Title: The Coincidence
Author: Felice Stevens
Genre: MM Romance
Release Date: March 21st
Nice guys always finish last, and Coby Epstein is sick and tired of being last. After his boyfriend dumps him, Coby vows to take it slow and not jump into another relationship, no matter what his ninety-five-year-old great aunt says. When Coby sees his ex has moved on, he goes on a series of disastrous first dates and swears off men, determined to be alone. His best friend disagrees and finds the "perfect man" for him online and arranges a date. The only problem? Coby has no idea what she’s done.
Since childhood, Eli Kaplan has been his father’s greatest disappointment, a fact he’s reminded of at every opportunity. For years, he’s struggled with the knowledge that dating women doesn’t work for him. A late-night confession to his brother changes everything and Eli realizes, maybe, just maybe, he can come out, find himself, and find love. Eli takes the plunge and creates a profile on a dating website, not knowing what to expect. One night he chats with an intriguing man, and despite his nervousness, they arrange to meet for coffee. No big deal. They'll probably never see each other again.
On the day of their first date, nothing could surprise Coby and Eli more than to discover that they live in the same apartment building, on the same floor. In a city of eight million people, coincidences don't get crazier than that. But as the two men begin to weave their lives together with cautious optimism and hope for a future, they find an even greater thread holding their families together—one born from the ashes of a final solution that couldn’t destroy their ancestors’ courage, leaving scars that remain almost a century later. Past lives torn apart can be pieced together by a future no one could have ever imagined, where love is more than fate or coincidence. It’s meant to be.
There’s something comforting about reading a Felice Stevens book. Sure, she guarantees a Happily Ever After (it’s emblazoned all over her website), but it goes beyond that. Reading one of her books is almost like coming home. This one feels exactly like that.
I absolutely love that this story is told in the First Person. From an artistic perspective, using that format gives the author the ability to really dig into the character, to allow you to feel what the character is feeling, and to think what the character is thinking.
Coby reminded me of someone’s little brother that you wanted to protect. He’s kind of gun shy about relationships since his last one ended disastrously. His support system, in the form of his mother, great-aunt, and best friend, is amazing. His best friend, Addie, convinces him to create a profile on an online dating site, which leads to some even more disastrous first dates. (Believe me, Coby, I wouldn’t date a klepto either). Addie takes control and sets up a date with…
…Eli, who created a profile on the site in order to try and find some sort of connection with a guy since bars make him uncomfortable. I pictured this guy as the strong, buff, somewhat silent type. Hard exterior with a gooey center. He’s a court officer literally just coming to terms with who he is. His father has no problem reminding him how much of a disappointment he has always been. I hated his father, and his mother seemed ineffectual in helping her own children. His parents provide a perfect contrast to Coby’s family. But, just as Coby has Addie, Eli has his brother Darren and best friend Mario. The supporting characters are just as fleshed out as the MC’s, not just plot devices. They have their own stories, and the book is all the better for it.
Coincidences play a huge role in this, from the fact that Coby and Eli live on the same floor of the same building, to…other things in their family histories. I won’t give it away here, but it’s pretty obvious when you see it. I prefer not to see them as coincidences, however, but rather fate or destiny. There’s a reason some things happen, we just may not know what it is when it happens.
World history also plays a significant role, but it’s not so much used as a lesson as it is a backdrop to propel the story forward.
This is the perfect book to have on hand when you’re having a bad day and need something comforting.
Felice Stevens has always been a romantic at heart. She believes that while life is tough, there is always a happy ending around the corner, Her characters have to work for it, however. Like life in NYC, nothing comes easy and that includes love.
Felice has written over twenty books in the gay romance genre. Her books been translated into German, French and Italian. Her novel. One Call Away, part of her Soulmates series, was mentioned in Buzzfeed as one of the best “Out for You” gay romances of 2017.
Felice lives in New York City with her husband and two children. Her day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass or two of red wine. She recently retired from the practice law and now daydreams of a time when she can sit by a beach somewhere and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there are bound to be a few bumps along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.
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