(Just Like) Starting Over by Pepper Espinoza

Amber Quill Press

Amber Allure

M/M Contemporary

ISBN: 978-1-60272-318-4

Reviewed by Ley



Dane Mathis never thought he’d have a second chance with Guillermo “Guy” Rivera, and in truth he didn’t think he even deserved one, but when Guillermo gets into a terrible car accident that leaves him unable to take care of himself and suffering from temporary amnesia, Dane doesn’t hesitate to step in to take care of him.  Dane knows Guillermo can’t afford in-home care but with Guillermo suffering from amnesia, Dane sees this as a way to make up for some of the pain he’s caused Guy.  

Dane knows he is setting himself up for heartbreak all over again.  Even though his subterfuge is to help Guillermo, he may view Dane’s actions as blatant betrayal.  When Guillermo starts to show an interest in Dane the temptation to make love to Guillermo again maybe to hard to resist.

I liked Dane right from the start of this story, but as (Just Like) Starting Over progressed and the details of how much he’d given of himself to help Guillermo came to light, I knew he was keeper.  Dane was not perfect, far from it and it was his flaws and how he faced up to them that endeared him too me.  Both he and Guillermo were great characters that made it easy to like them. Pepper Espinoza did justice to the anguish that Dane was feeling as well as with Guillermo’s struggles with healing from his accident while dealing with the feelings he was having for his caregiver.

The angst in (Just Like) Starting Over was so strong that it infused the entire story and it was very gripping, especially where Dane was concerned. His dread and fear of how Guillermo will react once his memory returned permeated the pages. I certainly felt it, but his actions and the motive behind them were very understandable.  To title this story after John Lennon’s song was perfect. Dane and Guillermo’s life were in the lyrics of this heartfelt song. Guillermo got a second chance to fall in love all over again with Dane, even though he didn’t remember the first time.  And for Dane their life together was precious, but he just didn’t know how to hold on to it. For angst lovers looking for a story that will touch their heart and silently having them praying for a happy outcome, I very much recommend (Just Like) Starting Over.


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