Saturday, November 1, 2014

Love Without Knowing It by Bronwyn Heeley: Review & Excerpt

Love Without Knowing It
(November, Book 1)
by Bronwyn Heeley

Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance
When everything Paul had ever known turned upside down, suddenly he needs to man up and fight for the love he’s always feared.

Paul’s life was set. He had what he needed and what he was comfortable with. Then a night with one of his regular lovers pulls him into the drama of sickness, love, and death.

In the end, Paul needs to work a few things out first: Is he strong enough to fall in love with a man that may need more than he’s able to give, or will he fall into old habits and run when the relationship gets too complicated?

Though the month of November 2014 all profits from this book will be donated to the Movember Foundation.

Early the next morning Paul met Matt out the front of his apartment block. He’d been lucky to get there early or he would have missed Matt completely.

They walked to the doctor’s in a weird sort of silence, emotion dancing around them; no need for words, or gratitude, or small talk. Shifting his eyes to Matt, they shared a look and a bump or two of their shoulders as they went towards the scariest building Paul had ever seen.

The thing was, he wished more than anything they were not here at all. He wished they were still both home curled up in bed together, in their morning glory.

The waiting room was like every other one Paul had ever sat in. He tried to appear perfectly calm as he sat next to Matt, waiting. Waiting. Fucking waiting for a name, one name in particular, but when Matt’s name was called out, he suddenly wanted to grab him up and run like crazy. His heart didn’t want to be doing this, all he wanted was for Matt and him to run so fast none of this could catch up with them.

The waiting fear was so consuming he had trouble sitting still. His legs kept shifting nervously. He couldn’t stop looking at all the other sick people in the room. Why were they here? What would it be like if he was in Matt's shoes? Would he be as calm, or would he have started to rant and rave? Hell, knowing himself, Paul would have been on his deathbed before he came to any doctor.

There was definitely no beauty pageant happening in this doctor’s surgery. Why were these people here, what was wrong with them? They didn’t look like they had been run over by a truck or anything, so what was wrong with them? Were any of them dying of cancer and you just couldn’t see it?

Leaning back in his chair, Paul pushed the thought away while fear of the unknown settled to the bottom of his stomach.

He tried to pick something to read, finally settling on an old magazine that had seen better days. Realistically, it probably held more germs than if he’d decided to lick a handrail. He couldn’t concentrate worth shit. What was wrong with the minute hand on the clock? It ticked by, slowly—so fucking slowly.

Then suddenly time was up. Matt walked out.

Paul didn’t need to ask Matt how it went with the doctor. He could see it in his face as soon as he walked out from the back of the surgery and up to the counter to pay. Something was definitely wrong. All Paul could see was his pale-as-shit face. Everything inside him froze. He took a deep calming breath, stood up, and unknowingly became Matt’s rock.

Paul took his time crossing the room as Matt finished paying and making another appointment. It seemed as if Matt was holding on by the skin of his teeth, and the last thing he needed was Paul going up to him, standing there, commenting on something he was clearly trying to hide.

They met at the door. Paul arrived first, silently opening it for him. Matt smiled, not saying anything, just fiddling with the papers in his hands, so many unspoken emotions running across his shocked face.

The door clicked shut. Paul blinked in surprise at the sounds of the world speeding by, as if everything was still normal, still working. “So…?”

“So?” Matt echoed, as if he didn’t know what Paul was talking about. As if Paul wasn’t dying—pun not intended—to know what was happening, what was wrong.

“What next?” he asked instead.

Matt cleared his throat as he looked down at his hands, but Paul saw the sad smile tilting the side of his mouth. He tried not to see fear in Matt’s eyes and he defiantly clamped down his jaw and didn’t ask any questions. He couldn’t push, mostly because he didn’t have any right to know what the doctor had said. If he had, he would have been in the room with Matt…

“Blood test,” he said lifting up the paper to emphasise.

“Okay, do you need an appointment, or can we just go?”

Matt shrugged. “Doc said if I went right away there shouldn’t be any problems.”

He was right, of course. This early in the morning, there was only an elderly lady and a pregnant sheila who had an overly excited toddler she was trying to keep quiet. The thing was, no one there cared about the rowdy little girl. To him it was distracting. It took his mind off what they were there for, or rather, what Matt was there for. She giggled and laughed, asking silly question he could barely understand, but couldn’t help smiling with the answers.

“Can you come in with me?” Matt asked unexpectedly, nervously licking his lips. When Paul got to his eyes he saw a look of pure fear staring back at him, the kind that was normally reserved to having a spider crawl up your neck.

Paul swallowed back a laugh. “Sure.”

Matt’s relief was a little too much to bear. “Thanks,” he sighed, “I really hate needles.”

“Hate?” Paul smiled, because the description Matt was looking for was scared as all fuck.

“Yeah,” Matt nodded, smiled. It lightened the mood for a moment even if it wasn’t really funny, but more relief at not being left alone while he was being stabbed with needles.

Paul felt this weird little lift in his shoulders, a pride at being let in without having to ask.

“He said that this should tell if it’s cancer or not,” Matt said softly after a long pause.

“That it? You don’t have to get cut up or nothing?”

Matt shrugged. “Apparently a blood test will tell us if it’s cancer or not.”

“Really?” It was asked as fact more than a question. “So that’s it then, just a blood test?”

“Well, for the moment. Because of the amount of swelling, and the fact that it hasn’t quite stopped me pissing yet—oh, and I’m young. He said it could be an infection, but…”

Yeah…, He’d never actually known anyone with prostate cancer, but from what he’d gathered it was the go-to disease, especially for men with a prostate the size of a plum. He hoped he was wrong, but his imagination was already running riot, and he couldn’t shake off the feeling that they were dealing with the worst.

“Yeah,” Matt sighed, a little calmer from sitting beside Paul, even if the death grip on Paul’s thigh gave him away…

They stayed sitting liked that as the elderly woman and then the mother went in and had their blood taken. They stayed connected that way as other people came and went. It seemed to take forever for their turn, and yet when Matt’s name finally got called it was as if only moments had passed.

Matt tensed up like a plank, and Paul tried not to laugh as he took his baby in to get his blood taken.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Matt and Paul are lovers with a no-strings-attached agreement, but when Matt gets sick Paul is forced to consider what his life would be like without Matt in it.

LOVE WITHOUT KNOWING IT is a moving and dramatic story about life, love, commitment and facing your deepest fears head on.
"Life wasn't fair. It was hard, and each battle left scars, and sometimes they seemed to all string together until it felt as if you did nothing but battle, day after day."
Bronwyn Heeley captures the essence of human nature in this emotionally charged contemporary romance that challenges readers to live life to its fullest and focus on today.
View all my reviews
"If you look it, you feel it. If you feel it, you becoming it."

Bronwyn always wants to be a what you see is what she is, kinda person, but she’s not sure if she truly wants to succeed in that area. mostly because the voices in her head, the ones that come out so well on paper aren’t as well behaved in her head, and she’s a mother now, she’s got to hold something form or sanity.

The leading global organization committed to changing the face of men’s health.

The Movember Foundation aims to change this way of thinking by putting a fun twist on this serious issue. Using the moustache as a catalyst, the idea is to bring about change and give men the opportunity and confidence to learn and talk about their health and take action when needed. 

As a global men’s health movement, the Movember Foundation has the ambition to contribute to improving the lives of men around the world. To achieve this, we challenge men to grow moustaches during Movember (the month formerly known as November) to spark conversation and raise funds for prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health problems.  We see success as moving the dial on progress towards:
  • Reduced mortality from prostate, testicular cancer and men’s suicide 
  • Men living with prostate or testicular cancer being physically and mentally well
  • Men and boys understanding how to be mentally healthy and taking action when they experience mental health problems
  • Men and boys with mental health problems not being discriminated against

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