“Those who can sense your sadness in your smiles, can hear your words in your silence, can feel your love in your anger, trust them. They are your REAL, TRUE and PURE RELATIONSHIPS.” ~ Unknown
Any breakup is sad, but one near Christmas has to be one of the worst times for it to happen, as Cole, of 'Rebound Remedy' by Christine D'Abo, finds out. Cole tries to face his dilemma with as much dignity as possible. He is determined to not let it ruin his life. But, as anyone who has been dumped knows, anger, disappointment, and longing for things to be different still plague him. When Owen, his local bartender, offers him company while he sorts it out, Cole accepts his invitation on the condition that they will be friends only and not try to get into a serious relationship. As we all know, sometimes even the noblest of intentions go astray; that's what happens with Cole and Owen.
After Cole's now ex-boyfriend goes back to the man who was his boyfriend in the past, Cole is hurt and feeling a bit desolate. He returns to his apartment that looks as barren as his heart feels right now. Since he and his ex-boyfriend were going on a trip, they didn't bother with decorations. With his sudden change of plans, he also realizes that he needs to buy Christmas presents for his family since he will be spending Christmas with them instead. As sad as he is, this is nothing new to Cole. He's been through several breakups but when he thinks back, Cole realizes he never saw the signs indicating there was anything wrong with any of them until it was too late. Cole decides that serious relationships are not for him and vows to stay away from them. Cole wanders into a local bar to drown his sorrows, not caring that he's drinking alone. What he ends up doing is pouring his heart out to Owen, bartender and owner of the establishment. Fearing he is inconveniencing Owen, Cole decides it will be better if he simply goes home.
Their paths cross again a few nights later. While he and Owen are helping a drunk get in a cab and home, Cole gets a black eye for his efforts. Owen is mortified and immediately searches for a way to make it up to him; he decides he will invite Cole to breakfast. During their meal, Owen suggests a plan that will, hopefully, cure his being on the rebound . Cole is hesitant to hang out with Owen. He knows he doesn't want a relationship and doesn't want to do anything that suggests to Owen that he may. Owen finally convinces him that he merely wants to help him get over his sadness. It won't be dating, just two guys hanging out together. There's an obvious attraction that goes beyond friendly feelings, although both men fight it. They quickly break the friend only rule and fall into a physical relationship that, although it's beyond satisfying, it is fraught with confusion, especially for Cole. As time goes on, Cole fights tooth and nail to deny there is anything between them. Owen endures a game of being pushed away and pulled back as Cole tries to work his way out of his fog and come to know himself well enough to know who he is and what he wants. Through it all, Owen is totally unselfish, wanting Cole to do what's best for him, even if it means they won't end up together.
I fell in love with Owen immediately for his unselfish, caring nature. I felt bad for Cole, not only because of his breakup but for his struggle within as well. He decided he couldn't face another breakup, so, instead of getting closer to Owen, Cole held him off at arm’s length. It's true that most rebound relationships end in disaster, but this story shows that with a lot of understanding, soul-searching, and gaining self-awareness, it can be done. I recommend this sweet, sexy story to anyone who believes in love and its ability not only to heal but to flourish, despite the obstacles placed in its way. Thanks, Christine, for the endearing story featuring two extremely nice men who deserve each other.