- Title: 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+
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.
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?
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.