Book Reviews

Dating in Retrospect (States of Love) by Lila Leigh Hunter at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Romance
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 16-February-2017

Book Blurb

Giving the commencement speech at his alma mater doesn’t fit Clay Keller’s meticulous schedule. As Chief Executive Officer of Travel Mogul—the largest travel connoisseur company on the West Coast—he has no time to get back in touch with his country roots. He left fifteen years ago without a second look, but a medical scare makes him change his mind about the speech and brings him face-to-face with his only regret.


Time always moves slower in Southeastern Iowa, and Aaron Grant loves it. He’s added solar farms to the Grant Lanes portfolio and has been teaching at the local university for a decade. The last thing he needs is to have his tenure application compromised by the return of his ex-boyfriend. If he had known who the commencement speaker would be, he would never have volunteered to be the administration liaison.


A proposal—to date for a year—will help them discover that time changes a person, even when everything else stays the same.



States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.

Book Review

The Midwest, Iowa to be precise, is the setting for this unexpected reunion of high school lovers who separated due to different ambitions but never quite managed to forget each other. Fifteen years later, Clay has become CEO of a major West Coast travel company and Aaron is a leader in environmentally friendly farming technology and a professor at the university they once shared. Both men are proud of what they achieved professionally, but neither has a happy personal life. In a tale of “the one who got away” that takes place in the Hawkeye State, Clay and Aaron have to figure out if they can rekindle the feelings they once shared while managing their different ambitions better than when they were younger.
Clay needed to leave his hometown to fulfill his ambition of creating a successful business, but now that he has, he starts to wonder what he may have missed. It takes a medical scare for him to realize he may not have forever, and he sets out to explore “what might have been” with Aaron. But no matter how determined he is, winning Aaron back is not as easy as he may have hoped.

Aaron is proud of his achievements, he is a respected member of the university teaching body, and on track to obtain tenure. He is also deep in the closet, and seeing his ex again might just endanger all his plans. At first he has no way out since he has been appointed the admin liaison for Clayton’s commencement speech. But the interaction affects him deeply, and Clayton’s suggestion of dating for a year is much more tempting than Aaron wants to admit.

Aaron and Clay can still feel the attraction between them fifteen years later, but chemistry was never a problem for them. It’s everything else they struggled with, and it was fascinating to watch them deal with the issues – including the fact that Clayton “walked away” – now that they are older and wiser in many respects. Their tussle with reality is credible, emotionally touching, and I was cheering them on all the way.

If you like reunions or second chances, if you think some lovers are just destined to be together but need time to grow up before they can figure out how to be in a relationship together, and if you’re looking for a cute read that is as romantic as it is heartwarming, then you will probably like this novella.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novella, 107 pages/38830 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 15-February-2017
Price $4.99 ebook
Buy Link