Guest Reviewed by Morgan
Title: Let Go of Loneliness
Author: Edward Kendrick
Heroes: Byron Randall/Jonah Hyland
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 54 Pages
Publisher: JMS Books
Release Date: September 13, 2015
Available at: Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: When Byron Randall — in his mid-fifties, single and alone — moves into a new condo complex, he meets another resident, fifty-five year old realtor Jonah Hyland — also single since his breakup with his much younger lover. The two middle-aged men become friends, sharing common interests in gardening and hiking.
As their friendship deepens, each man wonders if he has found someone he could learn to care for. Then Jonah’s ex reappears in his life, much to Byron’s dismay. Will this end Byron and Jonah’s budding romance? Or will they discover that, together, they can let go of loneliness?
Review: Byron moves in to a new condo and starts a new job. In his fifties, he’s never really thought of himself as a relationship-kind-of-guy. When he meets another older guy, a resident of his condo association, he figures he might want to at least consider making friends, try something new.
Jonah has been single for the last year after having dumped his much younger ex when he realized he was being used for his money. Though he’s wary, the idea of a friend sounds nice to him at this point in his life.
Though both men are gay, single and near the same age, friendship seems to be the most important thing on their minds – at the beginning. Eventually this shifts as they realize they could be so much more.
This is a short story, so things move quickly, but a lot of time is spent building the friendship between Jonah and Byron. It’s sort of a strange relationship because neither is really “attracted” to the other. In fact, at one point, Byron thinks “he isn’t really handsome…” but they like each other so feelings seem to develop from that.
On the one hand, I appreciated this look at love from the other side of fifty. It was pragmatic and down-to-earth. Two lonely guys realizing they could share time and make life more full.
On the other hand, it was sort of strange. On a dime, they switched from “buds” to sex partners to life partners. I never quite felt at ease with their romantic relationship and definitely thought the little side story where Jonah and his ex become friends felt out of place.
There is no steam in this, all the sex is suggested at, and I guess that bothered me too. It felt like – as the reader – I wouldn’t be interested in older guys being intimate unless one of them was a younger man. Perhaps that wasn’t the author’s intent, but that’s how it felt. I think – especially in this genre – a tasteful sex scene would have been more appropriate and felt more inclusive.
Again, I appreciated the honesty of the story, how physical attraction was less important with these older guys, but I almost didn’t feel the romantic connection at all because it was so glossed over. Surely there was at least a spark when they kissed, we could have gotten something to make it feel good and less of an obligation.
Though I have read and appreciated other books by this author, I wasn’t terribly impressed by this one.
I give it 3 of 5 stars for tackling a topic that is rarely done: love between older guys, but have to detract a lot for the lack of “romance” in this romance.
Overall Impression: It was good
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*