Moment of Fate, by Karen Stivali

cover-karenstivali-momentoffateBryan Dane’s been living the dream—photography student by day, up-and-coming rocker by night. His summer goals are to earn his last few credits, graduate from NYU, spend as much time in the recording studio as possible, and survive the next few months without sex so he can complete his yearlong goal of self-imposed celibacy. Everything is on track, until he meets Oliver Newcastle.

For years Oliver planned a marriage of convenience with his high school BFF, but now that she’s fallen in love for real, with someone else, it’s no longer convenient. So Oliver came out to his family, quit his job, and left small-town New England for NYC, an intensive summer study program, and a chance to find his own happiness.

From the moment they meet the sexual tension between Bryan and Oliver sizzles. But Bryan wants no part of a relationship, and Oliver wants to sew his wild oats—he just isn’t sure how. Oliver seeks Bryan’s help navigating the NYC gay scene, which throws them together in increasingly more sexual situations until they can no longer deny they’re hot for each other. Bryan is desperate to keep things simple, but fate might have other plans.


February 24, 2017
Dreamspinner Press
Moments in Time, book 5
Contemporary, New Adult
244 e-book pages
1st person
See the book on Goodreads

Rating:     ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS BOOK, and I’m so happy it’s here! And I’m super excited for all the folks who are finally getting their grabby hands on it.

I devoured the first four books in this series like a fiend. Back-to-back, no break, and I can’t swear if I ate or showered. I mean, I’m sure I did? Right? Surely. But I don’t remember. So when Moment of Fate came along. Yeah…you know. (I did shower. And eat. But it was an effort to tear myself away.)

Moment of Fate ticked a few of my fancies. It’s a character driven story with way more internal conflict than external forces conspiring against the MCs. There’s lots of snarky, self-deprecating inner monologue that was relatable. There was delayed gratification, friendship building, intimacy, and combustible sex that, well…might or might not have happened outside that one time.

The story begins to unfold with Bryan who’s on a one-year sex hiatus because of a few wake-up calls that made him realize he might need to take a break from meaningless one-night stands. He’s determined to see out the year and stick to his goals. Or his hand. Or whatever. With barely three months left to his self-imposed celibacy, he meets Oliver in a moment of kismet. Gorgeous, innocent, Oliver whose pheromones are tractor-beams that laser right on through Bryan’s willpower and latch on to all his wants with ferocity. Good LORD, the chemistry, y’all. OFF THE CHARTS.

Bryan held out. Mostly. And I was proud of him for that (but also thinking just do it already). But, the no-sex rule gave these guys time to form other bonds, stronger ones of friendship that gave them a solid foundation to build on. And, ya know, just cuz they wait for sex doesn’t mean other stuff doesn’t happen.

The story is told entirely through Bryan’s point of view — and his opinions of Oliver are, frankly, just a tad biased. Oliver is perfect in nearly every way in looks, personality, and patience. Nearly too perfect. And it took me a quick minute to realize that of course, he’s perfect through Bryan’s eyes because he’s perfect for Bryan. It’s not that Oliver wasn’t without flaws but for everything he is he was the perfect guy for Bryan.

We do get some glimpses of Oliver’s thoughts and motivations from entries on his his blog, Oliver Unabridged where he’s chronicling his experiences as New Guy in New York Newly Out As Gay. The blog was raw in its honesty with witty observations of himself and his surroundings. It’s here that we readers go along with Bryan to gain some backstory and unfiltered insight into the man he can’t stay away from. Not that he especially tries too hard to stay away from him.

These guys were just…fun. They’re super well-crafted in intricate, relatable ways and it was frequently hilarious with Bryan’s angsty inner thoughts.

When they finally got down to the bizzness, well, lemme just say Karen Stivali can bring the heat. And it’s not just that — it’s the intimacy, too. Bryan and Oliver’s connection was powerful strong — maybe because they’d resisted carnal temptations for a while.

They both go through enormous growth with a few missteps along the way to figuring it all out. And if Bryan had been able to get out of his own way and communicate his fears then they’d have both saved some time and unnecessary heartache. But growing up ain’t that easy — neither is putting your whole heart in someone else’s hands.

Oh, how I wanted an epilogue. Really, really, wanted and epilogue. And, it’s not that I think the story ended in a way that it was missing. IT’S THAT I DIDN”T WANT IT TO END.

Notable: Moment of Fate can absolutely be read as a standalone. But, umm, take my advice and just snatch up all the books.

Advance Review Copy generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase Links:

 Amazon | BN | GooglePlayiBooks | KOBO

Books in the Series:

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About the Author:

09e629_c497ac9d4e87413fa0274b2fe3659215Karen Stivali is a prolific writer, compulsive baker and chocoholic with a penchant for books, movies and fictional British men. When she’s not writing, she can be found cooking extravagant meals and serving them to family and friends, who never seem to mind the excessive quantities she tends to prepare. She attributes her ability to multitask to the fact that she rarely sleeps, which gives her more hours every day. Prior to deciding to write full time Karen worked as a hand drawn animator, a clinical therapist, and held various food-related jobs ranging from waitress to specialty cake maker. Planning elaborate parties and fundraisers takes up what’s left of her time and sanity.

Karen has always been fascinated by the way people relate to one another so she favors books and movies that feature richly detailed characters and their relationships. In her own writing she likes to explore the dynamics between characters and has a tendency to craft romantic tales filled with sarcasm and sexy details. Although she writes both m/f and m/m contemporary romance, all of her stories are love stories with happily ever after endings.

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