Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Forgotten Man by Ryan Loveless

Reviewer: Alan Chin
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages: 168

In December 1932, times are tough all over, even in New York City. Captain Joshua Pascal has moved back into his family home, which has been turned into a Jewish boarding house. He doesn’t mind living at home, because he is needed to make ends meet after the departure of his father, but he longs for companionship, for a partner to share life with. Trouble is, Joshua is gay and deeply in the closet.

During Chanukah, Joshua meets Will, a street musician and his baby daughter. Even though Will is seemingly straight, Joshua dreams that this just might be his chance at love.  Joshua gives Will a snug place to live, Will gives Joshua comfort in each other, but issues of coming out and fear of being arrested drive a wedge between their love. Can they make a future together?

The author does an excellent job of setting mood and describing the historical setting. Also exceptional is how the romance develops at a slow, measure pace, giving the reader time to warm up to these characters. The plot is rather simple, your typical M/M romance with no surprises and plenty of overly sentimental moments.

I felt the two main characters were one dimensional, and needed to show more depth to be believable. The secondary characters were no more than props, and had very little time on the page. Because of thinness of these main characters, they were hard to like or even establish a connection with.

The main issue I had with this story is there is virtually no real conflict in the story, and the minor conflict there is seems forced by the author rather than any authentic problems these lovers would encounter. Conflict is what makes a story interesting, and without it, a story is dull.

Due to the lack of conflict, this is NOT a story I can highly recommend.

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