Note: This ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange for an honest review.
Who was this guy? He must've been one hell of a teacher because clearly kids adored him. To be honest I couldn't imagine anyone not adoring him. He was genuinely a good guy. Nice. Sweet. Charming. Most certainly easy on the eyes. What's not to like? I couldn't think of a goddamned thing.
Karen Stivali is back with the fifth and latest novel in her Moments in Time series, with the first four books among my favorite reads in 2015. In Moment of Fate, we get to know Bryan Dane, a supporting character in books two to four, better. His life is pretty much exactly the way he wants it, what with him finishing up his final year before getting his degree, working on his photography, spending time with his sister and niece, and creating music with his band. Sure, sex is off the table, but that was a choice he made for himself. It's only for a year anyway, and he's already three-fourths of the way done. He knows he can hold off for a hundred or so more days. That is, until Bryan meets Oliver Newcastle, a drop dead gorgeous graduate student from New Hampshire currently going to NYU, too.
Oliver tempts Bryan in ways no other guy has before, but Oliver's newly out, having ended his engagement to his best friend who just happens to be a girl. Now, Oliver's single and ready to mingle. With his self-imposed period of sexual abstinence, Bryan thinks being there as a mentor of sorts as Oliver discovers what the gay scene in New York has to offer will distract him from giving in to his attraction. However, the more time these two young men spend together, the more it becomes clear that the attraction is more than mutual. But Bryan no longer believes in love and relationships and while Oliver does, he's also excited to become someone he wasn't allowed to be back home. A relationship was never part of the plan, especially not falling in love, but nothing, not even Bryan, can stop fate.
I loved, loved, LOVED Bryan and Oliver's story! This was a slow burn romance, one that has the characters start off as strangers who later become friends and then more. They both had plans--Bryan with his year-long celibacy and Oliver with his exploration of his sexuality--but you know what they say about best laid-out plans (pun not intended, I swear). There were times in the story that I so wanted to know how Oliver saw things from his perspective, but in hindsight, I think it was good that everything was told from Bryan's point-of-view, especially because it was Bryan who was dealing with issues of trust and openness. Did I want to smack Bryan upside the head a few times? Yes, but I also wanted to give him a hug when he finally realized what a dumbass he had been.
The sweet and lighthearted parts of their romance had me smiling, but I confess that their steamier moments had me wanting to sit in front of the air conditioner. Talk about HOT, especially when it came to those first couple of times they shared together, which I won't get into because you need to read them on your own. Seriously, anything I have to say won't give those scenes justice. These two had me blushing a time or two, but the sex was just one of the reasons why this book was as good as it was. Add to that a good supporting cast, with Milo, Bryan's best friend and band mate, the most notable one of all. Would it be too much to ask for him to have his own story, maybe with Erik? Fingers crossed! But for now, I'm basking in all the swoony-ness that is Moment of Fate. Five-plus stars! ♥
Read my reviews for the Moments in Time series:
Moment of Impact (book one) - five-plus stars - My Review
Moment of Truth (book two) - five-plus stars - My Review
Moment of Clarity (book three) - five-plus stars - My Review
Moment of Silence (book four) - five-plus stars - My Review
Moment of Fate (book five) - five-plus stars - My Review (posted above)
Release Date: 24 February 2017
Date Read: 23 February 2017
Learn more about Karen Stivali.