For the Living by L.A. Witt

  • For the Living by L.A. WittTitle: For the Living
  • Author:  L.A Witt
  • Series: N/A
  • Genre(s): Contemporary, M/M
  • Publisher: Amber Allure, April 2012
  • Purchase: AmberQuill.com, $6
  • Tropes: Rebound Relationship, Coming Out
  • Quick blurb: Recently widowed and newly out of the closet Jay finds compassion and more with funeral director Scott.
  • Quick review: Surprisingly preachy with a lot of lengthy “Gay is Good” dialogue in the first few chapters.
  • Grade: C+

L.A. Witt is an auto-buy for me – her Rules of Engagement has a permanent spot on my DIK list.

For the Living, however, can’t really compare to her previous books. Witt is great at making rebound relationships realistic and emotionally engaging, but this one just didn’t work for me.

The plot….

For the last year, Jay Warren has struggled to find the nerve to tell his wife he’s gay. He’s ashamed of hiding it all this time and he doesn’t want to hurt her, so every time he gets the chance to tell her, he freezes up. The guilt has been almost unbearable, but when his wife dies suddenly, Jay’s conscience threatens to eat him alive.

Funeral director Scott Lawson deals with the bereaved every day of his life, and he’s also all too familiar with the inside of the closet. He offers Jay some much-needed compassion and understanding, and from that connection comes a friendship that quickly—perhaps too quickly—turns into something more.

But are grief, guilt, and loneliness the only things tying them together? Or will Scott get tired of being used as an emotional crutch before Jay realizes what he has?

Source: Goodreads

The heroes….

One thing I always love about Witt’s characters are their “real” lives – their other out-of-bed jobs and friends and family that affect their relationship. Scott’s career as a funeral director is one that I have *never* seen in any romance before, and I appreciated his struggles to balance his personal and professional personas. Add in the tats and piercings hidden under the black undertaker suits, and there’s a hero I won’t soon forget.

Widower Jay is memorable as well, but I felt his character arc was pretty predictable, with angry in-laws appearing right on schedule.

Now let me tell you what I REALLY think….

While the heroes were likeable and the angsty premise was appropriately heart-wrenching, I found it to be surprisingly preachy. It made me feel she was trying much too hard to convince the reader of things we already know (unless her intended audience is different than typical m/m romance readers). There was a whole lotta TELLING going on, with a LOT of lengthy “Gay Is Good” dialogue in the first few chapters.

For the Living isn’t bad, but for anyone new to this author, I’d steer clear and go for Rules of Engagement and the Changing Plans series instead.

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One thought on “For the Living by L.A. Witt

  1. julaine says:

    I just bought Wicked Game. I am such a sucker for the sports star as a bad boy trope and I have no earthly clue why it trips my switch since the only sports I care about is uh, none. I exercise because I like dessert and no one bothers me when I’m on the treadmill.

    Great reviews as usual.

    BTW The saga of the McCoys at the Tebow Ranch was epic. If you ever want to gather a virtual posse to raze the place to the ground and salt the earth so nothing grows for a thousand years, just let me know. I’m in.

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