Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Review Tour: Any Given Lifetime by Leta Blake (Giveaway)

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length: 70,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Dar Albert @ Wicked Smart Designs


Neil isn’t a ghost, but he feels like one. Reincarnated with all his memories from his prior life, he spent twenty years trapped in a child’s body, wanting nothing more than to grow up and reclaim the love of his life.

As an adult, Neil finds there's more than lost time separating them. Joshua has built a beautiful life since Neil’s death, and how exactly is Neil supposed to introduce himself? As Joshua's long-dead lover in a new body? Heartbroken and hopeless, Neil takes refuge in his work, developing microscopic robots called nanites that can produce medical miracles.

When Joshua meets a young scientist working on a medical project, his soul senses something his rational mind can't believe. Has Neil truly come back to him after twenty years? And if the impossible is real, can they be together at long last?

Any Given Lifetime is a stand-alone, slow burn, second chance gay romance by Leta Blake featuring reincarnation and true love. This story includes some angst, some steam, an age gap, and, of course, a happy ending.

4 Stars!

Any Given Lifetime is a sci-fi love story, not quite a romance, although it does end with a HEA and while I found it enjoyable and it was as well-written as all of Ms. Blake's other stories, there were a few things that didn't quite work for me. *cough Joshua cough*

I loved Neil, I thought the whole reincarnation deal and what he went through still having his memories from his past life was absolutely fascinating. I have read other books with this theme, just not quite like this. There's something about characters like Neil, arrogant and difficult, yet vulnerable with their loved ones, that just endears them to me, like with Patrick from the Will & Patrick Get Married series. Lee was lovely, too, he was so supportive and caring with Joshua. And Derek, Neil's roommate and friend with benefits in his second life seemed nice, too. Now, Joshua, well, I just couldn't connect with him, I'm not even sure I can pinpoint the reason why. There was just something about him that frustrated me. That's not to say that I didn't like him with Neil or even Lee, because even if I didn't quite warm up to him, Joshua had chemistry with both and Leta Blake is undeniably skilled at writing sex scenes that are both original and uber hot.

One of my problems with this both is a pet peeve of mine and has nothing to do with the story, I just don't care for the MCs having sex on-page with other characters that aren't the other main character. So, if you're anything like me, you've been warned. And the other is that I don't like flashbacks or jumps in time, I feel they disrupt the flow of the story, and was one of the reasons I felt the first half of the book dragged in a little.

Other than those, which again, are a matter of personal preference, I think Ms. Blake did a great job with this story and I have no trouble recommending it!

*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn't a requirement. ***

5 Stars

This book is brilliant. It’s about the intense love story between Neil and Joshua that transcends multiple lifetimes. The plot was unique as it is based on reincarnation, not the usual gay romance tropes like Friends to Lovers, Gay for You, Omegaverse or Shifters. I felt myself so captivated by the storyline, I could not put it down and nearly read it in a single sitting (the bags under my eyes are proof).

At first, I worried about the readability of this novel, in the first half there’s a lot of time-switching and multiple storylines (Neil Green's childhood/adolescence, Neil Russell/Joshua's relationship, Lee/Joshua's relationship), but somehow Ms. Blake made a very complex novel coherent and fascinating.

In the second half of the book, she turned the heat up with the Neil Green/Joshua relationship to the point I was completely immersed, living vicariously through these very well-written characters. She even made Neil Green, a complete and utter jerk even to his mother, likable and interesting. There were several points where Ms. Blake’s writing brought me to tears and had me laughing out loud. The love between these two was palpable.

The view of the future she built in this novel was quite intriguing. While in this book there were medical and technological advances 20 years in the future, it was not outlandishly so and completely believable.

While I wouldn’t call this a life-changing read, it was definitely beautiful and well done.

*Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn't a requiremen
t. ***

Author Bio

Author of the bestselling book Smoky Mountain Dreams and the fan favorite Training Season, Leta Blake’s educational and professional background is in psychology and finance, respectively. However, her passion has always been for writing. She enjoys crafting romance stories and exploring the psyches of made up people. At home in the Southern U.S., Leta works hard at achieving balance between her day job, her writing, and her family.

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