Author: Tal Bauer
Time: In the near future
Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance
Themes: Hope, Coming out of the closet, Honour, Law and Politics
Summary: One of the youngest judges in America of the near future stays so long in the closet only to begin re-evaluating his life when he starts falling for a colleague he admires immensely even though they are at different levels of society. This leads to an amazing tale of love and second chances, of believing that dreams do come true and the price that love exacts every time.
What I think: To be honest, this book made me weep like a child. Judge Tom’s reaction at witnessing his first gay pride after choosing to stay in his closet made me cry. His realization that the world had changed completely while he hid, hurt like crazy. It touched me on a visceral level. Truth be told, I wasn’t expecting Mike to fall for Tom so fast. I was certain it would take some time, mental re-adjustment and more wooing on Tom’s part. But they fall for each other so naturally that through the angst of decisions and looming dark times, they are a beacon to the rest of us. When Tom chooses to remain with Mike in the face of so much adversity, we choose Mike too. As Mike battles through every obstacle to stand by his side, we are cheering him on and wishing there was more we could do. The twist at the end is so heartfelt that I cried through the final 2 chapters (I’d like to see you keep a dry eye, stoic ones). Hush tugs at your heart strings, keeping you mute and hushed as lovers become enemies, friends become partners, soulmates meet all against the background of legal chaos. In this fairy tale shrouded in the cloak of corrupt politicians and the clash of Justice against Honour, Tal creates a world that is accepting, loving and non-judgemental. He creates a world that every open-minded person wishes to be in. He gives hope even as he asks us to bare our souls. He brings 2 soulmates together in a love so soothing yet passionate that we are already swept along and falling in love too before we realise it. He asks that we be true to ourselves, certain that those who love us always will. This tale will fill you with longing, make you want and crave, but above all, it delivers a soothing balm to the heart. If that isn’t the genetic makeup of a fairytale, I don’t know what it is.
Verdict: An emboldening tear-jerker that you will love to read again and again.