Book Reviews

The Time of My Life by Nora Phoenix

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Artists/Actors/Musicians/Authors / Romance / Drama
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 13-March-2018

Book Blurb

Denver is determined to realize his lifelong dream of becoming a singer. That's why entering in The Right Note TV contest is the biggest opportunity he'll ever get. After everything he's been through with the boyfriend (now ex) from hell, he will not risk losing himself ever again, especially over a guy.

Judah has almost hit rock bottom. His dream to make it as a singer and musician is all but dead. Added to that, he's broke and he's about to outwear his welcome with his friends. Taking part in The Right Note is his last chance, but he cannot afford to show who he really is at the risk of permanently alienating his conservative family.

Denver doesn't want to be drawn to Judah, 'cause the guy spells trouble in every way. But the heart wants what it wants, and Denver seems unable to say no, even when Judah keeps switching from hot to cold on him. 

When Judah meets Denver, he knows he's in deep, deep trouble. He fights the attraction with everything he's got, but Denver draws him in like the sun. Being with him comes at a price, however, and it's not just jeopardizing winning the contest. When Denver's ex stirs up trouble, Judah has to make a decision. Is Denver worth putting everything on the line for?

Author's Note: The Time of My Life is a steamy stand-alone MM romance with a sweet HEA. Please note trigger warnings for domestic abuse and rape.

Book Review

“...Now I've had the time of my life, no, I never felt like this before. Yes, I swear it's the truth and I owe it all to you. ...I've been waiting for so long, now I've finally found someone to stand by me ...Now with passion in our eyes there's no way we could disguise it secretly...You're the one thing I can't get enough of, so I'll tell you something, this could be love...” ~ 'Dirty Dancing' ((I've Had) The Time Of My Life)

Denver, of 'Time of My Life' by Nora Phoenix, is desperate to get his life back. He's been a victim of an abusive relationship that almost killed him. Denver needs to rebuild his life and restore his self-esteem and wining the contest on the television reality show, 'The Right Note', will help him go a long way toward doing so. Theoretically, it will help launch the music career he's dreamed of for years. The last thing Denver needs to think about is a relationship. He can't afford to feel that vulnerable, ever again. At the audition, Denver spots a charismatic stranger, Judah, who is entertaining other contestants. Denver tries to ignore him, but Judah has already caught his eye. When he approaches Denver, he doesn't want to seem rude so he talks and ends up making music with Judah.

Raised as a Hassidic Jew, Judah loves music as well and wants to pursue it but can't do so in his religion. Judah is smothering under its control and knows he has to get out. When Judah has all he can take, he decides to tell his father that he can't be a priest as his father always expected. Judah tells his father that he no longer wants to live in their strict, religious community. What Judah does not dare tell his father is that he is attracted to men. His father throws him out with one condition; he can come back in the fold if he repents and gives up his “evil ways”. Alienated from his family and his faith, Judah still strives to live a pious life and remains celibate in hopes that his family will see he's still faithful, will forgive him, and take him back. Homeless and broke, Judah heads to New York to audition for 'The Right Note'. He feels this is his final chance to pursue his dream of becoming a musician. While waiting for his turn, Judah notices a young man, Denver, across the room. He feels inexplicably compelled to meet him. One thing leads to another and they spend some time singing together. Judah knows that his attraction to Denver may be disastrous, but as hard as he tries, Judah can't manage to stay away from him.

Denver has had enough trouble in relationships to last a lifetime, but he can't pretend not to be intrigued by Judah. He's difficult to figure out though and confuses him, but there's just something about him that Denver can't ignore. One moment Judah is flirting and the next, he's avoiding him. Denver decides the best course of action is to just let it go. Yet, when Denver sees that Judah is upset and needs help, his kind heart won't let him ignore it. Denver's generosity, even to someone who has been rude to him, softens Judah's heart. Denver's goodness draws him in. Things go well until it's time for a break from the show. Although Judah and Denver have never discussed it, Denver assumes that Judah will come home with him. When Judah's friends, who have come to see the show, find out Judah is homeless, they invite him to come stay with them. Denver overhears the offer before Judah has even had time to answer his friends. All of Denver's insecurities erupt to the surface and he overreacts in a hurtful, inappropriate manner. Before Judah has time to explain that he hasn't even agreed to go with his friends, Denver decides that Judah has betrayed him and storms out. With no prior experience in relationships, Judah has no idea what to do, so he says nothing and leaves with his friends instead of Denver. Their budding relationship seems to have withered and died.

Judah and Denver are victims of their past—Judah with his strict, unbending father and for Denver, his abusive lover, turned stalker. It's extremely difficult for them to trust their own feelings, much less each other’s. Once Judah accepts that he's gay and that he loves Denver, he's patient and understanding with him and, Denver, with his emotional swings caused by his anxiety and PTSD, needs all the support he can get from his boyfriend. My favorite part of the story was the 'finale.

If you like stories with young sexy men, angst, music, and overcoming seemingly insurmountable obstacles, then you may enjoy this book. Thanks, Nora, for the inspiring story and for reminding me that “Nobody puts Baby in a corner!”





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Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel, 354 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 08-February-2018
Price $2.99 ebook
Buy Link