M/M Contemporary Romance
About the first love, lost and found twenty years later.
After a twenty-year time span and achieving a pretty darn good professional life during that time, Eli Calero heads back to his hometown for a high school reunion. This is not a reunion to be brought up date on the happenings of his former classmates. Eli hopes to find information about his first love, Kevin Murphy, the young man who breaks his heart at graduation. And while he’s there, perhaps a little revenge is what the doctor ordered. Kevin Murphy is unfinished business. Eli needs closure and then just maybe he could move with his life.
The lovely image of a multicultural couple immediately draws me in, as this kind of story is one of my favorites. The type of ethnicity or race is not a question. I just love reading how the author will or will not approach the subject of differences.
Lately, though I’ve been reading stories where the multicultural aspect is merely a tool to say one person is different without detailing the nature of the difference. Man Made is like this. Eli is the character with one distinguishing multicultural feature, his skin color from which we identify from the book cover. I wonder, what is the point? What purpose does it serve? Without some commentary on the cultural and traditions of a multicultural, I don’t see the point of creating a character from that background.
What starts out as curiosity and maybe just a little hope of meeting up with Kevin, Eli gets turn around quickly as the ugly head for revenge surface. No love is lost for Kevin’s father because of the things he did to his son. Eli decides to run an investigation on the father’s criminal activities so he can turn over the evidence to the police.
Kevin’s sudden appearance at Eli’s mother grave sidetracks the investigation. Eli and Kevin engage in full disclosure. Kevin tells Eli everything about why he left him and married Brittany, who came between them in school. They have their own special reunion in Eli’s hotel room.
The blight and nature of Kevin Murphy keeps me fully engaged in the story. We know he’s tough from reading the background details but when he’s with Eli, this man is vulnerable, needy, selfish, and very protective of Eli. As he did many years ago, Kevin still comes to Eli seeking comfort and love. Nothing changes in that respect between them as if time stood still. And he does it again, walks away from Eli. He doesn’t apologize. He doesn’t acknowledge the pain caused by his actions. He simply says he’s dangerous to Eli.
Man Made is a sweet story of love lost and found, but the storytelling is uneven and choppy. The scenes jump from A to B without smooth transitions. Blink and the readers are there in the next event. The MC is actually uninteresting and there is nothing about him distinguishes his Spanish and Irish American background. We do receive resolution in the father’s investigation in the most unexpected way. The ending is abrupt and I feel, unrealistic.
Story is recommended with caution.
Hookups and one-night stands aside, could someone go for twenty years and never engage in a meaningful relationship? I asked my better half and he says, yes, absolutely. The mind boggles. What do you think?
Title: Man Made
Author: Evan Gilbert
Website: Author’s Goodreads Page
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publication Date: June 2012
EBook: ISBN-13: 978-1-61372-549-8
Page Count: 84