A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Any Given Lifetime by Leta Blake


Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Who’s to say reincarnation can’t happen? Not this author, who gives us a heartwarming, gut-churning tale of one couple’s love for all time.

In the first half we meet Joshua, a young college man who was raised in a strict Christian household and is struggling to admit he’s gay and act on his attraction to his neighbor, Neil.  Neil is a brilliant scientist specializing in nanite research.  His dedication to his work and his perfectionism make him difficult to be around as he says what he means and doesn’t soften the blow.  But he and Joshua, nevertheless, fall in love.  Unfortunately, a disaster occurs and Joshua loses him before they even have a chance to have sex, something Joshua later deeply regrets. 

Months after Neil’s death, a baby is born—a strange baby named Neil, who seems too serious by far. As he ages, it’s evident he’s a genius and his maturity level is off the boards.  When he admits to his mother that he knows he’s lived before and shows her videos of Joshua on their laptop, she’s shocked but has already come to believe there’s something different about her baby.  Joshua now heads a nanite research foundation, begun with funds he inherited when Neil passed. Since he’s in the spotlight so often it’s easy for young Neil to follow his activities and he’s gutted when Joshua marries a man named Lee. 

A year or two after Neil had passed, Joshua met Lee, a man with major burn damage who was the recipient of Neil’s skin donation when he died.  After Lee relocates to Joshua’s small town, the two become close and within a few years, Joshua falls in love and marries Lee. He still dreams of Neil but knows there’s room in his heart for his past love and his new one.

Without revealing what happens, I will say that the first half of the story was bittersweet. Joshua had one blow after another. Young Neil was frustrated with his young body and his old brain. He still held memories from the time before and his inability to reach out to Joshua was frustrating.  I was most definitely caught up in the angst and action and didn’t know who to feel sorriest for.  And I shared Neil’s frustration with the slow passage of time.

In the second half, Joshua and the young Neil finally meet.  Neil allows his nerves and his acerbic tongue to push Joshua away, while Joshua can’t seem to recover from being stunned speechless by how much this Neil looks like the love of his life.  It’s fun, it’s heartbreaking, it’s frustrating, and it’s amazing to watch these two men finally get past all the hurdles and come together.   

But then… If I had any one complaint, it’s that there was too much sex in the second half. Granted, they finally got to have sex, but not only are they constantly at it, much of it is on page, and after a while, I was done. So done. It’s a wonder either man could walk, never mind how they kept from being dehydrated.  It distracted me from the rest of the story and it took my rating down a notch. 

If you are looking for a romance that spans time, this one is ideal. It’s heartwarming and heartbreaking with sweet, wonderful characters and a few that are somewhat prickly, but still endearing.  A wonderful way to spend a day or two of your leisure time, I definitely recommend this one.

The cover by Dar Albert features a photo of two men embracing and kissing, superimposed over a skyline that could easily be Atlanta, the major city featured in this story.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 215 pages
Published September 13th 2018 by Leta Blake Books
Edition Language English

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