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Life can change in the blink of an eye That's a truth Andy Slater learns as a young man in 1982 taking the Chicago 'L' to work every morning Andy's life is laid out before him a good job marriage to his female college sweetheart and the white picket fence existence he believes in But when he sees Carlos Castillo for the first time Carlos’s dark eyes and Latin appeal mesmerize him Fate continues to throw them together until the two finally agree to meet up At Andy’s apartment the pent up passion of both young men is ignited but is snuffed out by an inopportune and poorly timed phone call Flash forward to present day Andy is alone having married divorced and become the father of a gay son He’s comfortable but alone and has never forgotten the powerful pull of Carlos’s gaze on the 'L' train He vows to find him once hoping for a second chance If life can change in the blink of an eye what will the passage of thirty years do? To find out Andy begins a search that might lead to heartache and disappointment or a love that will last forever


10 thoughts on “Blink

  1. says:

    One of the many things I love about Rick’s stories is how honest they are It’s almost as if an undercurrent of integrity vibrates from the pages Not to say his characters are flawless they are as perfect as you and I But it IS their imperfections that I find so endearing This story is no exception You should know that this tale ispersonal It’s not simply a fictional gay romance it is laced with reality While it is told in two parts by two MC’s it flows exceptional well The first part takes place three decades ago and felt like flashbacks or pristine protected memories brought into the light It should also be noted that this is of a journey than a romance Moments become memories and memories piece us togetherThe story Two young men cross paths and a connection is formed within a blink of the eye Andy is weeks away from his weddingto a woman It’s not a lie that he loves her but the life he dreams about is not coinciding with life he is living In a lust filled moment of weakness or perhaps truth he brings the stranger from the train back to his place Yet fate intervenes and a cockblocking phone call from mother dearest derails their passion before it has a chance to reach its crescendo Andy puts his game face on and steers himself back to the future he believes is best for him Best Such a double edged swordI found it easy to connect with Andy He is warm sweet natured and vibrant Though he may not agree I believe he’s a quiet thoughtful wallflower that sparkles than he vanishes Carlos was everything Andy wanted I don’t think he was at the right place at the wrong time because their magnetic attraction was significant at that precise moment in Andy’s life As painful as it was Andy needed that disastrous hook up to linger to hold on to to cherishReed is not one to shy around daring subject matter such as HIVAIDS religion and grieving the loss of a loved one Per usual they are all handled straightforward but with care I never felt as though there wastoo much or too little it was balanced I felt the secondary cast was strong and I’m kinda in love with TateFate’s hand touches their path once I for one very much believe that everything happens for a reason You may not find the answers for years or decades but they eventually materialize While it’s important to live in the moment it’s also essential to not forget your past We have different seasons in our life and need to treasure every one of themevery single one Follow your heart and fate’s footprints and you will end up exactly where you are destined to beThank you for sharing your story Rick and I’m overjoyed that you found your happily ever after45 no regrets stars


  2. says:

    BlinkBy Rick R ReedDreamspinner Press 2015Cover by Reese DanteFive starsWell this one made me cry and not for the obvious reasons Here’s a prime example of a book in which the love story is at the core of the narrative but the purpose of the book is to illuminate bigger things about what it is to be a gay man A brief prologue section sets up the story in 1982 twenty two year old Andy Slater sees a beautiful young Hispanic man on the Chicago El – Carlos Castillo In spite of his upcoming wedding to college sweetheart Alison Andy makes an assignation with Carlos That assignation is interrupted by a phone call from his mother and their lives move on whatever might have been between them unconsummated The bulk of the story is set in the present thirty three years later And that’s all I’ll tell you because you can guess the main point of the plot But let me tell you it’s not that simple What I will tell you is that here is a romantic gay novel about two men in their mid fifties Both of them are happy but not completely happy—for different reasons Each of them has lived a life that included surviving the 1980s and 90s For me that’s enough to trigger some strong emotions making me relive my own life over the past 30 plus years It’s powerful to be acknowledged in this way in a novel to have an author remind us that life is not always what we plan or we want Whatever life throws at us we do have some agency in how it plays out To some degree our happiness is ours to own Andy Slater and Carlos Castillo are the dual narrators They are not alone in their voyage and we meet people along the way who illuminate and crystalize their characters I don’t want to reveal because it is a pleasure to meet everybody as they appear and to incorporate them into our understanding of these two good men It perhaps made it enjoyable for me to read this book because men my age I’m actually 61 are largely ignored in modern gay fiction So much of this narrative echoed—even indirectly—my own voyage as a gay man in a world that has changed dramatically since 1982 If I had one mild irritation it was the author’s insistence on how hot and fit these two fifty five year old are This simply isn’t true for most men gay or not But it’s a romantic notion and I embraced Reed’s fantasy at face value We all remember who we were when we were young and slender and had thick heads of hair even if nobody else does Much of our present lives are filtered through those persistent memories and Reed catches that beautifully I seem to be a fan of Rick R Reed’s stories Surely he’s an author I want to support


  3. says:

    Full review can be found at In that instant when our eyes met the connection was like a pulse that went straight to my heart It lasted for only a second or maybe a bit longer but in that short space of time my fertile imagination pictured an entire future with this manBut there's something about the guy on the train He tugs at my heart as well as my loins Even from the brief glances we exchange he makes me think there's the possibility of than just sex He makes me think for the first time in my life that maybe I could love another man How many of us have looked back to another time another place in our lives and wondered what could have been had circumstances been different? Maybe it was a missed opportunity or maybe it's your first love Some things you may remember fondly and others may have you living in regret for not following through on something you started This is what happens with Andy SlaterIt's 1982 and Andy is engaged to Alison They were college sweethearts and the next step is making their relationship official The wedding has been planned invitations have been mailed and all that's left is for the couple to show up and say their vows and they can begin their lives together That sounds like the perfect love story right? And it would be if Andy didn't have a secret a big secret While Andy loves Alison deeply he's gay No one knows this and hell even Andy won't admit it to himself There's so much guilt over his feelings his urges that he buries them deep inside and doesn't allow those thoughts to enter his mind If they do he forces them away quicklyThen he sees the stranger on the 'L' train and all those feelings he's been trying to keep hidden hit him in the face hard When a poorly timed phone call unfortunately or fortunately comes at the worst possible time Andy is forced to make a decision that could impact him for the rest of his lifeTold in two halves Blink begins in 1982 with the second half being the here and now The reader is taken inside the heads of both men as the story is told in alternating chapters with each character's point of view Andy and Carlos aren't together on every single page and they shouldn't be Their stories are told individually and lead to the conclusion The author could have gone one of two ways with the ending I'm very pleased with how everything was resolvedAlso you have to read the Afterword I've been reading this author's work for awhile and I'm aware that he often puts a little bit of himself and his experiences in his books I had not read but a few chapters when I could tell this was one of those stories Read the Afterword and you'll see what I meanA beautiful love story that's three decades in the making Highly recommended for anyone looking for a beautiful love story and who doesn't mind watching the two men struggle for it along the way and not necessarily together You'll have to read the book to see what I mean I promise you won't be disappointed The end result makes every single word written up to that point worth it This book was provided by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review


  4. says:

      Second chance at love when there wasn't even a first chance An emotional read that I read as part of the Make timetoread on National Readathon Day It was in the US only but any excuse to read right


  5. says:

    This book just touched my heart It was beautifully written and is still probably my favorite Rick R Reed book although Big Love is a very close second Do yourself a favor read this book


  6. says:

    I literally just devoured this story in the blink of an eye Yes pun intendedWhat did I love most? The author's note that it was semi autobiographical the time span of the story the fact that the MCs are older the fact that I could actually relate to references to books and music but mostly the fact that the ending was not a given I honestly wasn't sure if the MCs I was rooting for would finally get together or whether they would miss out on a chance for long term happiness due to circumstances that could change in a heartbeat If you thinking of reading this one Do not hesitate It's amazing


  7. says:

    AMAZING BOOK Made me remember two particular instances in my life that I didn't take a chance to speak with a guy that we were making eyes with each other for me though they weren't meant to be All the other relationships I experienced led me to my wonderful husband What I really like about this book is it is part of Rick R Reed's own story the story just felt so real and probably will for a lot of people reading it Rick R Reed just gets better and better not sure how that is possible he's a gifted storyteller


  8. says:

    A beautifully written story of two lives that touched thirty years ago and now The story line is strong and the character development was true to life as you are brought right into the story Loved the main characters Is there such a thing as second chances with fate playing a part? These two gorgeous men in their twenties had an amazing attraction starting on the L in Chicago which seemed to have ended with a mother's phone call and the obvious guilt that Andy felt who was getting married to his college sweetheart Carlos a gay man left Andy's apartment with a note from Andy explaining how he felt From that point on their lives went their separate ways with no regrets Andy got married had a son who he loved than anything divorced and continued the life the gay life he was meant to have Carlos had met a man who he met at the HIV clinic as he was giving Harry his HIV positive results From that point on they were together many years happily until Harry died of cancer in his fifties Andy had always thought about Carlos in his heart and mind even after 30 years He finally got to the point of looking for him on the internet By chance Andy went to a party with his son and guess who was there Carlos Things in life can happen in the Blink of an Eye The two men were now in their mid fifties 30 years later and found each other again Beautiful love story that changed their lives in a Blink of an Eye Highly recommend this story A happily ever after


  9. says:

    I enjoyed this book but it really didn't feel like a romance because the heroes didn't even met up again until almost the end of the bookI love the completive tone of the book as it thinks about dating as an older man I do like that aspect of the book and all its nuances but I want of their love story and time together We end with a HFN and I think they are both worth than that


  10. says:

    A second chanceslow burn storyfull of youthful hopes indecisions guilt and lossa lot of what ifstimetime that slips ever faster as you get olderThis is told in dual POV's and starts with Andy and Carlos's chance meeting in their youth and then continues with the now some 30 odd years later with fate finally chucking them in the right time and the right place This was just full of emotion I bit my lip on than one occasion wanting and hoping for them to either to find each other or someone they were both too young to face life being lonelymy heart ached for themI am a few years off being 50 and all their fears insecurities and thoughts of their youth were too real and far too insightful of the what if's I occasionally mull over as I get olderI don't like oldIt ended on a HFN and a sweet epilogue from Andy's son Tate It left me with a smile which then wobbled a bit when I read the authors noteand you must read the authors noteI'm pleased to read he has his HEAand in this imperfect wondrous world we reside in I so wish the same for Carlos Fabulous read Recommended