The year is 1987. The boys wear pink Izod shirts, the girls wear big hair, everyone has a stash box, and AIDS is just an ugly rumor rumbling like a thunderstorm from the cities. A teenage runaway wanders the side of the road, a heartbeat away from despair, and is rescued by a long-haired angel on a Harley. But that's just the beginning of their story.
Josiah Daniels wanted peace and quiet and a simple life, and he had it until he rescued Casey from hunger, cold, and exhaustion. Suddenly Joe's life is anything but simple as he and his new charge navigate a world that is changing more rapidly than the people in it. Joe wants to raise Casey to a happy and productive adulthood, and he does. But even as an adult, Casey can't conceive of a happy life without Joe.
The trouble is getting Joe to accept that the boy he nurtured is suddenly the man who wants him. Their relationship can either die or change with the world around them. As they make a home, negotiate the new rules of growing up, and swerve around the pitfalls of modern life, Casey learns that adulthood is more than sex, Joe learns that there is no compromise in happy ever after, and they're both forced to realize that the one thing a man shouldn't be is alone.
©2012 Amy Lane (P)2015 Dreamspinner Press
For the most part, I consider Amy Lane an insta-buy and Sidecar (audiobook version) was certainly worth the money spent. Josiah and Casey's story is not your typical gay romance; Casey is a homeless teen and Josiah a noble, kind man not about to take advantage of a vulnerable youth, so they don't actually get together until many years after they meet. So their story is a long, winding one, set to a late 80's soundtrack (well, the chapter titles are 80's song titles, at least), taking the pair through their first meeting when Casey is a gay, homeless teen in need of a home and Josiah over 10 years his senior and with a home and caring heart to provide. While Casey would jump at the chance to have a sexual relationship with Joe, Joe refuses and focuses on healing Casey's pain, both physically and psychologically, jumping through hoops to ensure that Casey has a safe place and a future.
Sidecar winds through the decades, carrying Joe and Casey through heartache, heartbreak, and so many heartwarming moments, a meandering trip through the vast hills and valleys of love. The tale touches on what it means to be gay/bisexual in the 80s and 90s, what it means to be a father (because Joe very much is Casey's foster father for those first 6 years), and what it means to sacrifice for the one you love.
The audiobook performance by Chris Patton is tremendously good, with very distinct voices for Casey, Joe, and the other characters, emotional and evocative and, at times, just plain sexy. His Joe sounds like like I'd imagine him to, especially when he's cranky, and his Casey voice grows with the young man, high and vulnerable when he's an adolescent, and deeper and more confident as he ages.
There are very few audiobooks that I will wind up listening to again and this one just made that list.
"Joe grimaced" for no less than 2,345 times in Sidecar. I'm joking, but I'm not; but you will not grimace at this amazing title. About as heartwarming a story as I have every read. It is perfection. The center of the story is not Joe, however; it's Casey. My God, what a kid, what a man. I wish I had a "Casey" in my life, who would not?
Wow, why did I wait so long to listen to this book. This is a wonderful, engaging story of Josiah and Casey. It is labeled as an "historical" romance, but since it begins when I was in high school, I refuse to acknowledge the historical label. The MC meet when Joe is 29 and Casey 16 and the story is told from both POVs. Casey has been thrown out of his house for being gay and endures a lot of hardship living on the streets for a couple months. Then he meets Joe and over the next (I think) 10 years, they build a life together. Casey has always known he wanted Joe as his life partner, but Joe refuses to go there because of Casey's age. That is until he almost loses Casey. It is wonderfully written, but I no real "crying" moments as so often happens with Amy Lane. Just a wonderful story with some dark abuse moments. Chris Patton was a perfect choice of narrator. He does a wonderful job of bringing the characters and the story to life.
Casey gets kicked out of his house for being gay. He ends up being a “rent boy” briefly, and the punching bag of some truckers as he hitches out of town. Just when he’s thinking about giving up he meets Joe.
Joe is a Quaker, a nurse, a biker, a bear, bi-sexual, hippie… you name it, he’s probably done it. He is easy going, big hearted and lovely. He sees Casey on the side of the road and has to – HAS TO – help him.
At first Casey is leery – he’s been burned before by men, then he realizes how truly good Joe is and then he is determined to seduce him. The only problem is he’s 16 and Joe is at least a decade older and no way is Joe going to act on anything Casey is offering.
The years go by and Joe essentially raises Casey from a precocious 16 year old to a sassy 21 year old – managing to get him through high school, first love and into college. When Casey makes one final play for Joe that ends up in a huge fight, he takes off – leaving Joe lonely and decimated.
When Casey’s father dies, Joe helps him attend the funeral and they finally admit what they mean to one another.
But – both Joe and his family know that Casey can’t give him what he most wants in life – a baby. Add to this a judgemental sister and a significant age gap and we still have some hurdles to face.
However, in the end, with miracles abounding Casey and Joe put together a family and manage to be the most rock solid team you could ever dream about.
Oh man. I love – love – love- this book. Joe is one of my favorite “Amy” characters. He is so steady but funny. Down to earth and sweet. Casey is equally awesome – sassy and sarcastic – always pushing buttons and never afraid to ask for what he wants.
There is some angst – it’s an Amy book for Pete’s sake – but by and large most of this book is two men building a relationship and a family and making their own pathway in life.
It was beautiful and touching and sweet and sentimental and yet the sex scenes are some of Amy’s best work!
The narrator did an AMAZING job. He makes Joe a bit growly and Casey a bit snarky and just lets you sink right in to the wonderful story Amy has given us.
I can’t recommend this highly enough – I’ve already listened to it three times – it’s just so good!
6 of 5 stars
This is a solid 6! This is the sign of an excellent writer: s/he manages to get you to FEEL all the emotions as the reader re-lives the experience/s of the characters in the story. This book grabbed me from the first chapter and wouldn't let me go; it made me curious and I couldn't stop listening. COULD NOT!!!
And then I encountered the chapter where Joe questions where God was when Jeannie, his sister, needed him. I was shopping in Costco and I was leaning over my shopping cart WEEPING. Weeping, I tell ya! I had to stop listening. At first I was pretending that something was in my eye so that the other customers wouldn't think something was wrong, and then I totally lost it. Had to stop listening until I was back in my car.
And then as I watched the relationship grow between the guys, I fell in love. I loved Joe's heart. What a guy! What a love story.
This is my second Amy Lane. The first was Racing for the Sun and I thought it was brilliant, but this was even more so. I don't know how Amy Lane manages to appeal to ALL the senses the way she does, but ... MAN!
Great story. Great love story. Great chemistry and tenderness between the guys. Great epilogue. LOVED!!!!! :-) (less)
I am floored by the great reviews this book gets. I made it half way through and couldn't take it any longer. Cheesy inflections from the voice talent made an already bad story unbearable. Maybe the second half redeems the first but I don't have time to find out.
A throughly enjoyed this production. The characters were all likeable and endearing. And reguardless of your persuasion. this is a lovely love story.
Your typical audiobook listener. Middle-aged, white, married woman who loves M/M and erotic romance. The psychologist part - a bonus.
A wonderful cast of characters learning to love through the discovery that our differences are truly what brings us together rather than tear us a part.
The story is amazing, I have read it a couple of times. Thankfully the narrator does a great job. will listen to it again in the future.
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