The Reunion

G. A. Hauser
The Reunion
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Release Date
October 2013

Jon Ross didn't think the vacation he had booked with a good friend was going to be anything more than time off, relaxing, and exploring Europe. But when he realizes a boy he had a crush on from high school is on the same luxury cruise ship as he is, Jon gets an unexpected surprise. Trae Ambrose figured he'd join a couple of his friends to have a pleasant holiday. Life at home was not good at the moment, and getting away to give himself time to think was too tempting to pass up. What he didn't expect was seeing the boy he had kissed behind the high school twenty years ago. And after twenty years, Trae had no idea the teenager he had feelings for, yet could not act on those impulses at the time, would become such a strikingly beautiful man. As the two meet up onboard, Jon's recollection of the crush he had on Trae and the pain after Trae did not return his affection, makes this thirty-five year old feel as if he is back in high school once more. And to add to the complication of their mutual attraction? Trae is married. As liquor flows, and the memories of their first kiss begins to haunt the two men, their fate seems sealed. And while cruising the high seas, a reunion occurs. The consequences of their actions will change their lives forever.

Book Review by Pat Henshaw (author,reviewer)
Dec 02, 2013   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
126 people found the following review helpful
Cruises are a time away from time. So when two men who shared a kiss in high school reunite nineteen years later, can their travel into the past turn into a road map to the future?

Little do Trae Ambrose and Jon Ross, both thirty-five, know that sailing along the coast of northern Europe will bring them together after so many years. On the verge of a divorce from his wife of one year, deeply closeted Florida lawyer Trae is sharing a huge cabin with his married friends George and Liz.

Gay Hollywood actor Jon is sharing his much smaller cabin with his fifty-five-year-old gay friend Ruben. While Jon is often mistaken for actor James Marsden, Ruben is happy to tell the people they meet that Jon's a famous actor and that they are a couple, both misconceptions Jon is quick to correct.

When Trae and Jon recognize each other onboard, they happily fall into high school habits, trying to avoid detection when they're together and leaving secret notes to each other in a book in the ship's library. However, it's not long before they, George, Liz, and Ruben are meeting for drinks, and while George and Liz don't suspect that Trae and Jon are falling in love, Ruben does and is jealous.

Trae is a bundle of worries at first about what he and Jon are doing which is mostly kissing and holding hands, but as they get bolder, having found a couple of secluded spots on the ship, he is enchanted with gay sex and what he's been missing in life. But will he want anything to do with Jon after the ship reaches final port?

Jon, on the other hand, was devastated in high school when Trae ignored him after the kiss. Although Jon's had other partners through the years, no one has affected him the way Trae did. As they get closer onboard, Jon wonders if he'll be dumped again, especially since he's fallen even more in love with Trae than he was in school.

Even with a lively pace and often interesting dialogue, both men unfortunately are cookie-cutter gay men with no distinctive, memorable personalities, making it difficult for a reader to feel their unique anguish.

Also, not only does the story cry out for proofreading with enough typos and missing or misused words to be frustrating, but a good editor would help to capitalize on the potentially interesting plot twists and shore up the ending so that it isn't such a letdown. All of this means is that while THE REUNION is a pleasant enough book, its flaws drag it into the ho-hum category.
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