Reviewed by Heather C
Title: When the Planets Align
Author: Kate McMurray
Heroes: Michael Reeves/Simon Newell
Genre: MM Contemporary Romance
Length: 220 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: December 19, 2014
Available at: Dreamspinner Press & Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Best friends Michael Reeves and Simon Newell always lived within ten minutes of each other, but somehow they’re never in the same place at the same time.
Brash, outgoing Michael’s unwavering confidence that he and Simon are meant to be carries him through some hard times. When Simon moves to New York, Michael dutifully follows. Quiet, practical Simon loves Michael as a dear friend, but he’s not ready for anything romantic.
Several years and several failed relationships later, Simon realizes he’s been in love with Michael all along. Only now Michael has moved on. Though Simon offers everything Michael’s ever dreamed of, the timing is all wrong. Confusion, betrayal, and secrets from the past threaten their friendship until it might be time for them to go their separate ways. Or maybe the planets will finally align, and Michael and Simon will find themselves in the right place at the right time to take the next step.
So I stayed up waaaaaay too late reading this and now I have one of those nasty book hangovers we all hate to love. I mean, this isn’t a book that I would normally read. For one: it is a contemporary romance. And second: there is no mystery and no one is getting shot at or blown-up. Just a long and complicated friends-to-lovers story with lots of angst and heartbreak. But Michael and Simon’s dysfunctional friendship-slash-relationship sucked me in and I HAD to get to their HEA or I never would have been able to sleep!
Michael and Simon have been best friends for almost their entire lives. Even as a teenager, Michael knew that Simon was the one he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. But Simon wasn’t so sure or even ready for that level of commitment. No, Simon wanted to see the world…and all the gay men it held. It was never the right time and Simon and Michael have never been in the same “place” in their lives…the planets have just never been aligned for them. Now, Simon is ready to move back to New York…and to Michael, but is it too late for their friendship to be repaired? So much has changed. Can they ever have a future together?
The Romance: This really is a beautiful romance, but so much of it had me wanting to just put my Kindle down and walk away. Seriously, I can’t handle that level of angst! I wanted Michael and Simon to be agreeable and easy and to stop being stubborn and selfish…and get on with their Happy Every After! But NO, they had to be like REAL people…with all the mistakes and baggage that REAL people bring to a relationship, especially in a relationship that has spanned for so many years with all the many highs and lows they’ve shared.
The Pace: I don’t want to get into all the specifics of the story, but I loved how it moved from present day back to significant events and experiences from the past…although I did get a little confused keeping the dates straight in my head since they all didn’t occur in chronological order. Anyway, the flow was mostly seamless and worked very well in the overall telling of the story.
The City: I have never been to New York City, but the author did an amazing job bringing me into the life and feel of the city. Yes, there were A LOT of specific locations and descriptions that were completely lost on me, but they solidified the authenticity of the story.
The HEA: Yes, Simon and Michael finally got that happy ending…but it took many years for them to figure it out. I will say that it did get a little predictable there near the end, but I don’t care because I loved how it all worked out! So sweet and hopeful that by that point I didn’t want it to end!
Overall Impression: I Loved It
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*