Book Reviews

Remember When by SJD Peterson at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Romance
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 28-August-2017

Book Blurb

Life  is simple and hopeful in youth. Luke and Nelson are best friends exploring their budding sexuality. They have big plans for the future, and nothing can stand in their way or tear them apart—except a family move that puts a continent between them.


Ten years later Luke and Nelson meet again, but nothing is simple anymore. As strong as the attraction remains, obligations and expectations come between them as Luke is forced to honor family responsibilities over the desires of his heart.


Impossibly fate sees fit to offer them a last opportunity to see what might have been. Will the third time be the charm, or is trust so badly broken it is impossible to repair? Can they recapture the innocent love they once knew and make up for all the wasted years? In a love story that spans half a lifetime, two friends destined for each other will have to fight hard for their happily ever after.


Book Review

Love is not always easy, nor straightforward, and ‘Remember When’ is a heartrending illustration of two men not taking the easy road – not because they have issues or because they won’t commit, but because they are young when they are separated, and never really had a chance to explore the feelings that have started to grow between them. When they finally meet again ten years later, they have more than one obstacle to overcome. Despite the basic attraction still existing, complications assail them from every possible angle, and I found some of them easier to believe than others. What matters, and what kept me reading, is the way Luke and Nelson deal with their problems. Obligations, responsibilities, and expectations (of themselves and others) stand between them as much as the absence of a trust they never had a chance to build.

Luke and Nelson start out as childhood friends, and the intensity of their connection is amazing. The separation tore me apart as much as it did them, and I had high hopes for their reunion. But nothing is easy. Both men have learned to put others ahead of their own happiness, and that was probably a survival mechanism when they were separated. But ten years of habit are tough to unlearn, and their “rapprochement” comes in fits and starts that had me tearing my hair out more than once. In the end, they can’t deal with the issues and another fifteen years pass before they get their third chance.

While the events in this novel seemed more than coincidental on several occasions, the narrative has a realistic side that I was unable to ignore. People do make mistakes, the sense of honor that drives Luke to do what he does could be called admirable, and the overall lack of ability of either man to stand up for themselves until they are much older and wiser reads true. It may have annoyed me, but things in real life do go wrong. What did impress me is the strength of their connection. It may have been buried for several decades, but in the end, all I can say is wow.

If you like flawed characters who make multiple mistakes before they “grow up”, if a love story that spans several decades sounds interesting, and if you’re looking for a read that will make you wait for a hard-earned happy ending, then you might like this novel.





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 and print
Length Novel, 210 pages/68680 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 28-August-2017
Price $6.99 ebook, $14.99 paperback, $14.99 bundle
Buy Link