Release Day Review: PATH NOT TAKEN by Andrew Grey

Title: Path Not Taken 
Author: Andrew Grey
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: June 1, 2015
Length: 57 pgs 
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Book Links: Amazon | ARe | Dreamspinner Press

On the train from Lancaster to Philadelphia, Trent runs into Brit, his first love and the first man to break his heart. They’ve both been through a lot in the years since they parted ways, and as they talk, the old connection tenuously strengthens. Trent finally works up the nerve to call Brit, and their rekindled friendship slowly grows into the possibility for more. But both men are shadowed by their pasts as they explore the path they didn’t take the first time. If they can move beyond loss and painful memories, they might find their road leads to a second chance at happiness.

*A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2015 Daily Dose package "Never Too Late."

I love 2nd chance stories, but often am disappointed in the flow, if not the story. Andrew Grey, though, has delivered a sweet, loving story in Path Not Taken where he introduces Trent and Brit to one another after a good twenty-year split. The story is sweet, but some of the memories and life experiences for the men were hard, both in the past and in their present. But how they dealt with those issues was both ‘real’ and powerful.

Path Not Taken is a shorter story from Mr. Grey, one that is part of the Daily Dose package with Dreamspinner Press. I don’t often read shorts or shorter novellas, as many of you know, but this is one that I wholeheartedly recommend and will reread again. You may not can go home again, but sometimes, the path not taken is still waiting for you. For Trent and Brit, nothing could be more true.

    

“How is your mother?”

“Still as feisty as ever.” His mother was something else. She did the traditional motherly things—baked, cooked, sewed—and she had a mouth on her that could stop a stampede.

Brit nodded. “Remember how we used to think my dad and your mom should get married? That way we could be brothers.”

The way Trenton had come to feel, that would have been problematic. He hadn’t been interested in Brit like a brother. Actually, his feelings had been as far from it as possible. “Well, sometimes things we want don’t work out. My mom never remarried, and your dad didn’t either.” That was one of the things that had drawn them together when they’d met in the third grade. They had both lost a parent.

“Nope.” Brit turned away and settled back in his seat.

The slight rock of the car and the clack of the wheels provided a lulling backdrop to the darkness that still surrounded the car. The lights were low, and Trenton thought about closing his eyes, but it wouldn’t be long before they arrived at the station.

“It was just him and me,” Brit said.

Trenton nodded. He didn’t know what else to say. He hadn’t seen Brit in more than twenty years, and while he had questions, he wasn’t sure he should speak up and ask them. Was it really worth opening old wounds to get a few answers? He figured it was better to let the past stay there. After all, he’d confessed his feelings to Brit once
and gotten his heart stomped. “Same with me and Mom.”

“Yeah, except she made cookies,” Brit cracked, and the smile Trenton remembered was back. “God, I would give my left nut for some of those.”

“I’ll be sure to tell Mom.”

Brit turned in his seat. “Don’t you dare! She’d probably want to wash my mouth out with soap for swearing.” Brit chuckled, and Trenton did as well. He could remember that threat. Not that his mother had ever actually carried it out, but it brought back memories.

The train lurched and then began to slow, the car rocking from side to side as they approached the station. “It was good to see you again,” Trenton said, and then glanced out the window. The sun was starting to come up, illuminating the city skyline.

“Yeah, you too. It’s been way too long and life gets too busy.” The harrowed look Brit had when Trenton first saw him was back. They slowed further and then slipped into the station. The train pulled to a stop, and Trenton stood. Brit did the same, and they shook hands briefly. Then Trenton picked up his case and pulled on his coat before exiting with Brit just in front of him. He watched him as they walked toward the escalators. Brit moved the same, with all the grace and athleticism he had playing football. Trenton rode up to the concourse and stepped off. Brit turned to the left and quickly headed toward the exit, pulling his coat around him. Trenton moved the opposite way and instantly wished he’d asked for an e-mail address. He turned to follow Brit, but he had disappeared from sight. Trenton looked for a few minutes, but didn’t see him at all. Finally, Trenton strode toward the exit and left the station.

Andrew grew up in western Michigan with a father who loved to tell stories and a mother who loved to read them. Since then he has lived throughout the country and traveled throughout the world. He has a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and works in information systems for a large corporation.

Andrew’s hobbies include collecting antiques, gardening, and leaving his dirty dishes anywhere but in the sink (particularly when writing) He considers himself blessed with an accepting family, fantastic friends, and the world’s most supportive and loving partner. Andrew currently lives in beautiful, historic Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

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