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Pride and Joy #1

by Robert Winter

September - Robert Winter
Part of the Pride and Joy series:
Editions:Kindle - Second Edition: $ 3.99
ISBN: B0772TQ17W
Pages: 366
ISBN: 1635331188
Pages: 260
Audiobook - First: $ 17.47
Pages: 300

A May-December contemporary gay romance for lovers of second chances

David James is smart, successful, handsome… and alone. After the death of his lover, Kyle, from cancer, he buried himself in his law practice and the gym. At forty-eight, he is haunted by his memories and walled off from the world. When David injures himself working out, he’s assigned to Brandon Smith for physical therapy. The vibrant young therapist is attracted to David and realizes he needs a hand to get back into dating. What begins as a practice coffee date escalates to friendship, passion, and maybe something more, as they navigate a new relationship in Washington, DC, and the gay mecca of Provincetown.

But David remains trapped behind the barrier of fear and guilt. Will he remain loyal to Kyle’s memory if he moves on? Can he and Brandon manage a twenty-two-year age gap? Brandon thinks he understands David’s concerns, and for him, the answer to those questions is yes. He wants to be with David, and he believes he can overcome David’s barriers. But Brandon fails to account for the world’s reaction to a handsome young man attached to an older, wealthy lover. David’s memories, Brandon’s pride, and an unexpected tragedy might cost them something very special.

This book is on:
  • 3 To Be Read lists
  • 4 Read lists
  • 1 Currently Reading list
Reviews:Jamie on Alpha Book Club wrote:

This is an amazing story – David & Brandon are two characters who are brought together by chance, learn to love each other despite the age gap, and their love story is one of kind and transcends age, wealth, and injury – a true story of learning to love again and of taking chances!

When you vow to love someone till death do you part, what happens when you are the one left alive and alone, trying to pick up the pieces of your life and learn to live again? Do you dare to hope that you might find love again? Are you being unfaithful to your deceased lover if you go out on dates? How can you bring a new lover into the bed you shared with another for almost 20 years – is it worth it to try again? These are all questions that our MC David has to face. David knows he has to either work to overcome all of his fears and feelings of betraying his deceased partner, Kyle, or he will spend the rest of his life alone. When an injury brings him to physical therapy- he quickly realizes a torn rotator cuff may not be the only thing his therapist is mending.

Brandon is a young physical therapist new to the D.C. area, a transplant from Texas. He is deep in student loan debt, isn’t a stranger to Ramen noodles, loves being active and playing sports; and while he isn’t averse to the occasional Grindr or Scruff hookup he really wants to find someone to settle down with and build a life. When he first sees his newest patient, a sexy, distinguished, middle-aged man with a body to die for and if the bulge in his jeans is correct he has D for days..Brandon is awed. When he finds out that David plays for his team and is single a widower .. he decides he will help David, the sexy man he quickly nicknames Cowboy – get back on the horse – and help him get over his fear of asking someone out. Yes, Brandon volunteers to be his practice date. What starts as coffee between therapist and patient quickly detours to a tour of David’s house and some hot action.

From there it’s all about learning to communicate, letting go of the past, being strong enough to love each other, and getting over other people’s perception of them as a couple due to the 20+ year age gap. Then when life throws them lemons – the two have to decide to either walk away or love each other harder. As Brandon struggles to accept all that David offers some help comes from the least likely of people that put everything in perspective.

This is the first story I have read by author Robert Winter and I cannot wait to read more.. his writing and storytelling ability are both beautifully brilliant, with characters that are full of emotion, and their plight and struggles real.

I loved this story and I highly recommend it to all!
5 Stars!

Dianne on It's About The Book wrote:

Review: September is the debut novel from this author, and I’m happy to say it was one of those “can’t put it down” books. You know, one where the house could be collapsing around you while reading, yet you wouldn’t notice.

This story is about loss, recovery, discovery, differences, looking at one’s self through someone else’s eyes, and overcoming fear. It’s imbued with the absolute importance of communication throughout all of the aforementioned, and it centers on an understanding that life throws curve balls at us all – especially when it involves vulnerability and love. It’s not a dark story, but it is one with a lot of reality checks and hurdles. We are treated to a frank, warm narrative by a writer who is obviously familiar with living in DC and Provincetown. I’ve never been to the DC neighborhoods in this story, or to Provincetown, yet now I feel as though I have. As a reader, I felt as though I were absolutely present in this story – a confidant of sorts to both David and Brandon.

David has been throwing himself into his work as partner in a prestigious law-firm, and ramping up his exercise routines to vomit inducing levels of difficulty. He’s been doing this to fill the void of losing Kyle, his long-time partner, to cancer two years earlier. The results of the exercise have made an already attractive man a real head turner, but all the hours spent at work resulted in David turning into an emotional wall. While he had good friends, he was alone. The idea of dating again knotted his stomach- so…more workouts, more trying to forget.

Brandon’s a young Physical Therapist transplanted from Texas to DC. He’s got a dream of owning his own practice someday, but for now he’s scraping by. Brandon has made friends easily, loves sports, and is involved in some intramural leagues. He engages in the occasional hook up, but would like to find someone more meaningful. Someone to actually have a relationship with.

Brandon and David meet professionally – David has injured his arm and needs PT. While they both feel a zing of immediate attraction, they enjoy getting to know each other somewhat during subsequent appointments. An easy, genuine acquaintance grows, and Brandon convinces David to meet him for a pretend date. Sort of a practice- run for David to gauge if he’s ready to wade back into the dating fray.

What is bound to happen (despite David’s inner concerns) eventually does, as their relationship escalates to white-hot sex. David hasn’t had sex with anyone since Kyle took ill, so his emotions are bouncing all over, battling with his newly sparked libido. The chemistry between David and Brandon is blazing, yet both men feel a truly deeper emotional pull – it’s clearly not just sex right from their first time together. The sex scenes in this story were superlative in their power to transcend the physical. Not a word of them was extraneous or for titillation, each of these scenes was crucial at showing the character’s emotional state and relationship evolution.

I immediately took to both men. They were actual people I was getting to know, to become friends with. Getting the POV of both men was very crucial to this story – I soaked up the knowledge of what each man was thinking and feeling at every step of the story, and enjoyed the details of conversations they were having independently with others in their lives.

As the story progresses and the two men embark on an earnest dating relationship, David is dealing with feelings of betraying Kyle. He feels guilt about that, while he is also keenly aware of the 20 year age difference between him and Brandon. David was Kyle’s caretaker. He had to powerlessly watch him decline. Was it fair to subject Brandon to that same likely and uncomfortable role if they were to end up as a couple? David also feels a bit out of sorts around Brandon’s friends – will they think he’s taking advantage of the younger man? Is he? These were all valid concerns in David’s mind. Problem was – he kept them there.

At the same time, Brandon has friends that do assume David is his Sugar Daddy. He also has a friend or two that wouldn’t mind taking David’s place. The aforementioned issues, combined with the gaping income inequality between the two men, lead to some bumpy moments. But, they are managing to work their way through all of these obstacles while developing deeper feelings. Or maybe they’ve been fooling themselves. Not about their feelings for each other, but rather about their ability to be completely honest with themselves regarding their fears and concerns. Not confronting these fears, especially in David’s case, was a time bomb of sorts. A lack of absolute transparent honest communication between the two men was about to spell disaster.

Things come to a boiling point, spinning out of control faster than David can process what has happened. You’ll get no more plot specifics from me from this point! Up to this section of the book, there was several times I was alternately cheering each man for their progress, their choices – or wanting to give them a swift shake. As I’ve already mentioned, the sense of location is amazing, not only physically, but for the people. The behavior of some of the men in Provincetown had me squirming with its less than glamorous truths. Throughout the story the dialogue is superb. Brandon and David were real people having real conversations. These men were awkward, hurtful, honest, playful, sensual, supportive, exposed. The author did not write this story by himself – his characters paint it for us using their own vivid colors.

David and Brandon were so very real to me. The insecurities they harbored were genuine. They had valid concerns. They behaved selfishly and were blindingly stupid at times, yet they were absolutely heroic at others. There were shows of pride, stubbornness and absolute devastation. I commend the author for being brave enough to take Brandon and David to some pretty bleak places before having the sun find them again – and doing so in a wholly unexpected, jarring, all-or-nothing fashion. These men had me feeling empathy, joy, hope, frustration, heartache, triumph and love.

I look forward to reading anything else Robert Winter cares to write.

I believe there is going to be a sequel, maybe not with these two as main characters, but I hope to see them down the road, or on the beach, sometime soon.

About the Author

Robert Winter is a recovering lawyer who likes writing about hot men in love much more than drafting a legal brief. He left behind the (allegedly) glamorous world of an international law firm to sit in his home office and dream up ways to torment his characters until they realize they are perfect for each other.


Robert lives in Provincetown, MA. He splits his attention between Andy, his partner of seventeen years, and Ling the Adventure Cat, who likes to fly in airplanes and explore the backyard jungle as long as the temperature and humidity are just right. He loves to cook Indian food and to try new restaurants as he and his partner travel around the United States.