Review - "Light of Day" by Sue Brown
More of Max and Robert's story
Very Highly Recommended
In "The Night Porter", we are introduced to Max, the titular night porter of a small hotel in London. Max is all about safe, non-committal encounters with men who never ask for more than a good time while visiting the city. Until he meets Robert Armitage. A young actor in London a few days early to prepare for his upcoming wedding, Max and Robert form a quiet friendship over the course of the handful of days that blossoms into a sexual encounter.
But Max finds his heart engaged in this tryst in ways he never expected, and when he has to face the man he has fallen for, he runs. Calls out sick so he won't have to face Robert again. Only, he is called in to replace a day staffer, and has one last encounter with Robert, sending him on his way to marry his fiance.
So ends "The Night Porter", and begins "Light of Day".
A year later, Max has moved home to Texas to lick his wounds but finds he can't move past his feelings for Robert. At once relieved and yet utterly destroyed, he wonders if he meant so little to the man that he wouldn't even try to look for him when his marriage ended after just six months. And is so tired of waking from dreams of the man, waking with tears on his face.
Until the day Robert shows up at his Mom's house looking for him.
What follows is a flat out terrific story of two men taking one weekend to explore their passion for each other, all the while asking themselves the hard questions. Can this work? I love you but is that enough? Can Max live with the constraints Robert's career puts on the relationship?
Sue Brown has taken two of my favorite characters and given me some resolution of the bittersweet parting from "Night Porter". And I adore her for it. She has the gift of delving into a man's sorrow and letting us watch him heal and grow from it. And she knows, not every ending is happy and sometimes all you can expect is to walk away in one piece and live to fight another day.
But here, Ms. Brown gives me what I wanted. Maybe not Happily Every After, but certainly Happy for Now.
And I am okay with that. Because, damn it, she gave let me share another exquisite few days with my boys.