Long Way Home

Carolyn Gray
Long Way Home
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Loose Id
Release Date
October 2011
Book 2 of Sequel to Red-Tainted Silence
Contemporary Romance, LGBTQ

Musician Lee Nelson is determinedly single. His bandmates don't even know he is gay. He's managed to keep that important fact about himself, as well as any details of his painful past, out of conversation. But the past starts to catch up with him when the band travels to Dallas, Texas, and an anonymous gift of ballet tickets leads him to ballet dancer Gevan Sinclair—his first love's brother.

Gev is a professional ballet dancer, but just as the past has its grip on Lee Nelson, so too does Gev struggle—namely, with the disappearance of his brother, Stefan. Gev had always had a crush on Lee Nelson, but crushes are for kids and he'd forgotten all about Lee until the day he looked up after a performance and saw him in the balcony, hungrily watching his every move.

Gev and Lee are drawn together when Gev's roommate is killed, and they must face their fears and escape the stranglehold of the past to solve the mystery that keeps them apart...and make a long journey home.

Book Review by Valentina Heart (author,reviewer)
Dec 07, 2011   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
106 people found the following review helpful
I'm one of those who'd waited for this sequel for years. The characters from the first book stuck with me through every other band related book and the emotional side of it stood firmly at the very top of what all other books should aim for. Yeah, I can even quote you the blurb off the top of my head about the wild shock of black hair and beautiful blue eyes… Talk about expectations and that one is pretty high to reach, still, I expected the author to repeat the adventure and sweep me off my feet.

Lee is a part of Dream, a famous band we got to know more about in the previous book. He is a man with many secrets and little words. Even when it comes to his band mates he keeps to himself, hiding even the simplest of truths and information.

Almost at the beginning of the book, his past catches up to him and he is thrust into the past where he has to face the lives of people who used to be his whole world, right before his best childhood friend had been kidnapped in front of his eyes. He anonymously receives tickets for ballet, but instead of simply enjoying his night out watching limber bodies twist, turn and jump in impossible combinations of beauty, he comes face to face, or eyes to eyes as it were, to the little brother of his childhood best friend.

Gev is a professional ballet dancer who has both secrets as well as ghosts in his own closet. He was the little brother who always trailed after the two best friends, and he was the one who lost both his brother as well as the kid he'd admired. See, Gev had a crust on Lee, ever since being a little kid and the last thing he'd expected was to see the man again.

That's when the intrigues and mystery start. Gev's roommate and his one nightstand get killed and it's an easy assumption that Gev should have been one of the targets. Little events start twisting their lives but everything seems to be pointing back into the past and the one man who connects it all, Stefan, Gev's brother and Lee's best friend.

I had issues deciding on how to rate this story, mostly because I was conflicted between my love for this author's talent and the way she forms flowing chapters of intrigue and love and all the ways this book could have been better. Maybe I'm giving it four stars for sentimental reasons while in reality it's closer to a three star rating. I'm not sure myself.

First I would like to point out that this is a mystery, and it's a solid mystery for good three quarters of the book. The two main characters have very little contact with each other and when they do, it is filled with self-doubts and their firm grips to the past.

I did enjoy the mystery part of the tale, and for the most part, I thought it was done well. The buildup was very nice and the intrigue reserved enough to make you wonder, at least until everything was revealed. Then I have to say I was disappointed. Considering how much space spinning of the mystery took, it wasn't fair to wrap it all up in a matter of moments. Too many things were left unexplained and more than a few didn't make much sense. I honestly expected it to be more challenging after the whole focus of the book being on the kidnapping and unresolved past.

I liked both men, very much so. You have a bassist and a ballet dancer, I mean come on? Who wouldn't love that combination? But in all truth, their occupations weren't more than mentioned. Gev only danced a couple of times and we only saw Lee being recognized by fans. I found that to be very disappointing, because both of them are artists, and artists do what they do because they love it in most cases. They are career driven and their passion is consuming more than anything. So I felt cheated because I wanted to see Lee's creative side and his attitudes toward his music and most of all I wanted to see their resolution at the end, when they finally get together. I wanted to know Gev's plans for the future and see more of his passion for ballet. Only glimpses were just not enough for me. Dancers take their profession seriously and they have to be very strict with themselves and give everything to their passion. I didn't see that with either of the characters, simply because the focus of this story was on the past and the mystery which could have been resolved fifteen years ago, if only a certain someone had done the right thing. Well, that's my opinion anyway.

On the romance side, like I already mentioned, nothing happened almost until the very end, and you can't pack up a novel worth of romance in fifty pages plus and make it believable. Even when I disregard the brilliance of the first book, the emotional side of this story doesn't even come close to Red-Tainted Silence and by the end of the book, instead of an expected happily ever after; you get only the beginning of a romance. I can't help thinking there should have been at least another two hundred pages to tie up all the loose ends and to give these guys the powerful ending they deserve.

Without dragging this out any further, I would recommend this book to the mystery lovers, those who like a nice build up and don't care much for elaborate romance. For me this book didn't live up to the first one but it still held my interest enough that I can't wait for this author's next book. Hopefully this time, the pause won't be five years long.

Disclaimer: The reviewer is also a published author with Loose Id.
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