Title: Any Given Lifetime
Author: Leta Blake
Publisher: Amazon/Kindle Unlimited
Length: 215 Pages
Category: Contemporary, Metaphysical
At a Glance: Leta Blake is an excellent and creative storyteller. Any Given Lifetime gives the reader so many different experiences of love and how powerfully it can impact one’s life, and it’s a wonderful read.
Reviewed By: Jovan
Blurb: He’ll love him in any lifetime.
Neil isn’t a ghost, but he feels like one. Reincarnated with all his memories from his prior life, he spent twenty years trapped in a child’s body, wanting nothing more than to grow up and reclaim the love of his life.
As an adult, Neil finds there’s more than lost time separating them. Joshua has built a beautiful life since Neil’s death, and how exactly is Neil supposed to introduce himself? As Joshua’s long-dead lover in a new body? Heartbroken and hopeless, Neil takes refuge in his work, developing microscopic robots called nanites that can produce medical miracles.
When Joshua meets a young scientist working on a medical project, his soul senses something his rational mind can’t believe. Has Neil truly come back to him after twenty years? And if the impossible is real, can they be together at long last?
Review: In Any Given Lifetime, Leta Blake’s excellent writing style, deft hand at creating compelling characters, and an interesting premise all combine seamlessly to tell an engaging, complex and beautiful story that features several different tales of love, and is a breath of fresh air. Neil is an acerbic, no-nonsense man who has very little patience for people, and even less for social niceties. As a successful, brilliant research scientist, he is arrogant, demanding and honest to a fault, but loyal to the few people who forge a personal connection with him. For all his abrasiveness, Joshua finds himself hopelessly attracted to Neil, and for all his scientific knowledge, Neil is overwhelmed and unprepared for the depth and intensity of his love for Joshua. When Joshua met Neil as a college student, he was struggling with his sexual identity and afraid of disappointing his parents and losing their love. So, although he loved Neil, in the nine months they were together before Neil’s death, he couldn’t bring himself to fully commit to or be honest about their relationship, but Neil was willing to wait forever for Joshua—a sentiment that was apparently so powerful death couldn’t stop him from fulfilling that promise.
Told in alternating POVs over twenty years, the story follows Joshua as he finds love again and builds a life with his husband Lee; Neil as he goes through the indignity of growing up again; and how they reunite. Blake is an excellent and creative storyteller, and one of the elements she uses to illustrate Neil’s second childhood and the struggles that it would produce is presenting the perspective of Neil’s second mother, Alice. Through Alice’s eyes, the reader gets to see Neil’s older soul trapped in this new body from day one as well as the day-to-day hardships raising a child like Neil would create; an experience that would be limited if told from Neil’s POV, which is filled with his own inner anger, futility and longing. I loved Alice, and her inclusion in the story offered a humanizing touch to Neil’s standoffishness and unintentional callousness. All the main secondary characters are wonderful, and Joshua’s husband, Lee, is no exception. It takes a skilled hand to write a story in which the MC is presented as the love of someone’s life but experiences love and happiness with someone else, but Blake handles their relationship very respectfully and manages to show Joshua’s love for Neil and his love for Lee without taking anything away from either relationship. Lee and Joshua’s relationship is beautiful and just as important in some ways as Neil and Joshua’s relationship; it adds to Neil and Joshua’s story rather than distracts or detracts from it.
Although the main love story is between the MCs, Any Given Lifetime gives the reader so many different experiences of love and how powerfully it can impact one’s life—from Lee and Joshua’s love to Alice’s unconditional and unwavering love for her son, and Derek’s steadfast friendship and loyalty to Neil. All the love, support and growth Neil and Joshua receive from the people in their lives helps shape them into stronger versions of themselves and provide a scaffolding and support system that helps them navigate their grief and anger during their separation, keeps them sane and moving forward and, in many ways, makes their reintroduction into each others’ lives, and Joshua’s acceptance of Neil’s reincarnation, smoother. This lovely reincarnation story is not just about the depth of Neil’s love and second chances, but also about the growth and experience one needs to fully embrace and be better prepared for lost opportunities, and it’s a wonderful read.
You can buy Any Given Lifetime here:
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