Rebound Remedy (Written by Christine d'Abo. 155 pages, Riptide Publishing)
"Rebound Remedy" was a book I heard about from one of my friends who's a book reviewer. She mentioned to me about a month or two ago about this gay romance story written by a woman. From the jump, it sounded like a silly endeavor. A woman writing gay fiction? Sounded like a miss (even though I don't know the first thing about gay fiction).
While on vacation, she fished it out of her big plastic storage container filled with smutty romance novels she had read, or planned to read.
I picked it up and started reading and found myself quickly immersed in the story. Set in the Toronto metro area, Cole is heartbroken just weeks before Christmas when his boyfriend is proposed to by his ex-boyfriend as he and Cole prepare to fly out for a nice holiday vacation.
Dripping in sorrow, he frequents his favorite bar to drink away his pain, finding solace in the attractive bartender and the bar's owner, Owen. After a rough spat between Cole and a belligerent patron, the always generous Owen invites him to a nice breakfast at the bar as a thank you. The conversation between them is full of safe banter and the chemistry engaging, and as Cole sets to leave, Owen pulls him in for an unexpected kiss.
Their connection seems promising enough that Owen makes a list to things to do with Cole over the next 12 days, trying to erase his mind about his recent split from his boyfriend and to really highlight the holiday atmosphere.
"Rebound Remedy" is a delightfully charming book that establishes good characters and a story filled with enough flirting, sex and love to keep you turning until the very last page. Reading the budding romance between Cole and Owen felt all too familiar where each questions the validity of their courtship and where things are going, or not.
D'Abo did a good job getting their characters to feel familiar and authentic, encompassing all of the emotions that comes with dating. Doubt, intrigue and longing to be with the other and not wanting anything else. It's a mess, but it's refreshing to see it not be dumbed down or coyingly sweet and so convenient.
This was a short read (so short that I actually read it in a day), and I really enjoyed it. The sex scenes were hot enough, the chemistry sizzling, and the personal nuances of the characters were intriguing and deeper than I expected for a romance. "Rebound Remedy" is a nice read for single gay men who wish for a boyfriend during the joyful holiday times, maybe providing too much hope for those readers that we could all get as lucky as Cole to find the one like he did, but not out-of-reach, either.