Reviewed by Kat and Caroline
SERIES: World of Love
AUTHOR: Mickie B Ashling
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 172 Pages
RELEASE DATE: June 21, 2017
Dr. Ed Hollingsworth, widowed for five years, returns to San Sebastián, Spain, after a thirty-year absence. He seeks out his first and only male lover, pro surfer Javi Elizalde.
After surviving a near-fatal shark attack, Javi turned his back on the sport he loves and became a recluse.
Iker Lizaso, professional jai alai player, finds himself at loose ends now that his contract has expired. Forced to retire at thirty-eight, he returned to his home in the Basque Country to figure out what to do with the rest of his life.
Three different men, encumbered by their past, converge in a city famous for its food, summer festivals, and romantic promenades. Can they find happiness together? It’ll be difficult, maybe even improbable, considering their backgrounds, but Cupid’s arrow usually hits the mark, and this particular strike might be epic.
World of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the globe.
I am a fan of Mickie B. Ashling ever since I read her “Bay Area Professional” series. Then she hooked me completely with her “Open” series. When I discovered she was submitting an entry to the “World of Love” collection I just knew I had to grab this one. As I thought, I wasn’t disappointed.
Dr. Ed Hollingsworth has had a really tough last five years. His college sweetheart/wife had died from brain cancer. He was left with twin sons to raise and get ready for college. And dating just wasn’t working out. On a whim, something the very regimented anesthesiologist didn’t do, he travels back to San Sebastián, Spain to see if he can connect with a better time in his life. The time when he let life fly like the wind and had his only sexual experience with a male. That male was world famous pro surfer Javi Elizalde. But when he does meet up with Javi things are not what he expected after 30 years. Javi survived a brutal and life altering great white shark attack while competing in a surfing meet in Australia. The Basque is now just a shell of himself, hiding in seclusion in San Sebastián. After Javi sends him away abruptly, Ed encounters a young man that is the image of the younger Javi. Iker Lizaso is now a lifeguard in San Sebastián after his professional jai alai contract was not renewed in Miami. Ed and Iker hit it off but realize that Ed’s heart is with Javi. How do these three men, coming off difficult and traumatic changes to their lives proceed?
As most of you know, I am a HUGE ménage fan. Two hot men are great but when the story is woven well a great ménage is a true treat. In her great style of writing, the author tempts us with just enough drama to reel us in and become invested in this unique relationship.
The hardest part to read was how devastated Javi was from his shark attack. One moment you are poised to win a big international surfing invitational and the next moment you are bleeding out from life threatening injuries that change your life forever. This would cause anyone severe emotional damage. What I loved was Ed wanting to help his friend. Not for any pay back of any kind but because he is genuinely a nice guy and just wants to help his friend.
Ed’s confusion over his bi-sexuality is understandable. He had always been heterosexual without any thoughts or feeling for another man before or after Javi. When he discovers that he not only has feelings and desires for Javi, but Iker too, he is truly having a hard time grasping what was going on. I understand Javi and Iker’s concerns but he did seem almost to be gay-for-you for these men only. Ed was a stand-up kind of guy who is loyal and trustworthy. I don’t see him as the kind of guy to hurt someone on purpose.
I do think that one of my most favorite parts of the book was Ed’s talk with his twin sons about his bi-sexuality. I could so see a series/spin-off coming forward from this story. I think those boys have stories to be told also. And I would like to see how Ed’s relationship with Javi and Iker proceeds.
All in all, another great addition to the “World of Love” collection. If you are looking for a wonderful second chance love story with a bit of spicy essence then this is a great choice. I highly recommend this fun, fast read based on the beautiful coastline of Spain.
This is quite a gentle love story about three men who are each lonely and dealing with problems in their lives that seem insurmountable.
Javi and Ed had a wild fling thirty years ago before Ed returned from Europe to the States to begin his gruelling college life on his way to becoming a Doctor. Javi fell hard that summer but never spoke up about his feelings until it was too late. Ed arrived at college met his future wife, married and had a family and never gave much thought to Javi for the next thirty years.
Three decades on Ed finally returns to San Sebastian where he spent that carefree summer with Javi. The trip is supposed to give him the jolt he needs to get over the grief at losing his wife and inspire him as to what he wants from the rest of his life. The first thing he does is look to see if Javi’s family is still around – they are but the Javi he finds is not the man he once knew. After a shark attack Javi lost his foot and he sits in his apartment too depressed to see that his life isn’t over.
Ed is exactly the right medicine for Javi and his outlook in life changes overnight. There is an obvious sexual attraction between the two but for anything to happen Ed must first make peace with the fact that his wife is gone and he is a bisexual man. If that isn’t confusing enough for him he soon has to face up to wanting two men at the same time when he meets Iker, a man who has been forced to retire from his sport, and who is also trying to work out his future.
I loved that this story was about older men who were getting their second chances. Although their feelings rose and were declared quickly the author didn’t just drop the three into a perfect relationship. Their lives and their problems were very real and each had to be dealt with – I guess what I’m trying to say is the story had a gritty feel to it. The MC’s weren’t perfect and they had lived their lives to the fullest until each of them was struck down by adversity. They were good together and even the ending wasn’t wrapped up neatly with a bow on it – they were more a work in progress but you are left sure that they will work it all out.