When Was the Last Time, by Kelly Jensen
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: February 12, 2016
Genres: Gay, M/M, Romance, Novella
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Buy Link: Publisher
Paul Summerfield is stunned by the gentle reminder it has been over a year since he and his partner, Evan Akkerman, have made love. He vows to take Evan out for Valentine’s Day. Dinner and sex. Lots of sex. There’s only one catch—he’s supposed to be in San Francisco that week cataloging the art collection of an important new client. No problem, he’ll just change his schedule and cut his trip short by a day.
In San Francisco, Paul struggles with regrets and the fear his love is slipping away from him. Every call to Evan seems only to prove the distance between them is increasing. All this, and a key piece of his client’s catalog is caught up in customs. To keep their Valentine’s date, Paul will have to choose between the career he’s built over fifteen years and the man he’s loved for just as long.
A really lovely novella about two grown men who have fallen away from each other, but who are desperate to reconnect.
I don’t normally like shorter stories, but I think Kelly did a great job showing a brief moment in the life of Paul and Evan. They’re both in their forties, and Paul is so focused on his job that he doesn’t even realize that it’s been over a year since he and Evan had sex… until Evan himself points it out.
“I love you, Evan.”
Evan looked back down from the ceiling, surprise making his eyes wide. Then he smiled. “I know you do.”
So why didn’t he say it back?
With Valentine’s Day around the corner, this is a great story to remind us to focus on the ones we love, and that nothing is more important than maintaining those relationships.
I really loved how Paul felt like a real person. He’s career-driven, but it’s obvious he desperately still loves Evan, and the story is as much about him finding himself and figuring out his own balance of wants and needs, as him trying to find a way back to the relationship they once had.