David has spent two years grieving for the loss of his partner to cancer. When he decides to move on, he visits a gay bar for the sole purpose of hooking up with someone – in spite of his concerns that, as he’s in his mid-forties, he might be too old. There he meets Jeff, a young barman, and realises that Jeff is in fact the one he wants to take home most of all.
During their evening together, David discovers a side of himself that he never knew existed but, when the morning comes, can he persuade Jeff that it could be more than a simple one night stand?
“The beauty of this story is watching David evolve to be free of his demons. I truly cared about David and wanted to see him love again. Jeff is older than his years suggest and is perfect for David. Their love will make you laugh, cry and want more of them. I definitely did.” [Read the rest of this 5 star review on the TwoLips Reviews site]
“This was such a great little story. I liked David, liked that he had taken the initiative to move on with his life. I also sympathised with his complete weariness at the responsibilities in his life and his longing to relinquish control ... a well written story with an unusual theme of the younger man being the dominant partner.” [Read the rest of this review (graded "Excellent") at The Well Read Book Blog]
"David has lost Patrick, his partner of 13 years, to cancer. Two years of grief has given David the intestinal fortitude to go out and get back into life and to get laid. Let's face it, life does go on but it's a minefield getting back into the world of (possible) intimate connections with others; casual or otherwise … I highly recommend this for those who understand what it's like getting back in the game, like a short read with nice protagonists, some light, yet sexy kink and some intelligent dialogue." [Read the rest of this review at KazzaK Book Reviews and Therapy]
“Anne Brooke did a good job of both David’s and Jeff’s characterizations and did not end the story in fantasyland. I recommend Give and Take if you want to read a short story that will give you a different picture of the life of an older gay man than the romanticised version portrayed in most of the M/M books currently available.” [Read the rest of this 4 star review at Jessewave Reviews]
"This was a nice short, light BDSM story. I liked that David got to give up his control, because he spent so much time being the decision maker for most things in his life … The author possesses a skill to tell an entire life story with just a few pages, and only leaving you with the feeling of just wanting more. I wanted more, just to see beyond the night that David and Jeff share." (Read the rest of this review at Pants Off Reviews)
“I never know what to expect from an Anne Brooke story. I think I’ve read everything from mystery and dark, anonymous themes to comedy and screwball wit ... The story is sweet, tender, erotic and ends on a surprising note. David is a delightful character, instantly sympathetic as he decides to go out on his partner’s would be birthday because he can’t stand spending another night alone. The courage David displays in following his desires, taking a chance and following through is lovely to watch ... As a quick, delicious short story, Give and Take is very nice. The ending feels fitting and still not expected. Perhaps this isn’t a ride off into the sunset happy ending, but the glimmer of possibility is a nice change.” [Read the rest of this review at Three Dollar Bill Reviews]