I’m so happy to be part of Gay Book Promotions blog tour celebrating the release of Life is Good and Other Lies by Magdalena Di Sotru and Sophia Soames - a contemporary M/M romance with one MC being an FTM Transman.
This is not a romance. This is what happens when life goes on, when people grow and fall out of sync. Not out of love; some people are just meant to be.
Thomas at least hopes that is the case, even though he sometimes feels like he’s clinging to his marriage by a brittle thread.
Frank clutches to the scraps that are left, knowing he’s the root cause of Thomas’ grey hairs, their kids being hormonal monsters and his own sanity being questionable at the best of times.
Gabriel needs to stop worrying and take control of his life, but with young kids and a body that refuses to do what it’s supposed to do—to sustain and nourish and build muscle to keep bones in place—his feels like a traitor, laughing in his face when he struggles to keep it together. He knows he is loved. His kids are everything. But his marriage feels like a distant memory, and he’s tumbling from one disaster into another. It’s just…life.
Bruno thought this holiday would bring them closer together as a family. Isn’t that what a trip abroad is supposed to do? Four weeks in the Swedish mosquito-infested countryside, sharing a farm with strangers. He should have known better.
Life is good. But the rest? Lies. All lies.
This is the first of two books following a lifelong friendship between two families. A slice of life from two established M/M couples, children galore, stray sheep, heat, sizzle and laughter, this is what happens after the HEA.
The second book, Life is Right Here will be published in December 2022.
“You know, Thomas, there’s no need to feel jealous,” Bruno said softly.
“I’m not.” Thomas laughed again, but it sounded fake. Hollow.
“Well, I am.” Bruno admitted with a touch of cockiness. “I’m fucking raging that he can talk to Frank, this dude he’s just met, about things he struggles to talk to me about. He should be talking to me. Shouldn’t he?”
“You just said I shouldn’t feel jealous!” Thomas almost shrieked, gripping the worktop until the wood creaked under his knuckles.
Bruno grinned. Classic psychology. Worked every time.
“You are jealous, and that’s the way it should be. You have a very, very handsome husband who loves you to the point that he can barely see through the love haze the two of you have going on. Frank adores you. You just don’t always see it, but that doesn’t mean he can’t talk to other people, have close friends, talk about things that he might not be able to talk to you about. It’s healthy and normal.”
“Bloody doctors, you’re all the same, talking a load of crap.” Thomas was smiling underneath the stiff pose he was still holding. Thank God.
“Yup, it’s all textbook doctor bullshit, mate.” Bruno laughed. “And I wasn’t lying about being jealous. But why would Gabriel even look twice at some random Norwegian dude when he has all this prime Italian quality stud at home?” He slapped his chest like some ridiculous alpha male, and Thomas chuckled and shook his head.
“You’re such an idiot.”
“I know.” Bruno smiled, taking a step forward so he could pat Thomas’s shoulder. “I wouldn’t make it a week without Gabriel. He keeps me going, sorts me out. Puts me to bed at night and gets me up in the morning. Without him, I would probably be dead.”
“Did you ever suffer from…you know. Stuff? Do you get it all? Like, do you understand Gabriel?”
“Let me tell you something.” He took a deep breath because this wasn’t something he’d ever talked about, and he didn’t know why he suddenly felt like sharing. “I don’t understand much, and let me tell you, I’ve spent years specialising in the human body and mind. Personally, I’ve made some horrible mistakes, huge mistakes, and there are things I’ve done that I will always, always regret. I still struggle to grasp how the human brain works. I learn new stuff every day. But I understand depression. I understand losing control of your mind, and you do too. I bet you’ve stood at the edge of a cliff in your head and wondered what it would be like to jump. I know I have. I’ve wobbled and struggled and bloody lost my mind more than once, but the difference between you and me and Frank and Gabriel…”
“There is no difference. We’re all human. It’s just our brains are wired differently. We still live, eat, sleep, fall in love, have families and die when our time is complete. Some of us have to try a little harder. Some of us struggle a little more. Fall a little harder and cry a little longer. Struggle to swim against the undercurrent, while the rest of the world seems to go with the flow. It doesn’t make us less human or worth less than anyone else.”
It was nice to see Thomas smile, despite his shoulders sagging and the way he shook his head like Bruno was talking nonsense.
“Seriously, dude. Don’t be jealous. Don’t create drama where there is none. Let Frank and Gabriel have this. They need it. Well, I hardly know Frank, but Gabriel does. We’re just a bunch of messed-up gay men on holiday. Take it for what it is. Nothing more.”
This was quite a unique story - not a romance as such, and not very romantic at all - but rather a story about what happens to a relationship when everyday life takes its toll on the big epic romance. It was beautiful, honest, heartwarming and so very realistic.
Read my full review here: Life is Good and Other Lies by Magdalena di Sotru and Sophia Soames
About the authors
Sophia should be old enough to know better but has barely grown up. She has been known to fangirl over TV shows, has fallen in and out of love with more popstars than she dares to remember, and has a ridiculously high-flying (un-)glamourous real-life job.
Her long-suffering husband just laughs at her antics. Their children are feral. The dogs are too.
She lives in a creaky old house in rural London, although her heart is still in her native Scandinavia.
Discovering that the stories in her head make sense when written down has been part of the most hilarious midlife crisis ever, and she hopes it may long continue.
Connect with Sophia Soames here: Link Tree • Newsletter Sign-up • TikTok • Facebook readers group
Magdalena Di Sotru
Magdalena is an information security and data protection enthusiast from Norway. She is a mother of two and wife of one as well as a long-established fanfic writer. Her favourite food is (actually) salads (without mayo), her favourite guilty pleasure is fresh bakery goods (and that explains why everyone would think the salad was a lie). She knows her way around knitting, lock picking and skydiving (all at about equal skill levels – go figure). Life is Good and Other Lies is her first novel.
Follow Magdalena di Sotru on Facebook.
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