The cover of the book really got my attention. The plot caught my interest. I imagine what the world of Dear Abby or Dan Savage must be like some time. This book did not give me that peek either. This book gave me a peek into the lives of Alex Palmer and Robbie Cooke.
They started out on the same page when they started the column “Is He Really the One?” Both men find themselves in different places now and equally frustrated. In his own obsessions, Alex is bored, arrogant getting cynical and starting to get Joan Rivers nasty behind the scenes as he answers the letters asking him for advice.
Robbie really cares and takes the time to offer compassion but his hands are tied it is not his name on the byline. He considers perhaps that it is time to move on. When Alex realizes what the real problem really is, he may have burned his bridges to deserve a second chance. This is a fun read.
Alex Palmer writes the “Dear Alex” Agony Uncle column for Meant for Men – a magazine aimed at gay men’s life and issues. What started as a genuine and ground-breaking feature has become a snark fest, due to Alex’s boredom and personal cynicism. His respect for the correspondents has dwindled away in direct relation to his own self-respect as a journalist. He no longer believes in his readers’ search for a soulmate, or in his own column’s headline: “Is He Really the One?”
In the early days, Robbie Cooke was Alex’s co-presenter on the magazine. They’d been lovers, too. But unlike Alex, Robbie still sees the anguish and need behind the letters they receive. He wants to help the writers, rather than turn their situations into journalistic entertainment. He and Alex may still have to work together, but their fundamental disagreement on how to run the column tore them apart as romantic partners.
Excess drinking and a succession of casual lovers is wearing Alex out, yet he’s in denial. He’s convinced he doesn’t need “Dear Alex” to set him straight about what’s wrong with his life. But when he’s alerted to the fact that Robbie may be in danger, he realises that what he’s really missing is his ex-lover’s care, compassion and love. The problem is, by the time Alex is desperate to make amends, Robbie may have already moved on.