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Three years after the death of his lover, a sassy gay man in Memphis realizes that hope for new love is not lost.

Alex Palini, 35, has been treading water in the dating department since he lost the love of his life, Ayers, to leukemia. He keeps his loneliness at bay with Stephen Clark, 22, an amusing yet transparent distraction aptly nicknamed “Disposable Boy.” When Alex spies the new tenant in his building, Rick Monette, a handsome, lean-muscled investment brokerage vice president, love comes quickly and his fire for life is once again rekindled after only a few hot dates. Finally tiring of Stephen, Alex gives him the boot so he can devote his full attention to Rick, but interpersonal challenges lie ahead, not to mention some heady drama. Circumstances continue to draw this love triangle together while keeping the interested parties apart from each other. When Stephen’s mother dies and leaves him a house and a substantial inheritance, a huge party is in order and he hosts what turns out to be quite an anticlimactic evening, even with Alex’s plucky boss along for the ride. Meanwhile, Alex must come to terms with Rick’s HIV-positive confession and gets himself tested. But Stephen’s angry new love interest Nick causes more than his share of trouble and puts Alex in the hospital. Amisano clearly knows his audience and wisely keeps the action rolling with short, succinct chapters and a romantic happy ending. The author’s worthy storytelling skills make up for some overblown, outdated subject matter (HIV panic, etc.), and though most of the material won’t do much for the gay male niche market he’s targeting, his novel rises above other beach reads in the genre.

Serviceable writing, engaging central characters and an exuberant plot make this debut a sunny success.

Pub Date: June 22nd, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-595-44125-9
Program: Kirkus Indie
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