Posted by gaylistbookreviews
Title: An Infatuation
Author: Joe Cosentino
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 103 pages
Blurb: With his ten-year high school reunion approaching, Harold wonders whether Mario will be as muscular, sexy, and tantalizing as he remembers. As a teenager, it was love at first sight for Harold while tutoring football star Mario, until homophobia and bullying drove Mario deep into the closet. Now they’re both married men. Mario, a model, is miserable with his producer wife, while Harold, a teacher, is perfectly content with his businessman husband, Stuart. When the two meet again, will the old flame reignite, setting Harold’s comfortable life ablaze? How can Harold be happy with Stuart when he is still infatuated with his Adonis, his first love, Mario? Harold faces this seemingly impossible situation with inimitable wit, tenderness, and humor as he attempts to reconcile the past and the future.
A Bittersweet Dreams title: It’s an unfortunate truth: love doesn’t always conquer all. Regardless of its strength, sometimes fate intervenes, tragedy strikes, or forces conspire against it. These stories of romance do not offer a traditional happy ending, but the strong and enduring love will still touch your heart and maybe move you to tears.
Review: While this story is short it runs the gamut of emotions and spans two decades. Every time I thought I knew what this story was it would change and offer me another aspect. I laughed out loud and sighed, there were a few minutes where I wasn’t sure what I wanted to happen. I even got a little teary eyed. I loved it.
Harold is sarcastic, sweet, self deprecating with a tongue-in-cheek narrative that was entertaining and engaging.
This was a story of a deep and lasting love that began in high school and existed as a fantasy and ideal for twenty years. Harold and Mario fell in love as the typical “nerd and jock” star crossed pairing. Add in Mario’s religious homophobic parents and the social changes that hadn’t occurred twenty years ago and you have a romance that was never able to get past the awareness of attraction and love.
Both men made choices both as young adults and throughout their lives that formed their relationship into one that could neither flourish nor die. It was sad and beautiful and familiar. I think we’ve all had some version of that person who we wanted so badly and could never have.
In many ways this book also has the love story of Harold and Stuart. I loved Stuart and his acceptance and love. Stuart is incredibly patient with Harold and his infatuation with Mario. Their life sounds so structured and kind of boring. But isn’t that what making a life with someone mostly consists of? All the minutia that fill our days and slowly build a life. And if we are lucky we get to do so with someone who we share affection, respect and love with. They aren’t dramatic, there aren’t any great sweeps of emotion and destruction, no raging inferno and no despair. They are content and sweet and have made a good life together. They are kind and caring and they compliment one another as a couple.
A story that is much more complicated than its easy banter and sarcastic wit would at first lead you to believe. Full of love, choices, and the importance of friendship in all its many facets. In the end this is the story of two best friends.
*****Trigger Warning That Contains Spoilers: The bullying in this book is no joke. Harold is harassed and there is a definite possible trigger in some of the bullying that crosses the line into assault.*****
Reviewed by Nina
Posted in Nina
Tags: a haunting past, Acceptance, Assault, Awesome, Banter, Best Friends, Bittersweet, Bullying, Changes, Charming, Choices, Coming Out, Crushes, DSP, Family, Family Rejection, Finding Yourself, First Love, flashbacks, Fun, Funny, Healing, High School, High School Reunion, Homophobia, Hope, Infatuation, Lifetime, Loss, Love, Love Stories, Nina, romance, Sarcasm, Second Chances, Secrets, Sexy Football Star, Silly, Sweet, Teachers, Temptation