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Summary

A man betrayed 

The day Brett Payne turned 18, he attended a party that left him disillusioned, his trust shattered, and feeling betrayed by Tony Russo, his first love. 

Nearly 15 years later, Brett returns to his hometown of Oleander, Florida, to help his mother, who’s in the hospital. When chance brings Brett and Tony back together, it turns out that while sex isn’t off the table (or the floor, or the shower, or the countertops), Brett isn't sure he can truly trust the man who broke his heart. 

A man rejected 

Fifteen years after he was abandoned by Brett, Tony's dreams for the future were smashed, one by one, until he’s forced to return to Oleander. Barely scraping by as a handyman, he’s hired, reluctantly, by Brett to make improvements at his mother's house. Being near his first love awakens old feelings that Tony thought were buried forever, and he is irresistibly drawn to the stranger the years have turned Brett into. 

A second chance at love  

Together, Tony and Brett’s passion sets fire to both their lives and plans for the future. Past hurts are unburied, secrets are uncovered, and their lives will never be the same. For the first time in years, Tony feels he might have a future worth looking forward to, but only if Brett is willing to once again risk his heart. 

Reunion is an extremely steamy stand-alone romance with HEA featuring two grown men who desperately need to find their way home, geographically misplaced waterfowl, and a town where just about anything might happen and often does. 

©2018 Lynn Van Dorn (P)2021 Lynn Van Dorn

What listeners say about Reunion

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Enjoy

I enjoy this audiobook I really liked the characters. The narration by Michael Ferraiuolo is good as always. I can't wait for the next book.

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Fantastic start

Lynn van Dorn delivered as always with the start of this series. The character feel real and have a lot to work thru for a second chance. Brett and Tony are amazing characters to get to know and the small town is fun to get to know. Michael Ferraiuolo did a super job with the narration. A series to keep an eye open for when the next installment hits audible.

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Second Chance Romance

This was my first Lynn Van Dorn book when it first released, and is still my favourite, so I was excited for it to finally come out on audio.

it did not disappoint!

The story is excellent, with three-dimensional characters, and a wide cast of interesting supporting characters (many of whom NEED their own books (hint hint Lynn)).

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Complicated but really good :)

This is a little different from the other books that I've read from the author - in a good way, just a bit more angst than I like, but still good.
First off, it's on the longer side and there are many facets to the story - humour, early heartbreak, second chances and redemption to name a few. Lynn Van Dorn knows how to write flawed characters - and she knows how to make us fall in love with them. There is a lot that goes on before Brett and Tony get their HEA, but it's a ride I was happy to listen to!
As always, Mr. Ferraiuolo does a great job giving life to the characters - listening to him do justice to Ms. Van Dorn's work is always a pleasure.
Definitely recommend!!!

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Hot, angsty, small town second chance romance

I loved this book. Usually, I stay away from second-chance, small-town romances but hey, this is Lynn Van Dorn! The MC's are not at all, what they look like. Yeah, yeah, they should've just talk to each other, but these guys have a LOT of baggage and past trauma so it is easy to see why communicating is hard. All abusive relationships don't leave physical scars...

There's healthy amount of angst, hot sex, angry hot sex plus annoying side characters and flamingos!

The narration is good, and extra points for the flamingo noises !

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Good narration let down by muddled story execution

I'm familiar with this author through another series under a different penname (which is also co-written with another author and I enjoy a lot) but this was my first experience with a single title of theirs under this name. It's safe to say that this incarnation of the author is more angsty and tries to tackle some important topics but in this case, Reunion missed the mark for me.

Michael Ferraiuolo is fantastic in his narration as always. I always know that I'll get distinct voices that convey depth and emotion and will elevate the text to another level and this was no exception. Tony's dominance, confusion and pain came through as did Brett's selfishness and vulnerability. Great work as always.Unfortunately, I found this book to be entirely too long and it really dragged in the first half for reasons discussed below.

Unfortunately,I found this story hard to connect with for many reasons but mainly, I think it was too long and tried to do too much with very little in the first half. Brett and Tony were closeted high school sweethearts and best friends for 3 years before one night changed everything and they haven't spoken in the subsequent 15 years. I'm actually not at all a fan of using A BIG EVENT as the catalyst for a breakup but especially not when one character ascribes blame to the other and punishes them for it but never tells them about it. A decade and a half later, Brett still blames Tony, Tony is still in the dark and yet this doesn't matter because for the entire first half (and more) of the book, these two don't talk about the big event or question each other or respect themselves enough to be real or grown up enough with each other at all but the lust is so uncontrollable that they fall into bed together. Non-communication about REALLY important things never bodes well for a relationship and it definitely makes any HEA for a couple hard for me to believe in.

On top of this issue (which is quickly squashed by Brett and forgiven by Tony after a roll in the hay), there was the topic of Tony's former fiance whom he lost. I think had the author just made the book about Tony discovering some truths about and recovering from this relationship (and Brett learning to be less self-centered. Kudos to Levi for the call out), the book would have been a much better read. It's a topic that needs more exploration (particularly in queer male characters) but was hampered by all the not talking and vagueness with THE BIG EVENT of 15 years ago. Also, I think that Brett is a supremely selfish character and is not what Tony truly needed. They might have worked after they both got a lot of therapy and Tony spent some HEALTHY time getting to know himself outside of both Brett and Greg. Again, I didn't see and couldn't buy in to the HEA for these two, which is the kiss of death for a second chance romance (or any romance). Brett choosing to stay in Oleander was also nonsensical. I know authors LOVE small town but I couldn't get over Brett and Tony deciding to stay in a town where people are so casually awful, filled with not so great memories, and Brett seeing the person who assaulted him regularly when they could relocate and just visit family. Brett is especially is vulnerable as a doctor. One wrong move with the wrong patient and he could be in serious mess in that town.

Lastly, I have to say that I really and truly wish authors would refrain from writing hate crimes and treating them like harmless bullying without consequence and putting the onus on not reporting it on the victim. Brett was a victim of a hate crime and to have everyone in his life brush it off because the town rich boy was the perpetrator (who is now LAW ENFORCEMENT and still disgustingly homophobic) was horrible and unforgivable. I know it's very convenient because it keeps Brett and Tony apart (Brett thinks Tony was involved for 15 years yet still slept with him multiple times) but it was really disgusting. To have Brett's own sister pick him up broken and bloody and IMMEDIATELY and easily fabricate a massive lie for him to tell was awful. Also, the implication that the perpetrator of this horrible assault and continued homophobia did so because he's a closet case and may be getting a book himself is... *sigh* a choice.

Anyway, unfortunately, this book had a lot of things that are just not my jam and I just couldn't believe in (and frankly, just didn't care for). If I can't root for a HEA or believe in the one given, is a big fail of a romance for me. Also, I think the author could benefit from tighter and less languid storytelling. So much of this book was characters talking around each other and things and it went on entirely too long. I'm not sure I'd ever tackle this author again with a story of this length but they do have talent and I would definitely give them another go, just not with a 11+ hour story.

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Finding Their First Love Again.

When Brett's mother broke her hip he had to return to his hometown of Oleander, Florida. He never expected that the handyman he arranged to do some work would be his best friend/boyfriend from high school Tony. There had been an awful incident on the evening of Brett's eighteenth birthday and it had changed everything. They have been apart for fifteen years. Can they make peace with their pasts and have a future together? Michael Ferraiuolo did a wonderful job bringing the story and the characters to life.

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Deeper than inital impression

After listening to it the first time, I felt disappointed, since some of my absolute favorites are Lynn's "Royally Screwed" and "Damage Control"( I can listen to those again and again) , this title felt somewhat similar, but not quite, not so "loud", if you will.

BUT....

BUT....

I just could not stop thinking about it. So I listened to it again. And slowly it unraveled to me. It's true it's a lot more modest in setting, than the two aforementioned books, and my initial disappointment stemmed from my perception of the initial conflict, which, if you compare, seemed contrived, unreasonable, and just all around disappointing. And you know what? In life, most conflicts are. Remember, they were children, when they split, and at that age people are not mature enough to evaluate such a situation objectively, even most adults are not. I've seen many relationships wither and die the same way, and if you think back, you'll probably find examples in your own history, where some trivial misunderstanding or misplaced blame broke an otherwise seemingly unbreakable bond.

We are used to see in books, media, where a coincidence of being at the right place/time creates opportunity for clearing the misunderstanding. But in reality it happens a lot less, than we actually know. In reality people pass by each other, even though they are separated by just a couple meters, or even seconds. Relationships are frail and require us to work on them, to fight for them. It made me reflect on my relationships and how I'd fought for them, the will and determination needed for that.

And here we come to the other part of the equation - the people. At first you'd think Brett is the weaker one - bullied from young age by others for being different, being gay- and Tony the more mature and emotionally stronger person, but you'd be so wrong. As we find out during the story, it's Brett that always stood-up for himself, never let the bullying and abuse break him. He has scars, but he is sure in himself, in who he is and his value, whereas Tony is the opposite. He craves to be loved and cared for, which is a result from he's not so good childhood. It does create an interesting dichotomy to their roles in bedroom, but even here it's Tony catering to Brett, since it's what he wants.

If it had been Tony in the conflict, they would not have split, because Brett would not have let him just leave. They did actually reply this same scenario at the end, and Brett fought. It was actually great to see the conflict come full cycle and their roles reversed, it just cemented the message, that you need to fight for what you want.

The did talk about abuse in the book, but in a lot of subtle ways, and in a way, that, if you think about, we all can relate in a way - to the school bullies, and disinterested parents, to people being abusive towards their partners in a myriad of different ways.

For me this was a story of everyday people, survivors, all of us. In all the small and grand ways it can manifest.

I love Michael Ferraiuolo, and again the narration was perfect and spot on!

I substracted a star, because the conflict resolution for the abuser I thought went against the message, maybe - why leave him to do that shit to others? Also some of the sex scenes felt a bit much, honestly, on the edge of actual violence. Other than that loved the narration and story.

**I voluntarily listened to a free copy of this book. This review expresses my honest thoughts and opinions.

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  • RACHEL REED
  • 24-02-21

Steamy second chance romance!

This was a steamy second chance opposites attract romance!

I absolutely loved this one! The passion and chemistry between Tony and Brett is hot, intense and palpable.

The author did an amazing job on writing the characters and the storyline.
This was another winner from Lynn Van Dorn for me.

Michael Ferraiuolo performed an amazing audio delivery and narration which kept me engaged and entertained till the very end.

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  • Fey Gilo
  • 18-02-21

I felt frustrated

I usually love Lynn Van Dorn’s books. They deal with real issues and challenge a lot of the romance norms we have grown accustomed to. This book tried to do that and kinda missed the mark. The complicated that happened at the beginning of the book thy caused the estrangement between the couple felt more contrived than usual and the lack of reconciliation was stupid. I think I wouldn’t have felt so frustrated by this point had the issues of abuse and insecurity been made planer earlier in the book. It felt petty instead of devastating. Both characters struggled a lot as children and young adults and there subsequent actions were deeply affected by them but again there was something that didn’t jell. I wanted this book to be great but I spent most of the story with my teeth gritted yelling at the characters to just figure their shit out.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Tonya C
  • 20-11-21

surprisingly great

this was really good hide. Glad I took a chance my first Lynn Van Dorn book on to the next

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 30-05-21

Love Michael narrating.

Tony and Brett started out as high school sweethearts. Then the worst happen when Tony missed a party he invited Brett for the end of school party because his mom ended up the ER. The local bully and a few of his friends end up putting Brett in the hospital. 15 years later. Tony and Brett cross paths because Brett’s mom end up coming home to take care of her. They have some things they have to work through.

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  • 💋 Serenepw
  • 09-05-21

Small town Warmth & Delicious Drama!

Tony and Brett's story had the right amount of warmth and drama that made this story a delicious read. They both went through somethings together and a part from each other. However, the separation from each other for years didn't go so well for Tony. He was in a mentally abusive relationship and didn't even know. Not even after his boyfriend passed away. Not until Brett returned back into his life and pinpoint the signs to him. I'm pleased not only with these two reunion, but the way they brought passion and life into the souls of each other. And the flamingos in the story made me smile. But, what happened to Betty, the flamingo was sad. I hope her partner Armand finds another companion in book II. This story kept my interest throughout the read. The narrator did an awesome job. I highly recommend. Enjoy 🦩

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  • SarahH
  • 26-03-21

I loved it!

I loved this book, the characters were real, honest and raw. Brett and Tony were high school boyfriends, and each other’s first love, until life threw them a curveball which turned both of their worlds upside down leaving them both with unanswered questions, heartbroken and alone. When they unexpectedly run into each other years later it brings everything back - not only their hurt, but also the longing that came before.

It was so beautiful watching them work through their past pain while trying to deal with the instant renewal of lust that they both feel on reconnecting. The characters were real, their emotions were raw and heartfelt, and their chemistry was hot and steamy - a perfect combination!

Michael’s narration was amazing as always. Lynn Van Dorn’s writing and his narration are a match made in heaven.

I received a free copy of this audiobook and am voluntarily leaving an honest and unbiased review

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  • Kate M
  • 08-03-21

Amazing!

Totally worth a credit! Second chance romance✅, great storyline ✅ heat✅. Michael Ferrariuolo was amazing as always

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  • Susie Umphers
  • 01-03-21

Another win for this author/performer combo

My introduction to both Lynn Van Dorn and Michael Ferraiuolo was her novel Be My Mistake on audio and to this day it is one of my top three m/m books/audiobooks of all time. Something about the way Van Dorn writes angst and Ferraiuolo performs it just grabs me and breaks my heart. We get a lot of that in this story as both Brett and Tony have come back home when their dreams of getting away didn't pan out. Neither one really knows what he wants from life until they get their second chance with each other and things start to become clear. The road is bumpy and there are lots of misunderstandings that have to be cleared up before these two can trust each other again but you can trust this author and this performer to bring you home safe and sound at the end.

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  • Kashonna
  • 28-02-21

Second Chance Love

I loved Brett and Tony. Listening to them reconnect after a huge misunderstanding was great. Michael's voice is incredible as always.

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  • Sabbath
  • 25-02-21

Ear melting

Van Dorn’s Reunion was a delightful second chance. The chemistry is hot, riveting, and just fantastic between Brett and Tony. I absolutely loved Ferraiuolo’s narration and found these characters coming to life!