THE EMPTY BOX is a title which inspires making dreams come true. Most people think of an empty box as something desolate and negative. In this story, the authors turn a reader's perception around by showing how an empty box is actually a good thing. It's something I've never thought of before and I'm quite impressed.
Jeremy is a sexy twenty-something computer geek. He works for himself and he is underwear-model gorgeous. Moving to a new apartment, he meets one of his new neighbors by accident. Literally, Dave broke his ankle in an accident and is rescued by Jeremy. It is love at first fall.
The characters in this story are so well done. Jeremy embodies the fearlessness of a twenty something male who still sees the best in everyone. He's also quick to make decisions because for him, life is still black and white, right or wrong. David is close to middle age. He's jaded, damaged and depressed. The two characters are so different and represent a pretty accurate picture of singles at these respective ages. It's almost like a new puppy bouncing with energy as the older dog is just trying to relax and snooze under the sun. Or for those who love the Purina "Dear Kitten" commercials, it's similar in concept.
The conflicts in this story are tragic. It's sad because they are so realistic, one wonders if perhaps the authors are writing about people they know. Between the stalking ex-lover who is an addict and the insecurities of an older single person, this story is easily relatable. What I really liked is how authentic the responses and emotions came through for both Jeremy and Dave for the different situations. Whilst I may find Jeremy's response to Dave immature when confronted with Travis the crazy ex-lover, it stays consistent with Jeremy's character and age. Dave's harping about being too old for Jeremy is also a realistic concern, accurately captured and then refuted.
What really made this story good is the response to Travis's threats and final grand standing. It poses a "what-if" scenario, which has happened to people I know. The emotions and how people react are showcased so well here, because the authors take the time to show the different sides to the story and they make it more complex. There are no right answers here. Even the good answers don't always yield favourable results.
The authors' gentle handling of Travis' situation where he isn't completely vilified demonstrates a type of humane behaviour which seems to be less and less in the real world. For this, I'm moved. It motivates me to be a kinder and more understanding person. I love when a book makes me think about things I wouldn't have considered. This story is recommended to m/m romance lovers who understand that to rise out of the ashes, something must die and burn.