Two years and two months ago, I was brand new to the M/M romance genre, and it was two years and two months ago, with a book that I stumbled upon quite by accident in my frenzy to discover more, more, more books to feed my newly reawakened passion for reading, that I became a fan of Eden Winters and her novel The Wish, which, later that year, also made my Top Picks of 2010 list at Michele ‘n Jeff Reviews.
Why? What made The Wish stand apart from so many of the other books I’d read that year? If I had to name a single defining point that makes The Wish all that it is, I’d have to say it’s because of the singularly romantic, epically wondrous theme that, as William Goldman said in The Princess Bride, “Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it for a while.”
The Wish, you see, is a novel about two men, Paul Sinclair and Alex Martin, who share what I’ll call an unintentional bond with each other. They are men who couldn’t be more opposite in personality or lifestyle, as opposite, really, as up is from down and dark is from light. Theirs is, in fact, a hate-at-first-sight story based solidly in misperception, jealousy, suspicion, and outright mistrust of each other’s motives. But, oh but do they have one glorious commonality that will eventually enlighten their shared suspicions and dislikes, then lay them to waste—and that is a capital L kind of Love, a Love that has been both personified and exemplified to each of them individually since they were just boys. And that is the Love that could not be weakened even by death. If anything, rather than destroying that Love, death empowered it, and it is that kind of Love that Paul and Alex so desperately want; although it takes no short amount of time, as well as a bit of intentional interference from several interested parties, for the two men to reach the starting line of their long race toward a happy ending.
So, who are the men whom Paul and Alex hold in such high esteem and whose Love has set the bar against which all other love is measured? That would be their uncles, Byron Sinclair and Alfred Anderson, and their May/December romance is the Love that transcends the boundaries of what lies beyond.
Although Byron is never alive in the pages of this book, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t exist as a wholly developed and important presence in the story. I’d even go so far as to say he’s the life of this story; at least, he was for me because it’s his death that is the starting line for Paul and Alex and for Alfred, as well. It is the stepping off point for everything that follows, as Byron is the beginning and the end and then a new beginning for Alfred on the journey toward an eternal bond with the man who’d been his touchstone for nearly thirty years.
So see, where most other books offer only one love story, in The Wish I got two, and while one of those romances got off to a shaky start, it’s how it withstood the journey that counted. I can say with complete honesty that it unfolded beautifully and now that I’ve had a second chance to visit these characters, I’m reminded why they remain among my all time favorites; because their stories touched the sometimes cynical part of me that needs reminding true and forever love does exist.
**As an added bonus, Eden has offered a FREE short story, Valentine Wish that takes place in The Wish-verse and centers around two of its minor characters, Isaac Lewis and Thierry Guillaume, and it’s an after-Wish sweet that’s a lovely way to finish off the main course.**
Buy The Wish HERE.
Download Valentine Wish HERE.
“When the music changes, so does the dance.” – African Proverb
Before a car accident rerouted the direction of his life, before Tony became Tony and he was still Anthony, he was an accomplished ballet dancer and the stage was his world. But as the musical score of his life changed from Tchaikovsky to the pounding rhythms of the strip club where he now dances for tips, Tony learns a valuable lesson: if you give a man a tip, he dances for a day; if you give a man love, he dances for a lifetime.
This short and glorious little story is a tale of two Tonys and how far he travels from the spotlight of a celebrated ballet career to the footlights of a stage where wolf whistles and grasping hands and suggestive comments punctuate the bump and grind he does with his dance pole partner. Stripping can be an aggressive business, especially when there are those in the audience who can’t take their eyes off you, while all the time they’re looking down on you as an object to be groped and demeaned.
Tony’s first set may very well have turned out to be the lowest point of his dancing career if not for the fact that it resulted in the best gift he could’ve ever gotten that Christmas. Meeting Johnny “Frost” Davis might not have happened under the best of circumstances, but it turned out to be a pretty amazing event and one that revealed a lot about how truly wonderfully made these two men are.
What can I say? I want more Tony and Frost. Tinsel and Frost is sweet and sexy and just whetted my greedy little appetite, and I’d love to see more of their before and much more of their after someday soon.
Buy Tinsel and Frost HERE.