The Life & Death of Eli & Jay by Francis Gideon

The Life & Death of Eli & Jay by Francis Gideon
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (108 pages)
Heat Level: Sensual (MM Romance)
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Eli and Jay have known one another since they were children. Their life on the Star Belt government reserve in Saskatchewan isn’t great, but the people—like Tantoo, Eli’s grandmother, Jay’s sisters and grandmother Buffy—have always made life tolerable.

Until the day Jay kisses Eli, only to be rejected, and a moment of misunderstanding drives the two friends apart for years. When tragedy strikes, Eli wonders if the event will be enough to draw the two together once more.

Everyone wants a happy ending. Only time will tell if Eli and Jay will get theirs.

The dialogue was well written. I especially appreciated the lighthearted moments that sometimes showed up in it. Not only did the things the characters said fit their personalities perfectly, they were also a nice break from the darker and occasionally sadder scenes. These shifts between joking and talking about serious things were exactly what I was expecting from such complicated and interesting characters.

This story had a slow beginning. I had some trouble staying interested for the first third of it because of how little was going on with the plot. The blurb didn’t share many hints about what the main conflict was going to be about or why the main characters found it so divisive, so I was curious to discover that information for myself. While I liked getting to know them so well, I would have preferred to see Eli and Jay deal with more conflicts early on as I was figuring out their personalities and habits. There was definitely room for it. Had the first thirty pages included more conflict, I would have chosen a much higher rating for this book as I did enjoy it quite a bit overall.

With that being said, I really got into the storyline once the pacing sped up. Jay and Eli’s budding relationship was handled beautifully. The chemistry between them felt so real. I also liked the fact that I was able to learn so much about them and their lives before anything remotely romantic happened. This made me eager to see if they would end up together because I’d grown to care about both of these guys so much.

I’d recommend The Life & Death of Eli & Jay to anyone who is in the mood for a sweet and leisurely romance.

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