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Summary

Life can change in the blink of an eye.  

That's a truth Andy Slater learns as a young man in 1982, taking the Chicago "L" to work every morning. Andy's life is laid out before him: a good job, marriage to his female college sweetheart, and the white picket fence existence he believes in. But when he sees Carlos Castillo for the first time, Carlos’ dark eyes and Latin appeal mesmerize him. Fate continues to throw them together until the two finally agree to meet up. At Andy’s apartment, the pent-up passion of both young men is ignited, but is snuffed out by an inopportune and poorly-timed phone call.  

Flash forward to present day. Andy is alone, having married, divorced, and become the father of a gay son. He’s comfortable but alone, and has never forgotten the powerful pull of Carlos’ gaze on the "L" train. He vows to find him once more, hoping for a second chance.  

If life can change in the blink of an eye, what will the passage of 30 years do? To find out, Andy begins a search that might lead to heartache and disappointment or a love that will last forever....

©2019 Rick R. Reed (P)2022 Rick R. Reed

What listeners say about Blink

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Intriguing

The plot was gripping and interesting.

I was drawn into the audio from the very beginning.

The characters were raw, relatable and so very real.

However, the narration was subpar and I didn't relate to the character's voices.

2 people found this helpful

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Beautiful story and performance

This is a lovely second chance romance for Andy and Carlos. They met as young men and though there was an instant connection, it was sort of wrong place, wrong time in their lives and both have moved on - sort of. Thank goodness this isn't a story where both their lives were bleak and full of regret. They've lived, loved and succeeded in life but, when they meet again they have a wonderful opportunity for that second chance now as older, mature men who know what they want and how to get it. Brian Stoddard does a magnificent job with letting us feel the emotions and the aging process for these two.

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Fantastic listen

I admit to going in blind to the book – just open to new possibilities. I’d read a previous book by this author so figured I had a good chance of enjoying this one. Boy, did I ever. Even from the non-traditional start – hello 1982 – to the interesting culmination – hello 2012 – this book had me enraptured.

I loved Andy. He’s got his life planned out – marriage, baby, white picket fence. He doesn’t count on meeting a stranger on the “L”. Now, this book is quintessential Chicago. I only understood one or two of the references, but I felt immersed in the culture. I love when a book does that – takes me to a different place.

Anyway, Andy meets Carlos. At first, it’s just glances and shy smiles. Eventually he gets bolder and eventually the men speak. They make plans, but when the time comes, Andy receives a phone call that brings him back down to earth. He’s committed to marrying a woman – everyone expects this of him. He lets Carlos go in the most painful of ways and the men move on with their lives.

Fast forward a whole bunch of years. Andy’s divorced, has a gay son – Tate – and can’t stop thinking about that missed connection of sorts. His best female friend encourages him to find Carlos. After all, Andy’s had a couple of relationships with men, but none have lasted. He hasn’t met Mr. Right.

Carlos has changed jobs. Along the way, he met someone. He’s had a good life and, truthfully, hasn’t spent any time dwelling on what could’ve been with that guy. When Andy comes back into his life, it’s unexpected.

I won’t give more away. Of course I was rooting for the men, and wanted them to have their happily ever after. But thirty years is a long time. I loved the epilogue.

I will mention Brian Stoddard. He narrated the other Rick R. Reed which I enjoyed and he did a good job with this one. My only complaint – and it’s minor – is that there wasn’t a huge differentiation in the voices of the two main characters. Sometimes I struggled to remember whose POV I was in. Like I said, minor issue. Nothing that detracted from my enjoyment of the great love story.

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Blink

A great, well-written second chance romance. Everything was done we'll - characters, story, writing, and performance. I'll be back for more from this author.

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Blink

A beautiful and well written book, with a strong storyline and true to life characters.
I think many have an Andy or Carlos in their past and wonder what it would be like to get a second chance, and a lucky few that actually do.
Enjoyable and heartwarming.

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Lovely

Blink was a beautiful story that gripped me from its emotional start all the way to its sweet ending. The plot is gentle - there’s no huge action scene - the focus is on the emotional growth of Andy and rediscovering love. The writing style is solid and well crafted which makes it so easy for the readers to connect with the characters and feel what they feel. What I liked the most about this book was the feeling of hope that was infused throughout. The ending made me smile and feel a little sad the story was over, but happy for all the characters.

The audiobook was narrated by Brian Stoddard who does a great job. Brian brought the right amount of energy to the audio performance making it a pleasant listening experience. The audiobook production was well done, and overall a great audiobook.

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very heartfelt story

Story = 5 stars

TW: homophobia, internalized homophobia, Catholic religion ideology and cheating

The book starts out in Chicago in 1982 where Andy is engaged to a woman. He sees Carlos on the subway from a distance and becomes fixated on him but he ultimately marries and has a child. 30 years later his son comes out gay and he has divorced his wife and is finally ready to live his truth.

I went back and forth on whether to rate this 4 or 5 stars as I am a skeptic and this plot is far fetched. However, it is fiction and it is absolutely a story worthy of 5 stars so I had to give it that. Great characters, fantastic chemistry, wonderfully written plot that kept my interest from start to finish. It is very low steam and definitely a slow burn but it fit the story perfectly and I didn't mind. I would definitely recommend this to anyone that believes in true love lasting forever and enjoys angsty story's with lots of emotions and lots of heartfelt character growth and self discovery, acceptance and love.

Narration = 4 stars

The narrator did a good job. He had a pleasant voice and kept a good pace. I only bumped the speed up slightly. He expressed all the emotions wonderfully. Unfortunately it was just a reading and they didn't distinguish between the characters but it was still an enjoyable listening experience.

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Carlos and Andy

Beautifully presented story of 2 young men meeting on the L train, back in 1982. 1 about to be married and 1 gay, a close encounter that sticks in their mind, 30 odd years later they meet at a party and then catch up together ❤. Narration was perfect

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A moving story.

This is only the second book I’ve read by Rick R. Reed and I enjoyed the story very much. I was inspired to listen to this after reading his comment in a FB group I belong to about it being “one of my most autobiographical books.” It’s a very poignant story; I only wish that the narration had been a bit better. It wasn’t bad but I didn’t feel any emotion from the narrator; it was more like he was just reading it. In spite of that I’m still happy that I listened to it.

A complimentary copy of this audiobook was provided to me at my request but my review was voluntary and not influenced by the author and/or narrator.

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Stages of life

I feel this is a heartbreaking and heartwarming story. It is broken into two parts. The guys as younger men and then years later. The younger part is heartbreaking. Andy is living a life as expected. He knows something isn’t what it should be as he is getting closer to his wedding. Andy meets Carlos and an event does not go as planned and the two go their own way.
Later Andy is divorced and mourning the dying of his partner. He is having a hard time letting go of him. He has a gay son and while going to a house party with his son he again meets Carlos and things get tense.
I feel this story touched on so many different issues and the author handled each well. I liked that Andy never regretted any of the life he had lived. I enjoyed the narration by Brian Stoddard. I feel he gave personality to the characters and events.

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  • SK
  • 16-07-22

Middle Age Romance

I love 2nd chance romances. It is from each MCs point of view. It wasn’t a smooth transition from young to old. Very introspective, maybe too much for me.

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  • Leah Brock
  • 16-07-22

Searching for Love in Middle Age

I’m drawn to second-chance romances. Add to that a mature couple, and I’m all-in. When I found that ‘Blink’ was listed for review as a free ARC from Gay Romance Reviews, I requested a copy. Rick R Reed introduces readers to two mid-50’s men, who briefly encounter each other decades earlier. Will their paths intersect again after such a long time?

The story has some non-linear storytelling that I find engaging. I love the prologue and the last hour or so of the book. It’s everything else that falls short. This book is not a straight-up traditional romance. It’s more a literary story with romantic elements. The story is well-written, if a bit too introspective for me. I prefer all-romance-all-the-time in a love story.

I don’t know if it’s the nature of the story or Brian Stoddard’s interpretation, but the narration feels a little formal and awkward.

The preceding review is written voluntarily.

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  • Marakita
  • 04-07-22

Amazing!

This is the story of Andy and Carlos. I have read books by Rick R Reed before and liked them. This one though has to be my all time favorite.

The narrator brings this story to life. You can clearly identify the characters. Listening to this story took Mr on a journey that I did not expect.

I found the storyline unique and a trip down memory lane as I could identify with a lot of references to music etc in the 80's and 90's. It is written beautifully with an honesty that takes your breath away.

I received this book as an Arc and I am voluntarily reviewing it.

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  • Blackmermaid
  • 03-07-22

Second Chances Later in Life

I liked this second chances story because it spans decades. It was nice to have Andy and Carlos' POV throughout the story. I didn't mind the time shifting back and forth from the past to the present. It was done nicely. The narrator did a good job narrating. The voices were recognizable.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Diane
  • 01-07-22

Didn't Finish

I do not like to read or listen to a book that goes back and forth between present and past. The narrator to me seemed bored while reading the story and did the same voice/tone for each character which made it hard to figure out who was talking without looking at the title of each chapter. Never really got into this story and I chose not to finish listening to it. I received an ARC of this audio for my honest review.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • hussfan
  • 29-06-22

Beautiful Story

I enjoyed the story, it was well written, had a very nice flow and likable characters. Even though this story had no angst, i wouldn't call it sweet either, more like a life story told by middle aged men who have lived and loved before. I liked Andy a lot and can see why he was unable to let go of his dream man he met in his 20s. Narrator did a good job telling this story and made this book a very good listening experience.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Vania
  • 26-06-22

Beautifully written, moving, and simply put, a great book!

Wow, this was my first book by Rick R. reed, and I found it amazing!
Raw and honest, it’s definitely not filtered through the rose-tinted lenses of romance: there’s the good, the bad and the ugly.
A fleeting connection sparked through a meeting of eyes on a train, an almost-encounter broken up by a timely phone call. A man deep in the closet, but above all, weighted down by guilt and shame, everything in this story is deeply emotional and touching.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Daire
  • 24-06-22

Blink

I enjoyed this story it was compelling in the beginning when they first met and I liked getting to know both their point of views it took a long time for them to run into each other again and I found that a bit frustrating but I liked how everything worked out

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  • Bette
  • 24-06-22

Beautiful Story & Listen🎧 Riveting & Heartfelt!

This is a beautifully written and beautifully told story did not just grab my attention and captivate it the entire book but it tugged on my heartstrings the entire time too. This is my first book written by Rick R. Reed and I enjoyed his writing style and will definitely check out more of his books. He created an original story with interesting characters and storylines that are easy to relate to and connect with, the characters are easy to like and care about too. His descriptive details take you right alongside the characters and allow you to experience everything they do, what they are seeing, feeling, and thinking. I loved the retro trip back in to the 80s when we first introduced to the two lead characters, Andy Slater and Carlos Castillo. Andy’s life is all planned out, he has a good job and will soon marry his girlfriend, Alison, his college sweetheart, but someone else catches his eye, a gorgeous guy, who he sees on the train. He finally gets the courage to meet him, but an interruption has him running away, back to the life he had planned. Carlos was disappointed, not in him, but for him afraid Andy was going to make the mistake and not live his life as his true self. The second part of the book is where most of the story lies fast forwards to the present time, some thirty years later, Andy has since divorced his wife but remained on good terms, their son Tate, now an adult, was six years old when they divorced and Andy outed himself. Andy never forgot Carlos and the connection and sizzling kiss they shared and attempts to find him and just when he thinks he found him, he gets some sad news. I loved how everything played out in book, the author takes you on a journey, the journey of the lives of two men, gives you a glimpse of what it was like for gay men back in the 80s and then in the current time, where they are in their lives and a bit of what they did in between. It is a heartwarming and wonderfully plotted story, a beautiful story in so many ways, especially the way it works out in the end, as it was meant to be. Rick R. Reed, thank you for this fantastic and emotionally heartfelt story, one that will stay with me for a very long time.

🎧📚🎧 Brian Stoddard did a great job bringing these characters and their story to life. He had a complete understanding of the characters he was portraying, captured all their emotions and projected them into his performance and had you feeling every single one. Stoddard did well covering the roles for all the characters, gave each their own voice, making it easy to follow along and know who was who. He is an entertaining storyteller and a pleasure to listen to. Thank you for the great listen.

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  • pdaake
  • 23-06-22

Wow!

Talk about a second romance! This romance is many years in the making. This storyline is very good. The two men had a lot to go through before them come back to each.