TITLE: Lost And Found
AUTHOR: Rick R. Reed
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Reese Dante
LENGTH: 200 Pages
RELEASE DATE: December 5, 2016
BLURB: On a bright autumn day, Flynn Marlowe lost his best friend, a beagle named Barley, while out on a hike in Seattle’s Discovery Park.
On a cold winter day, Mac Bowersox found his best friend, a lost, scared, and emaciated beagle, on the streets of Seattle.
Two men. One dog. When Flynn and Mac meet by chance in a park later that summer, there’s a problem: who does Barley really belong to? Flynn wants him back, but he can see that Mac rescued him and loves him just as much as he does. Mac wants to keep the dog, and he can imagine how heartbreaking losing him would be—but that’s just what Flynn experienced.
A “shared custody” compromise might be just the way to work things out. But will the arrangement be successful? Mac and Flynn are willing to try it—and along the way, they just might fall in love.
Mac turned back, his hands up like the criminal he felt he was. “What do you want?” he whined. He wished they’d just go away. But he was resigned to the fact that they weren’t going anywhere and that he’d have to deal with this situation with Hamburger sooner or later, whether he liked it or not, for better or for worse. Even if dealing with it meant his own heart would be ripped in two.
Clara said, “We just want to take a look at the dog. That’s all. I can give a second opinion. I know Flynn’s dog Barley very well. And maybe he’s wrong. We’re prepared for that. But he’s missed his little guy so much, maybe there’s just some wishful thinking happening on Flynn’s part. That would be understandable. I assume you’re headed home?”
Mac nodded, feeling like he was backing up to a precipice. He didn’t know which footstep would send him hurtling over the edge. “Yeah,” he said, a little out of breath. “I rent a room in a house on Green Lake Way.” He closed his eyes. He felt as though the couple were staring at him. Well, of course they were staring, but staring with dislike, disgust, whatever. And maybe all that was just Mac himself, projecting his own feelings of self-loathing.
He looked to the guy, Flynn, he’d encountered the other day on the trail. Their eyes met, and Mac noticed how the guy had a little chip missing out of his front tooth. It was an odd time to take note of such a thing, but it made Mac feel better. The guy had seemed so perfect, all Irish black hair and blue eyes, the body of an Adonis, dimples, everything. The flaw humanized him and, in a way, made him sexier.
Why are you even thinking such a thing? Mac yelled at himself on the inside. The dude’s obviously here with his girlfriend. He felt bad all over again about deceiving him. Mac wasn’t ready to tell them the truth about Hamburger—he just couldn’t bear the thought of it, because surely that would be the end of his relationship with the dog, and sometimes Mac thought he loved that creature more than he loved himself—he could at least own up to some of his own truth.
“Your name’s Flynn, isn’t it?”
The guy nodded, and his eyebrows came together in obvious confusion. “Mike, right?”
Flynn peered at him suspiciously, and Mac realized he probably had never believed any of what he’d told him. Mac had always had a terrible face for lying. Every emotion was always cast there in sharp relief. It was both his blessing and his curse.
“No,” Mac mumbled. “My name’s Mac. Mac Bowersox.” He scraped the toe of his Converse on the sidewalk. “Maybe you misheard me. Mac, Mike, Max….”
“Sure,” Flynn said stiffly. “Are you gonna let us come and see the dog or not?’
Do I have a choice? Mac wondered. Of course he did. One always had a choice. He could be an asshole and simply refuse. Stand his ground. Try to be a baby and just run from them again. He shook his head. “The house is, uh, just around the corner down here.” He gestured toward Green Lake, which shimmered innocently in the summer sun just below them. Mac thought there should be storm clouds gathering above the water. He turned away from Flynn and Clara, trying to mentally prepare himself for what was to come.
This book had so many things I love. There was a grown woman who loved to eat, dogs, grandmas, a gingerman, you know the important things.
Barley is a beagle and oddly he has two men who love him so very much. Both coming into his life at different times. It’s because of the boisterous beagle that Flynn meets Mac and so a love story begins.
I’m not familiar with Seattle, never been. So I always love when I read a Rick Reed book and he takes us there. I wonder if these places are real or fictitious and inevitably I always want to go visit them. I loved hearing Mac’s stories of when he was a kid and the many books he’s read. I took notes on a few so I could go find them and read them.
Flynn and Mac’s love connection is a very very very slow burn. They actually don’t have a lot of page time together. Flynn is sort of a loner. He has Barley and his best friend Clara but that’s it. Mac becomes a love for Flynn that he always craved. For a good portion of the book it felt one sided. The love Flynn and Mac have actually doesn’t manifest into anything much until close to the end of the book.
It honestly felt like Mac’s story. Though told in both Mac and Flynn’s POV’s it was Mac’s POV that truly held the story together and was where we often found ourselves getting answers.
I loved the connection that Mac had with so many things. His grandmother, her trailer, dogs in general. He’s truly a kind person and very real. I’ll say that I wasn’t sure I believed in Mac and Flynn’s love and maybe it was because in the end it felt so “all of a sudden” The epilogue answered most of the lingering questions I had except one and it was sort of a big one.
I did like this book a great deal but without getting that answer to that question and feeling a little so so about the love I feel like I’m missing something with it.
Rick Reed is a great author and if you love dogs, conversations about literature, gingermen, and grandmas you’ll truly enjoy this.
Rick R. Reed is all about exploring the romantic entanglements of gay men in contemporary, realistic settings. While his stories often contain elements of suspense, mystery and the paranormal, his focus ultimately returns to the power of love.
He is the author of dozens of published novels, novellas, and short stories. He is a three-time EPIC eBook Award winner (for Caregiver, Orientation and The Blue Moon Cafe). He is also a Rainbow Award Winner for both Caregiver and Raining Men. Lambda Literary Review has called him, "a writer that doesn't disappoint."
Rick lives in Seattle with his husband and a very spoiled Boston terrier. He is forever "at work on another novel."
You can also email Rick at - firstname.lastname@example.org
Winner’s Prize: Legally Wed ebook.
Runner Up Prize: Husband Hunters eBook.
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