Title: Lost Along the Way
Author: Marie Sexton
Narrator: Jeff Gelder
Length: 4 hrs + 41 mins
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release: 11th August 2015
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Three months after losing his parents in a car crash, Denver weatherman Daniel Whitaker returns to Laramie, Wyoming. It’s bad enough dealing with the death of his parents and his failing relationship of fifteen years, but when he finds his childhood home full of clutter, Daniel is at a loss. He enlists Landon, his parents’ sexy neighbor, to help him sort through the mess. Landon Kushner is a study in contradictions. He builds wind sculptures out of scrap metal and loves the outdoors, but he also rides a mint-green Vespa and has an affinity for knitting and fortune-telling. He's been friends with Daniel's parents for years, and he's more than willing to lend a hand.
Their plan is simple: clean the house so Daniel can sell it and get back to his life in Denver. But when a strange cookbook comes into Landon’s possession, Daniel begins to realize that the universe – and Granny B – may have other plans.
WOW!!! The queen of emotional turmoil, heart break, angst and happy endings strikes again! OMG! I just LOVED this story! This story is one of five in the Tales of A Curious Cookbook however, all four stories are standalones and can be read / listened to in any order. I decided to start with Marie’s first as I always know that I’ll be in for a real treat on the emotional front and I was seriously not disappointed!
Daniel and Chase have been together for over fifteen years and it appears at first the ideal relationship. We soon learn however that the love in the relationship has moved on to a more platonic level and this is worrying Daniel. To be honest the story between Daniel and Chase is going to hit home to anyone that has been in a long term relationship where they find out later that their partner has been cheating. Yes, me too! This brought back all those feelings back. Even though you still love that person you know deep down inside there’s no future but stay together out of a deep rooted sense of obligation and loyalty. I reckon the love is still there but in a different form, it depends if it is enough, there are all forms of relationships and I’m not just talking about whether gay or straight, but as soon as you find out the other has been cheating then it becomes all too much. Any relationship needs trust, without that you have nothing. Betrayal of one’s trust and love is the worst thing ever in my experience. Daniel’s and Chase’s story was like taking a knife to my heart. OMG – IT HURT! Do you throw away fifteen years together? Do you try and work things out? Are you ready to forgive? Are you prepared to throw away everything that is familiar to you? All these questions are raised and more. It had me hurting, tearing up and hoping that Daniel and Chase would actually make it. Fault on both sides as always but can they rescue what they have?
Daniel has to go and clear out his parents house and meets Landon who has been taking care of his parent’s house after the accident. I loved Landon! Sweet, optimistic but always respectful of Daniel’s feelings, not wanting to interfere and intrude where he himself might get hurt in the process. It’s no wonder that Daniel starts to evaluate his life with Chase and what had been lost and through Landon finds himself in a flat spin of emotion. Although Daniel parent’s were estranged to him due to his relationship with Chase before the accident there was light at the end of the tunnel and things were starting to improve. Landon shows him that his parents were coming around to the idea and about to accept but all too late. Through Landon he experiences and hears about how his parents were in the last few years of their life. Again a few heart breaking moments as he realises that he should have tried harder with his parents. However, at home in Denver with Chase things are now irreparable, especially now that Daniel finds himself not being able to trust Chase and knows what he has lost along the way. A very apt title for this book.
Did Daniel cheat on Chase? No, not really. His relationship with Chase was already over long ago it just woke him up to the fact. Landon being the catalyst he needed to push him in the right direction to find happiness once again. Also not forgetting the mystical helping hand of Granny B.
But through all of this the mysterious recipes from Granny B’s cookbook have their mystical effect. I loved this touch. Here it is handled fantastically, not overly paranormal or psychic but normal, down-to-earth and believable that there is most definitely more behind the recipes in the cookbook than meets the eye. Every time one is cooked or baked and eaten it leads to events, that although quite normal, you see how the food has had it’s effect on emotions and events. This Granny B must have been one old and wise woman. Great plot idea ~ loved it.
So do we get a HEA with this one? Of course we do it’s a Marie Sexton story. Although the emotional turmoil to get there is overwhelming. Even though Chase had done the unforgivable at the end I cried for him too as he realises his mistakes and through this sees what he has lost. I would have liked a little more resolution on Chase’s side of the story believe it or not. Just to know that he made it too, hopefully learnt from his mistakes and is now happy. There was not once I couldn’t hate Chase, I felt so sorry for him, pitied him and wanted to console him too. He made a lot of mistakes and after all we’re all human no one is perfect. However, I’m sure he’s dong OK now, However, this is primarily Daniel’s story and his emotional journey and oh my did it pack a punch. Not a story for the emotionally faint of heart! READ IT AND FEEL!!
Jeff Gelder is a new to me narrator but did a marvellous job. A lovely mellow voice that had the necessary depth of emotion in his characterisations. There is no way anyone can read a Marie Sexton and then wash out on the narration. I could feel the pain in the voices of Daniel and Chase, the careful optimism in Landon. Wonderfully done and consistent with whatever the characters were feeling at the time. A voice that sat well with my ears from the word go with no having to get used to it. A job well done!
Meet Marie Sexton
Marie Sexton lives in Colorado. She’s a fan of just about anything that involves muscular young men piling on top of each other. In particular, she loves the Denver Broncos and enjoys going to the games with her husband. Her imaginary friends often tag along. Marie has one daughter, two cats, and one dog, all of whom seem bent on destroying what remains of her sanity. She loves them anyway.