Just quick recap of In A Dark Wood: Travel writer Timothy McShay met NYPD Detective Luke O'Brien at his best friend's dinner party. Tim told Luke story about skullhouse in the wood, The Pine Barrens, and The Forester who are like Boogeymen and grabbed kids. Then Luke asked Tim to go camping to the wood with him -- where they connected, got lost, faced a monster, and survived. That story ended in HFN since Tim was an alcoholic and he wanted to be sober for Luke.
Flash forward 2.5 years later, The Parting Glass opened with Tim ran into Luke, unexpectedly... and what happened after the end of In A Dark Wood was now revealed to us readers. How they tried to be together but it was difficult and Tim cut all ties to get himself sober. Now he lived in California and had been sober for two years.
There was that trademark of Josh, his efficiency with words, that's like a punch to the gut or a rip to the heart or ... oh, you know what I mean.
Happiness was too thin, too watered down a word to describe that wellspring of feeling. Joy. That was the word. A blaze of delight that almost defied definition. His startled face was alight with it, and I guess mine must have been too.
Luke's anger and pain was so vivid ... how hurt he was. He did't understand why Tim just left, how it all fell apart. I want to hug him!!
While Tim's struggle with his alcholism and his fear that he was just not enough for Luke, that one day Luke would just walk away from him also felt real. It might be frustrating to read, because I want it so much for Tim to grab his happiness. But life wasn't that simple, was it? Especially for someone with addiction like Tim. I loved how Tim still thought about how much he needed drink. Everyday was a fight for him and even more so, now that he was facing the one he loved.
So love wasn't easy for these characters and it made such delicious read for Josh's fans like myself. I always love reading emotional inner struggle because it gives insight to the complexity of being human.
Having said that, I did have personal issues that were my own. I am not a fan of stories where someone else ended up hurting for the two main characters to be together. Unfortunately, I felt that there was a touch of that, in terms of Jeff (Luke's current squeeze, although they had only been together 4 months) and Dylan (who was getting his hope when Tim agreed to have dinner date with him before things with Luke was solved).
So despite the lovely ending between Tim and Luke, I couldn't forget this issue, and it reduced my enjoyment a little bit.