Title: Olive Juice by T.J. Klune
Published by: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary Romance Novella
Reviewed by: Alex
What to Expect: More suspense than romance, this is a slow reveal of love and anguish between two men who have known each other before.
Plot: It begins with a message that David cannot ignore:
I want to see you.
He agrees, and on a cold winter’s night, David and Phillip will come together to sift through the wreckage of the memory of a life no longer lived.
David is burdened, carrying with him the heavy guilt of the past six years upon his shoulders.
Phillip offers redemption.
Once you read this book—and you should—you will understand EXACTLY why I’m struggling to write a helpful and compelling review.
There is little about the plot, the characters, their relationships, the themes, the pivots without giving something important away.
I can say there is a she involved.
I can say these two men are into the balding and paunch phase of life.
I can say it’s a wonderful story about what its life after trauma and … yeah, that’s all I can actually say.
That said, it’s a beautiful exploration of a relationship in which one person has given up on himself and life while the other has shown up over and over again—well beyond when a more reasonable person would have stopped.
The ending is lovely, messy, and deeply touching.
What you may not like: There’s no sex.
You’d think with all that angst, the reader would deserve a little humuhumunukunukuapua’a. But, no. And it wouldn’t have a good inclusion. Still, read it anyway. It’s a freaking novella people. 120 pages—and well worth the time and effort.
What you will love: The slow reveal about who David and Phillip are to each other and what they’ve been through is captivating. There were continual course corrections throughout the book, revealing the faults in your expectations as you made them only to learn the truth was something else.