Friday, April 22, 2016

ARC #REVIEW Black Dust by Lynn Charles #mmromance #romhero

Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: April 7, 2016
Publisher: Interlude Press
Length: 312 pages

Description: No matter how busy he keeps himself, successful Broadway musician Tobias Spence can’t outrun the memory of a tragic car crash in his past that claimed a friend’s life and permanently injured his former boyfriend, Emmett.

Even after losing Tobias, Emmett Henderson made peace with that awful night; he lives in his Indiana hometown, where he has become a revered choral director. When his students are asked to perform in New York City, he decides to chance reconnecting with his former love, if for no other reason than to get a proper goodbye.

When Emmett and Tobias finally meet 15 years after parting ways, it is clear to both of them that their feelings for each other have not changed. As they explore their renewed relationship, the two men face old hurts and the new challenges of a long-distance romance. Will Tobias lose his second chance at love to the ghosts he can’t seem to put to rest?

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Black Dust is the bittersweet story of two young men whose world is torn apart by a tragic accident that kills a friend and leaves Emmett severely injured. When the threat of not being able to walk again gets to be too much, Emmett lashes out at the well-meaning, but guilt-ridden Tobias. Tobias leaves and the story continues fifteen years later in New York City. But is their reunion hello or goodbye?
"Okay, so forget the accident, since we've never seen eye to eye on that. Tobias left you, Emmett. He left you lying in a pile in our hallway, unable to get up by yourself, while he traipsed back to New York to become rich and famous. You are worth more than that."

"He left because I was horrible to him. No one would have stayed for that."

"You were in pain, Emmett. Your life had been taken from you."

"And yet, here I am. A viable member of society, living a pretty damned good life."

"He left you at your weakest."

"Maybe, Mom... maybe he left me at his weakest."
Both men struggle with their memories, with their guilt and regrets. Emmett appears to be the more well-balanced of the two, but is he really? Both men have buried their anger and their despair. They've never discussed what happened to them, never discussed the death of their friend. 
It wasn't as if Toby had never dealt with Emmett's iciness before. He knew full well that an extra change of emotional clothes was an occasional need in living with and loving that man.
Emmett has used casual sex to cover up his pain and loss, while Tobias has dived head-first into his career. Both have shied away from meaningful relationships and when they meet again, they finally recognize the reasons for that. 

Music and theater are weaved into this story from beginning to end in a magical, beautiful way. Music and theater are what first brought Tobias and Emmett together and it is what ultimately leads to their healing. 

Our one negative comment is that we'd have liked to know more about both characters beyond their inner struggles. Although we learn a little about Emmett's parents and his friends, we know virtually nothing about the people in Tobias' life, other than his friend Malik. Granted, some of that is because he's kept all his relationships so superficial, but still. 

Black Dust is a beautiful story of true love, debilitating loss, and second chances. If you love music and believe in its power to heal, this is the story for you!

OUR RATING: 4.5 stars!

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