Storytime, by K. Lynn
Publisher: Less Than Three Press (September 30, 2015)
Word Count: 11,000 words
Genre: Gay (M/M) Romance
Rating: 3 out of 5
* I received an advanced copy of this novella in exchange for a fair and honest review. *
I really enjoy K. Lynn’s short stories, and this one was no different! She has a great way with words, and her novellas are always very sweet. This one, about a man trying to find his way back into the world after the loss of his husband, was really lovely. James is a writer, but hasn’t been able to find any interest in writing since his partner died suddenly last year. At the suggestion of his agent, he starts to volunteer at a local library, and there he meets David.
Since the death of his partner a year ago, sci-fi writer James Murphy has lived a quiet, secluded life. But at the urging of his agent, he finally makes an effort to rejoin society. His first step is volunteering for a weekly storytime at the local library. The decision seems like a good one when he meets the children’s librarian, David.
Bright and engaging, David somehow manages to make James feel like everything will be okay. But when mutual friendship leads to a budding romance, the move forward could be too much for James. Leaving his past love behind once and for all might be a step he’ll never be ready to take.
The relationship between David and James was really nice. However, there’s a very significant age difference between them (twenty-five years!), and I was upset that it wasn’t addressed more outside of the two of them. James makes it seem like such a big deal when he brings it up with David, but then it’s never discussed again. If it’s not going to have an impact on the plot or the way the characters act, then why include it at all?
“You’re fifty-three, I already know that,” David said. “And for the record, I’m twenty-eight, but I’m not seeing the problem.(Kindle Loc. 360)
I also thought that the summary was a bit of a lie. It implies an internal conflict for James as his relationship with David progresses, but I never picked up on that. Instead, it’s a very sweet, level relationship with few ups and downs. Not necessarily a bad thing, especially for a story this short, but the summary implies more turmoil than is actually present.
For most of the novel, I thought this was going to be a 4 or 5 star review, but the ending actually dropped it down pretty harshly for me. I won’t give any spoilers, but I will say that it was a huge let-down. It was sudden, and I felt unfulfilled after. So while the rest of the novella was really enjoyable, I found myself disappointed when I reached the conclusion.
K. Lynn does a great job of writing short, sweet novellas! I just wish the ending on this one hadn’t been so abrupt and empty.
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