He didn’t say anything. There was a pause, and then he pushed himself up until his face was just above my own. I stared up into his eyes. The room was dark, but I could still make out the faintest shade of blue. “Say it,” he whispered.
“Say what?” I whispered back.
“Say that you wanted me to kiss you.”
His face moved in even closer. The room was hot, hotter still by the sheets and the blanket and him hovering above me. “I wanted you to kiss me because we were best friends and you were leaving me forever.”
He chuckled, the vibration travelling through the bed and up into my chest. “Not so forever though, huh?”READ MORE
And then there was that kiss again. Only it wasn’t the kiss from before. Brian wasn’t seven anymore and this wasn’t a fleeting goodbye. In fact, this was more of a hello, nice to see you, let’s stay like this until our lips need a crowbar to pry them apart. And, guess what? There were no crowbars in the mini-fridge. Not even a fingernail clipper. Nope, all there was, was me and him kissing as if nine years hadn’t even been nine seconds and he didn’t have a girlfriend and our mothers weren’t in the next room.
If that previous kiss all those years earlier had been my first kiss, then the second one was one hell of an encore. My mom would kill for such an encore, in fact. You see, among everything else in the universe, it was unique and perfect and wouldn’t ever be forgotten, not when I was thirty, not when I was eighty.
When at last he broke free, his face still above mine, he smiled. “And why did you let me kiss you this time then?”
I pulled my hand up above the sheets and blanket and ran it through his thick mane of hair, just like I’d always wanted to do. “Because we’re best friends.”
His lips again touched down on mine before he resumed his position. “Are we?”
My hand caressed his cheek. There was a light stubble there. I wondered if he could grow a beard, or if he would in a year or two or six. “I don’t know what we are. It just felt like the right thing to say. Does that make sense?”
He nodded. “Do you believe in fate, Eddie?”
My body suddenly tensed and then relaxed. There was that word again: fate. It felt as if he had hit me with it. “You think fate brought us together again, or that it brought us together the first time?”
His hand also rose from beneath the covers before finding its way through my hair, his fingers lightly raking across my scalp, sending a million little goosebumps up my arm. “When I saw you standing in the parking lot earlier tonight, that’s the first word that popped into my head.” The kiss repeated. I was shocked that it was even more amazing than the last. “So do you?” he asked, when again he moved his lips away.
My eyelids fluttered open. “Do I what?”
“Believe in fate?”
Yes, I did in fact. Though I was scared to admit it. Scared that I’d be tempting it. I was sixteen. This was all new to me. And so I replied, “Well, my mom is pretty damned funny, but not worth travelling all the way from Pittsburgh to see.”
“So that’s a yes then?”
I pulled him in, my arms wrapped tightly around him. I kissed him in reply. That felt safer than a yes. That felt more honest, at any rate. That felt, like I’ve said, perfect.COLLAPSE
OJ on Attention is Arbitrary wrote:
‘Fate’, or rather its author, Rob Rosen, takes most of the key elements and conventions of gay romance and turns them all on their head while providing me with a hilarious tale that is firmly tongue-in cheek at all times. This novel showcases humor at its best in the form of a great coming of age romp where the journey is more important than the end goal. And what a journey it is! It practically starts with Eddie’s birth, at least the way he tells it, and lasts all the way through his teenage years and college. Expect to be surprised, possibly shocked or taken aback, but always make sure you’re ready to laugh. I mean it – no drinks while you’re reading this book. It’s good training for your abs and a great workout for your sense of humor.
This is my first book by Rob Rosen and boy am I ever glad I was afforded this opportunity! The comedic timing and delivery flows so smoothly throughout this book that it was hard to put it down and go to sleep, or put it down and do work. I relished this read like a fine piece of Belgian chocolate. So nice and rich and delicious.
The characters are vibrant and alive, like an old Technicolor movie, drawn and developed in exquisite fashion into the tapestry of the story that I was taken back in time to my youth, my college days and 20’s. A time of wonderful discoveries, close friends, fantastic fun, incredible insecurities trying to figure things out. Somehow the innocence and expectancy of those years shines through in this book.
All in all, a solid 4.5 stars and well worth the time. Bravo!
"All the perfect kisses, love and laughter, sex and happily-ever-afters of a great romance novel, times four." -- Martha Davis, author of Dirty
"Fate asks provocative questions about the nature, and capacity, of love. A thought-provoking, tears-and-laughter gem that deserves a look!" -- Rick R. Reed, award-winning author of Dinner at Home and Blink
"Don't even try to resist diving head first into Rob Rosen's latest novel, a witty, wonderful ride through the chaos of friendship and family. 'Gayer than Oprah,' as his protagonist quips, Fate is ripe with fearless joy as only Rosen can write it." -- Salome Wilde, editor of Shakespearotica: Queering the Bard
"Sensitive, touching and often uproariously funny, with a style that makes it feel like an American Notting Hill, Fate keeps you guessing and introduces a fresh, quirky set of characters." -- Riley Shepherd, author of The Last Paltry Drops and The Boy He Left Behind
"As fate would have it, Rob Rosen has written another screamingly funny novel exploring the foibles of gay romance." -- Jonathan Asche, author of Kept Men and Other Stories