Monday, April 4, 2016

Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: WHAT ONCE WAS LOST by A.M. Leibowitz

Author: A.M. Leibowitz

Title: What Once Was Lost

Release Date: March 11, 2016


Following a volatile break-up with his partner, Casey has been raising his son, Ryan, mostly on his own. While Ryan is on a camping trip in the Adirondacks, Casey and Brook make another attempt to work through their differences, with disastrous results. But when Ryan and his friend disappear in the mountains, Casey and Brook travel together to find him. The tension leads to an opportunity to listen to each other, reconcile their history, and recover the love they once shared.

Publisher: MLR Press
Cover Artist: Jared Rackler
Pages or Words: 21,000 words
Categories: Contemporary, M/M Romance

It couldn't be real. It was a vision or a nightmare or maybe stress-related, but that could not possibly be his former lover standing on the porch with his hand raised to press the bell again. That was not the man who continued to haunt both his dreams and his nightmares. He shuddered; the previous night's mental sleep wanderings had been a horrifying mix of erotic and sorrowful, and he wasn't in a hurry to relive them in the flesh. In confusion, Casey slammed the door shut.
"Open the damn door, Case," the man on the other side said.
Casey growled and opened it again. "What the hell are you doing here, Brook?"
"I came to get my kid for the weekend because you failed to drop him off."
"We talked about this weeks ago." Casey glared at Brook. "Ryan's going camping with Annie, Chuck, and their kids. You knew about this."
"Maybe I decided the answer is no." Brook crossed his arms. "You never gave me the choice--you just told me what was going on, same as always. I'd like a say in what happens this time." 
"Not gonna happen. Also, you have no business showing up at my door. We agreed to a neutral location for a reason."
"Oh, right, because we couldn't stop pissing each other off every time we were together. I'm glad to see you've gained some maturity since then," Brook shot back.
No, you ass, Casey thought. It's because if I let you in my house, and you begged to stay, I'd have taken you back and gotten my heart crushed again. "Go home," he said. He made to close the door again.
Brook blocked it with his foot. "He's my kid too. I should've had a say in it. This is my weekend."
"First of all, he's not yours in any legal sense. Second, you lost the right to have a say the minute you f*cked someone else in our bed."
Brook's mouth dropped open, and his eyes flicked to the stairs behind Casey. When Casey turned his head to follow Brook's gaze, he sighed. Ryan was standing in the middle of the staircase, staring at them. His mouth was set in a thin line, and he had a deep scowl.
"Ry, I'm sorry," Casey said. "You don't need—"
"I don't need what?" Ryan asked, crossing his arms. "The truth? Is that why Pop left?"
Both men were silent, but from the look on Ryan's face, neither of them had to say anything else. Ryan scoffed and turned around to thunder back up the stairs.
"Charming as always, I see," Brook said.
"F*ck off. I didn't invite you here today. You showed up unannounced right before Ry's weekend trip. But hey, I guess you don't care whether you ruin it for him. Kind of like everything else."
"God, I forgot what a whiny ass you are," Brook said, sneering.
Casey wanted to punch him, but that wouldn't do anything to improve things with Ryan. "Look, this isn't the time. You want to have some drawn-out argument where we both accuse each other of random sh*t from the whole span of our relationship? Great. I'll pencil you in for noon tomorrow, when my son is happily off in the woods with his best friend's family. Until then, get the hell off my porch."

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My Review

What Once Was Lost is one of those novellas that I wish was much longer as I felt like there was much more that could have been developed with the story.  The book is really only told from Casey's point of view, and I think if we could have gotten Brook's side of things, it would have felt more complete.

There's a LOT of animosity between Brook and Casey after their breakup, and the way they acted toward each other and the things they said made it feel like any kind of reconciliation was impossible.  Even though we're told by Casey and Brook through thoughts and dialogue that they still love each other, the circumstances of their breakup and their interactions in this story make it difficult to believe that they can ever mend the severely broken bonds between them.

When the two of them are together intimately, their chemistry is searing...if inappropriately timed.

The story did keep my attention, and while I might not agree with how Casey and Brook acted after their son went missing, I was still hoping that they could resolve things between them. 

What Once Was Lost was a 3-star read for me, and is recommended to 18+ readers for adult language and M/M sexual content.

Meet the author

A. M. Leibowitz is a queer spouse, parent, feminist, and book-lover falling somewhere on the Geek-Nerd Spectrum. Ze keeps warm through the long, cold western New York winters by writing about life, relationships, hope, and happy-for-now endings. In between noveling and editing, ze blogs coffee-fueled, quirky commentary on faith, culture, writing, books, and hir family.

Where to find the author


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