Title: The Rest of Our Lives
Author: Dan Stone
Publisher: Lethe Press
Genre: Paranormal M/M, romantic comedy
Length: Novel, 228 pages (print, ebook)
Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5
A guest review by Leslie
Colm McKenna has led a guarded life. Gifted with a wintry soul and a photographer’s eye, he can stop time as easily as he freezes water, or call down cold north winds. He thinks he is alone and unique in the world. Then, seemingly by accident, he meets handsome writer Aidan Gallagher, his opposite, a young man who not only magically raises temperatures but quickens Colm’s heart.
In this lighthearted and contemporary, gay romantic fantasy, can two male witches whose passion reincarnates century after century, find a way to express their love for each other again? Can this enchanting pair finally succeed after so many lifetimes?
I read this novel for the first time back in June and at that time, I considered it a perfect summer book for a trip to the beach or a weekend at a lakeside cottage—light and entertaining. Re-reading parts of it in preparation for this review—now at the end of the summer with the days growing shorter, I have the same feeling. The Rest of Our Lives is like a bowl of lime sherbet on a hot summer day: the story is sweet, but with a bit of a tang, refreshing in your mouth and it melts on your tongue. What more could anyone ask for?
I’ve always loved stories where a character has magical powers and doesn’t know or understand his/her capabilities, but over the course of the story comes to understand what it means. This is the case for Colm McKenna, an elemental witch who has the ability to slow things down and cool things off when the need arises. Colm has known about his gift for quite awhile—he would, in high school, freeze the quarterback in the locker room so he could spend time studying his finer attributes—but he always thought he was the only one in the world like this: a freak.
Enter Aidan Gallagher who proceeds to open the hidden world of witches to Colm, teaching him, mentoring him, and yes, loving him, too. It would seem to be the perfect happy ever after for both of them except that Colm discovers he and Aidan have been crossing paths for centuries—and it didn’t always work out so well for them. Colm was usually the one left by the wayside, literally holding the baby (they weren’t always gay in their other lives). This gives him pause—he’s had his heart broken a few dozen times by Aidan—does he want to risk it again?
The writing is fresh and funny—I chuckled out loud many times while reading the book. Aidan and Colm are a beguiling couple and I was rooting for them to work it out, even when Colm had an existential crisis about three-quarters of the way through. One weakness, which is why I didn’t give this book five stars, is that some of the supporting characters are sort of cartoonish. For example, I didn’t particularly care for Dr. Nike, Colm’s life coach and therapist. However, it’s easy enough to breeze past them to stay with the heart of the story.
The story takes place in Washington DC, Provincetown, and North Carolina and is told from Colm’s first person POV. The sex is light, sweet, and best of all, magical. Aidan makes flames appear and Colm cools things off when it gets too hot. When they really get going they float! Something about making love while hovering a few feet above the ground is very erotic to me. It is also the perfect solution for having sex on the beach and dealing with the messy sand problem. LOL. Makes me wish that I could do that.
This is Dan Stone’s debut novel and it is a terrific start to his career as an author. I look forward to reading more of his writing and I sincerely hope that Aidan and Colm will magically reappear in the pages of another book, sooner, rather than later, since I don’t feel like waiting another lifetime to read more of their ethereal escapades.