me there. What you see now, I’ve been this way since pre-school.” And you just want to cheer for him. This is the second book I’ve read by this team. The first being “One Small Thing” and I loved this writing team then, I love them now. I don’t know how they do it, women writing wonderfully fabulous gay men, but they do and I want to tell them … please don’t stop. I love it and am a fan for life.3.) The social message of complete acceptance contained in this book as it is written by this author team. The love they write about is transcendental and universal. The complete devotion Nick and Luka have for each other is something we all strive for. The intimacy they write about between these two characters, perfection. You feel the touches, you hear the sounds, you discover the textures. Just remarkable and you want to be Luka or Nick. It happened for me the first time I read one of their books, it happened for me again this time. You feel this love and you forget anything else. My very best friend is a gay man who has been working his whole life for the acceptance they paint so beautifully. From Luka’s mother who is pleased he has found someone to love and to love him in return, to Nick’s best friend [Dre] who is only angry because he didn’t tell him about Luka sooner, these two seem to have full support from the people that matter. There are minor issues like the doctor Luka works with, or Nick’s concern about the fan base, but for the most part, they are readily accepted. What a wonderful place this world would be if we had such universal acceptance of love.What three things did I not like or not appreciate:1.) I can honestly say there was nothing I didn’t like in this book. Maybe … I would have liked a bit more of the music industry portrayed, but it wasn’t a deal breaker by any means, so really nothing.2.) Nope.3.) Nothing.I enjoyed this book from start to finish. I loved the characters and their development. I enjoyed the story and how it pulled me and how it made me feel. Nothing not to love about this one.Very Happy Reading!++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++love this writing team.Full review to come.