- Finding Giorgio, by Joe Cosentino
Finding Giorgio, by Joe Cosentino
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EW Elaine White Updated
Found at Last, Book 1
April 18, 2020
epub, mobi, pdf
contains scenes of dying; mentions sick, elderly patients; mentions of cancer, war vets, PTSD and POW, homelessness and homophobia
When young accountant Theo Stratis visits Nolan Downes, an elderly gay man in a local nursing home, he is surprised by Nolan’s request: find the lost love of his youth, Giorgio Roberto. Theo is also surprised to meet handsome and successful Jamison Radames, who is visiting the same nursing home. As Theo and Jamison embark on an investigative adventure to find Giorgio, they discover a great deal about themselves and each other. Solving the mystery of what happened to Giorgio might mean happily ever after for more than just Nolan.
Heartbreaking and Lovely
(Updated: April 18, 2020)
** I WAS GIVEN THIS BOOK FOR MY READING PLEASURE **
POV: 1st person, one character
If there's one thing Joe excels at, it's spinning a good story, with an emotional heart. Finding Giorgio is a romance story tucked within a romance story. It's heart, warmth and excitement as two young men come together thanks to their Elder Friend, Nolan, to help solve the mystery of his lost first love. The one who got away, Giorgio, is a mystery at every turn. Hard to find, with a sad and troubled life the pair must unravel to find the secret to his current location, in hopes of reuniting Giorgio with Nolan.
The story has multiple romance stories to tell, but two main ones – one between Giorgio and Nolan, over fifty years ago when they were eighteen; and one between Jamison and Theo, in the present day. Interwoven throughout is the story of Nolan and Frank, and the realisation that nearly everyone has a Giorgio – one who got away and they'd like to see/find again, just to see what might have been.
The mystery is resolved quickly. It literally only takes 2 days of investigative work to find Giorgio, about 50% of the book. However, though it seemed really fact, in this modern day of the internet, even documents from the 60's are much easier to find than they used to be. So, though it meant the story progressed faster than I might have liked, it was authentic and logical enough to work.
The romance between Jamison and Theo was pretty insta-love, too. Due to how short the story was, and the progression of the relationship throughout, it was well paced for the length of the book. You could see the chemistry building, and I appreciated that, while they'd both been hurt before, Theo was much more vulnerable than Jamison. More hesitant to believe that this was the one time it would work out. Though it still felt too fast, for Theo's hang-ups and his need to take it slow, it fitted the pacing of the short novella style find.
Personally, I have to commend Joe for placing a positive light on nursing homes. My mum is a care nurse in a nursing home for people with dementia, and I've grown up around the nursing home my entire life. I've also been a volunteer in a nursing home, so I've seen it as an insider and an outsider. I've seen the good, the bad, the deterioration, and the care that goes into taking care of the elderly, and I loved how Joe showed the truth of it. The banter between nurses and patients is real (though the sexual jokes, and patients faking their deaths may be an exaggeration, I've definitely seen the latter) and I appreciate and applaud Joe for showed it honestly.
The story deals with some heavy themes, but Joe is no stranger to tugging on the heart strings. When the Cozzi Cove series ended, I was afraid there would be a huge gap in my romantic comedy, with heartfelt moments, bookshelf. However, Found at Last has just made the promise to be everything I've been missing since Cozzi Cove ended, and I couldn't be happier.
Giorgio and Nolan led the romantic but realistic gay version of Dirty Dancing in the 60's, and then managed to give it a positive, heartfelt and realistic ending in the modern-day, through Theo and Jamison. As with nearly every book I've read of Joe Cosentino's, I cried at the end and wasn't ready for it to be over.
Finding Giorgio is the first in a new series that will grab you by the heart, squeeze out those tears, and leave you heaving a satisfied sigh as you turn that last page. Wrung out, emotionally drained, but smiling and relieved that another well-deserved happy ending has been found.
“I stared into his hypnotic eyed. “Jamison, are you really interested in my?”
“No.” He ran his fingers through my hair. “I think I'm captivated, smitten, and maybe beginning to fall heard over heels for you.”
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