This was just way too short to be satisfying. It felt like a poor man's Ally Blue. Now, I don't want to sell Gardner short by implying that she was intentionally trying to copy Ally Blue, I'm sure she wasn't. But it was just so similar to an Ally Blue story thematically and characterwise, I can't help but point it out. It's like if you combined Easy with Willow Bend and then took out all the gut wrenching emotion, suspense and humor, you'd end up with The Shape of a Heart. Keith is Stevie (see Easy) - even down to their dead lovers sharing the same name.
Now, I realize that was a bit harsh. I don't mean for this to be a scathing review - I did give it three stars, after all. It was sweet and enjoyable for what it was. It just needed to be a lot longer. She needed to delve deeper. For me to truly love a story, I have to be emotionally engaged and I just never was. Keith was likeable, even if he was kind of a diluted version of Stevie, but Zach was really cardboard and one dimensional. His grief over his lost lover just never tore at me the way Paul's did. And I never truly felt their attraction or their love - I like to be able to see the foundation for a love story; what do they have in common? what is it about that person (other than their hot bod) that the other character finds so attractive? What is the basis for their bond? I don't know. All of that was missing here. And the romantic conflict in the story was never convincing. Apparently it wasn't to them either because it was overcome a little too easily.
Bottom line: This is like a skeleton of a really good story. If she had taken the time to really flesh out her characters, their relationship and the rest of the plot, it could have been excellent. She has the foundation there for it. 86 pages just wasn't long enough to tell this story.
If you have already read this story and liked the premise but haven't tried Ally Blue yet, do it now!