A MelanieM Review: Red, White, and a New Beginning by Thomas Grant Bruso


Rating: 2 stars out of 5

It’s Independence Day, and the annual fireworks along Lake Champlain are set to begin.

Adam Rankin gets a telephone call from his former boyfriend, Dave Peterson, who’s back in town for the festivities. It’s been a year since they separated and parted ways. Dave has moved from their small upstate New York town to Albany, where he works as a paralegal. Adam stayed behind, working as a chef in a Greek restaurant and feeding the homeless on weekends at a local shelter.

The two men reconnect over the holiday and sparks fly. Can they rekindle the flames between them, or will their romance burn out? Will this be the start of a new beginning?

I looked at the cover and blurb and anticipated a cute, short lovers reunited story.  What I got was a bundle of oddities I’m still pondering over. One, you have a very detached narrator, who seems to be looking at what’s happening around him at an emotional distance, almost describing actors on a stage.  So right away there’s a huge disconnect.

As Adam weirdly talks about himself (close to 40, thinning hair, paunch, etc), his ex, the town), I start to think wow, is this a horror story and not a romance, because that’s the way it’s starting to sound.  Plus this author has a disturbing way of putting adjectives together that most writers or just people wouldn’t think would go together.

Example: “his cavernous blue eyes hypnotizing me”  

Now I don’t know about you, but I’ve never looked at someone and thought their eyes looked especially cavernous.  Look it up in the dictionary. Yes, its there.  But here, deep would have been fine, this is just odd.  Another “His face pinched, as if thwarted”,  his thirty something lover is described as ‘fresh faced”, and pink skies turn into purple eggplant. Actually Bruso hasn’t met an adjective he doesn’t like and can’t match up with another, and another.  All while continuing a story that at times sounds more like a two man play complete with awkward discourse.

They talk and talk.  Drink, have sex, and talk some more. But honestly even when some out of the blue element showed up about Dave’s parents that again made no real sense, I had long stopped caring.  The whole thing seems more like a literary exercise than story.

So not a story I’d recommend unless you’re a fan of this author and he’s an auto read.  I’ll leave it at that.

Cover art is colorful and certainly caught my eye.

Sales Links:  JMS Books LLC | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 46 pages
Published July 1st 2017 by JMS Books

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