Daily Archives: March 22, 2014
Title: Rum and Ginger
Author: Eon de Beaumont
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 200 pages
Rating: B List
Blurb: The Connection: Book One
Ben Silver’s personal dream is to open the first gay bar in Liamsport, Pennsylvania. The town isn’t exactly open-minded, but that’s not why Ben stays in the closet. Chance, Ben’s computer nerd boyfriend, is deathly afraid of anyone finding out he’s gay. On a night out, Ben meets Brodie Felix, a younger, heavily tattooed bartender who lights a spark in Ben’s heart. Although the spark in his relationship with Chance has dwindled to almost nothing, Ben feels guilty for wanting to be single, for wanting another man, so he tries to forget about Brodie.
But when Ben discovers one of Chance’s own secrets, he’s forced to make a difficult choice.
On his own for the first time in his life, Ben can be open with his family and friends. Though honesty has its benefits, his life isn’t perfect. Ben’s circle of friends and family is growing. So is the spark between him and Brodie, and Ben hopes it will grow into a flame. His dream remains out of his grasp, but with a little help and a lot of work, he might yet serve his favorite rum and ginger ale at his own establishment, the first gay bar in his hometown.
Review: While this book is about Ben’s life and choices, at its heart it is a story of friendship and family. The family that we are born into and the struggles we can have with them and our perceptions of them. But also the family we make throughout our lives, those friends that stick and become our family.
Ben was struggling with several things when we first meet him. A job that leaves him unfulfilled and frustrated. A relationship that has him denying who he is and feeling alone. Unable to proclaim his love for his boyfriend to almost everyone in his life. Hiding his sexuality from his family. Ben is living his life by Chance’s needs and expectations and it isn’t enough. He is sleepwalking through his days with brief moments where the anger and unhappiness burst out.
I was struck by the poignancy of the pain and damage of keeping secrets, especially about love and relationships when Ben and Chance broke up. Ben expressed it beautifully when he tearfully told Chance:
“ I could never tell anyone that I loved you, that you were my boyfriend. And now it’s too late.”
I loved that even though both men were in pain over their break up they were able to part kindly. Ben showed himself to be a good man by the way that he treated Chance. He rose above his anger and chose to forgive and allow their friendship to hold sway over petty revenge or trivial snipping.
Bodie is adorable. He is sexy, sweet and tatted up and Ben can’t stop looking at him or thinking about him. The chemistry between them is immediate and potent. These guys were so cute together and I was glad that both men had the integrity to wait until Ben was free to pursue a sexual relationship. It allowed them to become friends and build a foundation of trust. It also made the speed at which they came together as boyfriends credible. While they jumped into the intimate relationship both had the time to know what and who they wanted.
While Ben’s developing feelings for Bodie play a part in his moving forward with his life without Chance, I felt that the adult friendship he develops with his high school teammate, Derek was pivotal. Their friendship is a catalyst in both men’s lives.
Lena is a trip. She has been there as a mainstay, bad influence, comic relief, and bad ass best friend for Ben for years.
I enjoyed this story and look forward to reading more in this fun and sweet new series.
Reviewed by Nina