REVIEW: Last Romance – Matt Burlingame

Last Romance - Matt Burlingame

Genre: Contemporary

LGBTQ+ Category: Gay

Reviewer: Maryann

Get It On Amazon

About The Book

Garrett spent his life preparing for “one day.” One day he’d meet the man of his dreams. One day he’d have a family. One day he’d travel to all the places he’s dreamed of seeing. Then came the one day he hadn’t prepared for. The day he was told his “one days” were about to run out. Will that be enough to make Garrett stop dreaming and finally start living?

The Review

Garett Gilmore, forty-eight, wasn’t born into wealth. His family was poor but he went to school, continued his education and worked hard to make his money. In his teenage years, he watched his father die, and he became responsible for his younger sister, Charlene, while his mother worked. Nothing was ever handed to either sibling.

As time went on, he found himself a position at Candor East Insurance. Even though he became wealthy, the job itself was unforgiving. Garrett was not only an asset to the job, but loyal to the point he gave up his social life. Now he is dealing with his own personal health crisis and has to face the reality that he’s boring, has no life outside of work, no friends, and not even a successful relationship. He very much has isolated himself, all for the job. He’s even lost touch with his sister Charlene.

As he faces the inevitable, he makes some major decisions. A chain reaction begins when he meets Lance, aka Harold.

On his first official morning home, he meets Alejandra, his housekeeper. She opens Garrett’s eyes to some interesting things and gives him some advice “to do some living”. Twenty-eight year old Justin Dixon enters his life and Garrett presents him with a proposition that benefits not just Justin, but Garrett too. Justin has a sparkling personality, always seems to look on the bright side, is thoughtful of others and builds a plan that will hopefully help Garrett envision a whole new life for himself. But Garrett is often confused about all these new feelings, and at times is judgmental of Justin.

Garrett is a kind man and has always made charitable donations. One of them is to the Second Chance Animal Shelter. He decides to take the next step and become a volunteer. He meets Marlene and the staff at the shelter, and all the wonderful animals, especially Spike.

As Garrett tries to learn how to really live in such a short time, he also has to deal with his sister Charlene. She has become controlling and interfering, and is not the person he used to know.

Burlingame’s perspective on death and dying is very clear. You might think it would be sad and depressing, but it really isn’t. Most of us don’t have the money to do all that Garrett gets to do, but it’s not about the money. It’s about the memories that are left to others – a look at a man who get’s a second chance to change his life in a very short time. He begins to see the things that were right in front of him for years, and learns how to turn his life around and make changes. Garrett still makes mistakes along the way, and he has to do his best to make amends.

From Lance to Justin, David, Alejandra, Carlos, Marina, Marlene, Fred, Howard, Charles, Penelope, Xavier and especially Spike, each of the side characters brought something to Garrett’s life, and made an abundance of memories and friendships.

Death is a tough subject to think about but it’s inevitable. It’s all in what you do while you are still alive.

“Last Romance” is a first time read for me by Matt Burlingame. It’s a really amazing story, filled with so many of life’s little lessons. A well-written, heart tugging, wonderful novel.

The Reviewer

Hi, I’m Maryann, I started life in New York, moved to New Hampshire and in 1965 uprooted again to Sacramento, California.  Once I retired I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida in 2011 and just moved back to Sacramento in March of 2018.  My son, his wife and step-daughter flew out to Florida and we road tripped back so they got to see sights they have never seen.  New Orleans and the Grand Canyon were the highlights. Now I am back on the west coast again to stay! From a young age Ialways liked to read.

I remember going to the library and reading the “Doctor Dolittle” books by Hugh Lofting. Much later on became a big fan of the classics, Edgar Alan Poe, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and as time went by Agatha Christie, Ray Bradbury and Stephen Kingand many other authors.

My first M/M shifter book I read was written by Jan Irving the “Uncommon Cowboys” series from 2012.  She was the first author I ever contacted and sent an email to letting her know how much I liked this series.  Sometime along the way I read “Zero to the Bone”by Jane Seville, I think just about everyone has read this book! 

As it stands right now I’m really into mysteries, grit, gore and “triggers” don’t bother me. But if a blurb piques my interest I will read the book.

My kindle collection eclectic and over three thousand books and my Audible collection is slowly growing.  I have both the kindle and audible apps on my ipod, ipads, and MAC. So there is never an excuse not to be listening or reading.

I joined Goodreads around 2012 and started posting reviews.  One day a wonderful lady, Lisa Horan of The Novel Approach, sent me an email to see if I wanted to join her review group.  Joining her site was such an eye opener.  I got introduce to so many new authors that write for the LGBTQ genre. Needless to say, it was heart breaking when it ended.

But I found a really great site, QRI and it’s right here in Sacramento. Last year at QSAC I actually got to meet Scott Coatsworth, Amy Lane and Jeff Adams.

Leave a Comment