Give And Take is another reason why Anne Brooke is one of my favourites.
- Review by Kazza K
David has lost Patrick, his partner of 13 years, to cancer. Two years of grief has given David the intestinal fortitude to go out and get back into life and to get laid. Let's face it, life does go on but it's a minefield getting back into the world of (possible) intimate connections with others; casual or otherwise.
I liked that David was scared at first. That he thought he may be too old, not hot enough, a "fraud." It took him 30 minutes to get up the courage to enter the bar, but he still went for it, danced with a few guys, kissed a few, had a grope or two (I took poetic licence with that one, I know what goes on, lol). Put his heart out there in asking Jeff, the bartender, to hook up. Jeff agreed.
When David ended up back at Jeff's place he went cold for a moment or two when he spotted a bedraggled begonia. Jeff enquired -
"Are you okay?"
"Yes, of course, I...."
"Don't lie to me. What's up?"
"Patrick loved plants" he said, knowing how stupid that was even as he said it. "That's all really, he loved....plants."
You can't be with someone for so long and forget them. Even when moving forward. It wasn't maudlin it was real.
"The thing is, you see," David said, "the thing is I thought I wanted sex tonight. With someone. I haven't done it in a long time. Not since...well..."
"Yes, not since Patrrick."
So, Jeff lets David talk a bit and he makes an executive decision to take the pressure off, the decisions out of David's hands and into his. Jeff asked if David could have anything from the situation they were in what it would be -
"I don't want to be in control. I don't want to make the decisions."
'Would you like me to be in contol, David?"
"I mean really in control?"
For David this takes away all the decisions he's had to make since Patrick became sick. All the decisons he's had to make on his own. Any guilt about being with someone other that Patrick, Perfect! New beginnings with some nice kink thrown in. The BDSM is very light here and very appropriate.
This little ebook is realistic, as much as real life can be in fiction without being boring, definitely sexy, very interesting, and has such wonderful life observations about human nature thrown into it.
Who wants to make the first move after a significant other/partner has died? Who knows how to get back into the game? How many people have felt guilty for having hated being the major decision maker whilst watching a loved one die?
Favourite dialogue -
"So, what shall we do then?"
"We don't have to do anything. We can talk. Or we can hug. Kiss a little if you'd like that. After that, you can go home. Or you can stay. But I warn you, if you decide to sleep in my bed and sex is still off the agenda, then that's fine, I can bear it, but you'll have to forgive anything my dick thinks it wants to get up to, okay? It's got a mind of its own."
I liked the premise of Give And Take. I liked the execution, I liked that much was packed into so few pages. However, a follow-up book on this pair might be nice. But, hey, they may just be really casual and I know a few readers don't always like casual, so.. I'll leave that up to the voices in Anne Brooke's head. I highly recommend this for those who understand what it's like getting back in the game, like a short read with nice protagonists, some light, yet sexy kink and some intelligent dialogue.