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2nd Edition

Finding and keeping love can be a challenge in the modern world of blogging, social media, and online dating, as one man will learn in this trilogy.

VGL Male Seeks Same

Poor Ethan Schwartz. At forty-two, he’s alone, his bed is empty, and his HDTV is overworked. He’s tried bars and other places where gay men are supposed to find each other, but it never works out. Maybe he should get a cat?

But his life is about to change…


Poor Ethan. He’s received the most shocking news a gay man can get—he’s HIV positive. Until today his life was perfect, with a job he loves and Brian, who could be “the one.” The one to complete him and fill his lonely life with laughter, hot sex, and romance.

But Ethan’s in for another shock. Could Brian have infected him?


Alone again, Ethan wonders if life is worth living, even with a cat. When an old nemesis sends a Facebook friend request, Ethan is suspicious but intrigued. It seems this old acquaintance has turned his life around, and the changes might hold the key to Ethan getting a new lease on life… and love.

First Edition published by Amber Quill Press/Amber Allure, 2009.

182 pages, ebook

First published July 10, 2017

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About the author

Rick R. Reed

118 books1,017 followers
Real Men. True Love.

Rick R. Reed is an award-winning and bestselling author of more than fifty works of published fiction. He is a Lambda Literary Award finalist. Entertainment Weekly has described his work as “heartrending and sensitive.” Lambda Literary has called him: “A writer that doesn’t disappoint…” Find him at www.rickrreedreality.blogspot.com. Rick lives in Palm Springs, CA, with his husband, Bruce, and their rescue dogs, Kodi and Joaquin.

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Displaying 1 - 24 of 24 reviews
Profile Image for True Loveislovereview.
2,234 reviews1 follower
July 10, 2017
Ethan and his life....
He was good with musing...Ethan was lonely and wanted company.
A dating site.....that was something from this time....Ethan in his early forties thinks of himself as common, plain, nothing special.
Maybe a makeover would help. Not in real but online....
And so he meets Brian and they have a click....even a real life click...

Then Ethan went to the doctor to get the news HIV and his world is tumbling down...
Blaming Brain for 'things' he wants to end his relationship. Trying to coop with his world upside down he starts to write a blog. Just for himself....to write the whole misery down....

Life takes a better turn for him and there is love again and happiness....and life.....

The journey starts in 2008 then goes further in 2009 and the last part in 2017.
I can't go into the story without spoiling so I wont.
To look in Ethan's head was an experience. He was real....sometimes balanced and sometimes so not, mature and immature. He had a lot of inner struggles and questions about life and why things are as they are.
He is a sweet man with a sweet mind. Something his thoughts take a run but he always goes back to center himself. When life takes him hard by the balls you could feel the hurt and the reality.
I cried with him because that was the only thing I could do.
It feels he has a compact and simple life and you could think he has. Because there are no big heroic things, before you there is an ordinary man with an at first eye ordinary life. But it grabbed me by my heart because for me this was a story about an (extra)ordinary man with an extraordinary journey.
The way it was written was thoughtful, in a considered ambience, nothing excessive.
I loved this story even with a few occasions where I missed the source of it. But the content was the journey itself, and that was excellent done, so it is forgiven!

Kindly received an ARC through Divine Magazine given by Dreamspinner Press
Profile Image for Erica Chilson.
Author 36 books431 followers
June 25, 2017
I received a copy of this title to read and review for Wicked Reads

4 Emotional Stars

I'm not entirely sure how to review M4M, as I don't want to ruin another reader's enjoyment by giving away too much. However, one could deduce what occurs from the blurb.

M4M is told in 3 parts, spanning a decade. During 2/3 of the book, Ethan is in his early forties, down on himself and the romance game. He decides to try internet dating, going to a site that wasn't for hookups but for relationships. But, while there, he sees the same immaturity and vapidness infecting the interactions. With his actual face, he gets no hits. On a whim, as an experiment, Ethan only changes his profile image, but nothing on his profile, to see if that changes things.

Just as Hannah and I didn't get along during Hungry for love (yet another catfish), Ethan and I didn't mesh, and this did have me struggling a bit. However, Ethan was written authentically, realistically, with a personality that is very human. Flawed. Lacking any self-reflection or self-awareness, judgmental of others yet self-deprecating, jealous- these are all negative personality traits, but each and every single one of us has some of them. It's the human condition.

So, while Ethan and I would have never gotten along IRL, I appreciated his point-of-view, no matter how narrow and self-focused it may have been. Ethan was incapable of seeing life through the different lens of another's perception. I'm generally the voice of reason, so the unethical practice of catfishing really, really rubbed me the wrong way. I was trying to root for Ethan, he was the novel's hero after all, but he needed a wake-up call, big time.

What I appreciated the most was the author using a demographic that is usually ignored in most genres. People over forty as the main love interests, both of them. Also, added on top of that, neither were fit, silver foxes that had younger men drooling for their attention. Ethan and Brian were everyday middle-aged men, and it made the story more authentic.

With that being said, I felt Ethan was very immature for his age, his mental signature- the catty thoughts, the way he didn't take responsibility for his own actions, didn't see how his actions/reactions had an impact on Brian (during part 2). Mad props, as the author maintained the characterization. But, as I said, it was a personality type I couldn't relate to, nor handle in real life. I'm a walking mirror, reflecting back at people, and people don't appreciate that. Ethan needed such a person in his life.

When it came to part three, I enjoyed the more subdued, mature, wise Ethan. He's in his early fifties now, and living with HIV, having found and lost love, that has given him the tools to self-reflect, even while deep in grief. I adored wise Ethan, even as I empathized and cried for him. But, true to his characterization, he was still catty and judgmental, especially with Ben. Inner-monologue-ing about Bubbles.

I'd been waiting for Bubbles to resurface, knowing after the beginning there was more to come. Ben's words of wisdom struck a chord, both with me (the reader) and obviously with Ethan. In a way, I wish this part was expanded more, but I have an active imagination and can fill in the blanks. Ben was an interesting character.

Parts One & Two, while I was intrigued, wanting to know more, Ethan's attitude, his inability to see outside of himself, made it difficult for me to connect with both him as a character and with the story. I appreciated the HIV blog- the entries and comments, creating a highly authentic read. Part Three was my favorite part of the story, even with grief riding shotgun.

Profile Image for CrabbyPatty.
1,574 reviews170 followers
July 9, 2017
The three novellas that comprise M4M introduce us to Ethan as he wonders if life has passed him by at the ripe old age of 42.
Somewhere there had to be a companion for him, just waiting. His dream man wasn’t in all the places he had fruitlessly checked, like the bars, backstage, and in his office. But he was out there, and like Ethan, he too was pulling the covers up by himself and thinking the answer to the riddle of how to escape a solitary existence was just within reach.
In VGL Male Seeks Same, Ethan signs up for a dating site and adds a recent picture to his profile ... and waits and waits for responses. But when Ethan replaces his profile picture with that of a gorgeous silver fox, those emails start rolling in. The story has a lot to say about perceptions and expectations and "what it feels like to be loved for oneself, warts and all." I really enjoyed this story, giving it 4 stars.

NEG UB2 picks up Ethan and Brian's story about 6 months later, as Ethan gets the news he is HIV positive. Ethan very quickly leaps into betrayal mode believing that Brian has knowingly infected him, and rather than communicating in any meaningful way with Brian, Ethan pushes him away and starts a blog "Off to see The Wizard of Poz." While the story is well-written and I liked the blog entries and the introduction of Jan Most, I was extremely frustrated by the lack of communication and trust. 2.5 stars for NEG UB2.

STATUS UPDATE is set 8 years after NEG UB2 and tragically Ethan once again finds himself alone. Ethan reconnects with a former coworker (who he hated when they worked together) and finds himself on a path toward acceptance of his grief, forgiveness, and wholeness.
All of us are wounded creatures. Each and every one of us is, in some way, broken. Yet how many of us see that wound or that brokenness as a gift instead of a liability?
While at first Status Update seems an unlikely fit with the other two stories, it brings completeness to Ethan's story, and is not an end but a new beginning to his search for love. It is beautifully written and I give it 5 stars.

Overall, my rating for M4M is 4 stars. I would have loved Brian's POV as he remains somewhat vague throughout the novellas, but Ethan's discovery - and rediscovery - of love is wonderful to read and the lessons from Status Update will stay with me for quite some time.
... love, real love, was never about what was on the surface, but the heart and kindness lying beneath the façade.

I received an ARC from Dreamspinner Press in exchange for an honest review.
Review also posted at Gay Book Reviews - check it out!
Profile Image for Barb ~rede-2-read~.
3,165 reviews87 followers
August 6, 2017
Note: This book was provided to me by the publisher through Hearts on Fire Reviews in exchange for an impartial review.

This story is divided into three segments, two were formerly released as short books, and the third is new. I’ll review each and then summarize the whole. And I’m keeping this as spoiler-free as possible.

VGL Male Seeks Same:

This segment was really terrific. The self-deprecating humor of MC Ethan was outstanding. In fact, there were so many times when I found it outright hilarious I laughed so hard I couldn’t catch my breath, and that’s just not something I normally do. In general, I have a good sense of humor, but I’m pretty reserved and rarely laugh out loud. Specifically, the first date scene outside the coffee shop when Ethan tipped the table over and then got carried away cleaning Brian up and then fell again—onto one knee—totally cracked me up. Talk about a suave first impression. Not!

The fact that both men were able to overcome their fabrications and accept each other for who they were made for an enjoyable story, and as the scene faded at the end of the first segment, it appeared the men would find a firm foundation.


Ethan receives heartbreaking news as this segment opens. He’s so upset, in fact, he can’t even pay attention to his doctor and has to go home to absorb the shock. He’s diagnosed as HIV positive, and though his heart wants to deny it, his head tells him it had to be Brian who infected him. Most of the story revolves around the internal and external clash that occurs because of this conflict, and the ending was a surprise. A happy one, but a surprise nevertheless.


At fifty-one, lonely Ethan can’t seem to cope with life—not day to day at home and not day to day at work. As those with a lot of time on their hands often do, Ethan turns to Facebook for his entertainment and socializing. There he’s surprised by a friend request from a former receptionist who we met in the first segment of the book. Ethan used to call him Bubbles since he was a flighty, snarky, and flamboyant young gay man who seemed to spend most of his time gossiping—often about Ethan.

But as it turns out, this “new” Ben is not the same at all, and remarkably, it turns out this new Ben may hold the key to Ethan’s future happiness—once Ethan accepts that people can change.


I really enjoyed this book! Tremendously funny, and yet heartbreakingly painful at times, the author takes us through an emotional journey that ends with a beautiful four letter word: HOPE.

Highly recommended!

Profile Image for Serena Yates.
Author 97 books769 followers
September 1, 2020
Dating and finding the right partner can be tough, and whoever thinks it’s easier in the computer age - what with all the blogs, dating sites, and chat rooms now available is wrong. The basic problem is still human nature, all the individual idiosyncrasies and quirks we have, and if you’re an “older” gay male (i.e. above forty), the task becomes almost impossible. The three novellas in this collection accurately, sometimes humorously, describe Ethan’s path to happiness, and I loved every single one of them They are all true to life, made me feel every obstacle right alongside Ethan, and gave me an in-depth look at the ups and downs, the disappointments and hope of a man who desperately wants to find a guy to settle down with.

Please find my full review of the second edition on Rainbow Book Reviews.
Profile Image for Serena Yates.
Author 97 books769 followers
September 1, 2020
Dating and finding the right partner can be tough, and whoever thinks it’s easier in the computer age - what with all the blogs, dating sites, and chat rooms now available is wrong. The basic problem is still human nature, all the individual idiosyncrasies and quirks we have, and if you’re an “older” gay male (i.e. above forty), the task becomes almost impossible. The three novellas in this collection accurately, sometimes humorously, describe Ethan’s path to happiness, and I loved every single one of them They are all true to life, made me feel every obstacle right alongside Ethan, and gave me an in-depth look at the ups and downs, the disappointments and hope of a man who desperately wants to find a guy to settle down with.

Please find my full review on Rainbow Book Reviews.
Profile Image for Pat.
Author 25 books75 followers
July 22, 2017
Another thought-provoking romance from Mr. Reed that will stay with readers long after they finish the book.
1,961 reviews3 followers
July 10, 2017
A Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Review

Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

For the full review, visit http://wp.me/p220KL-b18

From that review: "I  truly can't imagine reading M4M by Rick R. Reed as anything except one deeply moving story...to me it doesn't even register as three separate tales. Rather three stages in one man's life, two so heartrending that the tissues seemed inadequate at times to stop the amount of tears that flowed.  Even now just thinking about Ethan and his journey, I start to choke up which is funny because I wasn't sure I was even going to connect with Ethan at the beginning.  Or even like him..."

For all our reviews, author interviews and such, visit us at http://scatteredthoughtsandroguewords...

Profile Image for Kirsty Bicknell.
657 reviews67 followers
July 13, 2017
Review originally published at Joyfully Jay Reviews

M4M is a novel made up of three parts — VGL Male Seeks Same, NEG uB2, and Status Updates (the first two were previously released as separate stories). For me, reading M4M as a whole is perfect, taking the reader from the beginning of Ethan’s foray into online dating and his meeting with Brian in VGL Male Seeks Same, to the moment he is diagnosed as being HIV positive and begins writing a blog in NEG UB2, and finally, Status Updates in which Ethan deals with his grief at losing the love of his life, while a Facebook friend request challenges Ethan and brings possibilities.
As I expect with any book written by Rick R. Reed, M4M is thoughtful, sensitive, and relevant. Each section of the novel is based on the growing popularity of different forms of social media and Reed is constantly able to make stimulating comments about the way in which modern society relies upon technology.
As someone who has recently had her own experiences with online dating, I felt particularly connected to Ethan in VGL Male Seeks Same. I could relate to Ethan’s feelings of disappointment and low self-esteem after receiving no messages on wingpeople.com and I like how Reed does not ignore the issue of ‘catfishing’ that is so prevalent in real-life. Yet, I was also drawn into the romance — the deliveries of bouquets and shared emails — and though for the most part of this section, Ethan and Brian do not meet, Reed still gives his reader that sense of anticipation.
However, the tone of Reed’s writing shifts completely in NEG uB2. The reader is present when Ethan receives his crushing diagnosis and I shared his disbelief. Reed effectively communicates Ethan’s confusion and I love the fact that Ethan’s introspection is channeled into a blog, brilliantly titled “Off to see the Wizard of Poz.” Apart from these blog entries, Reed’s narration in M4M is third person and though this works in terms of the story, I also think the first person blog posts allow the reader an insight into Ethan’s jumble of thoughts and emotions, and this is an astute choice by Reed.
I honestly have never personally received a diagnosis of this magnitude, but it appeared to me that Ethan’s blog posts were carefully thought out by Reed and I think the fact that he recognizes there are still people being diagnosed as HIV positive is important, though he also addresses the use of drugs to control the disease.
In Status Updates the reader sees a different Ethan again and it is this part of M4M that frequently brought tears to my eyes. This time, Reed uses Facebook to help his story develop, or as Ethan refers to it: “the world’s great time waster.” Every reader of M4M will probably recognize Ethan’s feelings at receiving a friend request from someone he hasn’t seen for years, though when we realize who this person is, there is a sense of familiarity. It has been difficult in NEG UB2 and Status Updates, watching the protagonist in pain and feeling helpless, but with this new development, the reader snatches at the hope Reed hands us. M4M does not end on a concrete HEA, but I found myself unable to shake thoughts of Ethan and his story, many hours after I had finished it.
I was not at all disappointed by M4M but when I saw “erotic” in the description I did expect something else. There is one sex scene that I can recall in VGL Male Seeks Same and yes, this could be said to have mild themes of BDSM and is explicit to a degree, but M4M is much more than an “erotic” novel. M4M deals with being a 40-something-year-old man in the modern world, faced with uncertainty and issues beyond his control. As always, Reed combines story-telling with the human experience and I would highly recommend M4M.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.
Profile Image for Fiona Lyle.
215 reviews3 followers
July 10, 2017
Full review at: https://optimummblog.wordpress.com/20...

M4M was previously published and released as two separate short stories. It has now been put together in one book, with a third part added to bring a conclusion to the story and tie it all together.

Ethan Schwartz is a publicist for theater companies in Chicago. He’s had enough of being single and hates how mundane his life has become. Ethan wants more than just a hook-up. He’s done with the pretty party boys and the bar/club pick-up’s, where he never really felt like he fitted in. Ethan wants someone who he can be himself with, who shares his interests, someone he can snuggle on the couch with watching movies from the 1930/40’s. Someone to love. But he thinks that he’ll never find a person like that in the world he’s living in, because everyone he’s met so far, only wants one thing, and that’s sex.

When Ethan hears a colleague talking about a dating website, he decides that since he can’t find what he’s looking for in a guy by going out on the town, he may as well see if he can find it across the internet. So Ethan signs up to the website and creates a profile. This is where he meets Brian who’s an attorney and lives quite close to Ethan. Ethan can’t believe how much they have in common and is sure that Brian can’t be real because he feels that all of the similarities between them is just too good to be true, and surely, he can’t be that lucky to find his perfect guy online? But the two men form a connection to each other and quickly fall in love. Ethan is sure his life can’t get any better, but then one day he’s given the devastating news that he’s HIV positive. He can’t believe what he’s being told, and immediately comes to the conclusion that the only way that he could have contracted it was from Brian. His now perfect life and relationship have suddenly fallen apart in the blink of an eye. Ethan learns that even when you are at your happiest, sometimes life just throws you a little test, to see how strong a person you really are.

This book has me conflicted. I’m struggling to decide how I really felt about the story overall. There were parts that I didn’t particularly like, then there were parts that I really loved. I found it quite slow and hard to get into at the beginning and really couldn’t connect with the main character at all. But then as I worked my way through the book and got towards the end of part two and into the new story, I found myself becoming very emotional and teary, but I think that was more to do with the author’s writing and storytelling than the feelings I had for Ethan. I loved Ethan’s blog that he started about being HIV positive. The author did an amazing job of portraying the feelings and emotions involved in receiving the news and coming to terms with the diagnosis and then learning to live with it. I just wish we actually had a little more in-depth detail about this part of the story because I feel like that was never fully concluded or resolved and it left me with a lot of questions. The third part of the book was by far the best, and I think that this really saved the whole book. The writing was exceptional, and I was really choked up trying to get through each paragraph. It was something I definitely didn’t expect considering I felt practically no emotion reading the first two parts. So I’m glad I stuck it out even when I didn’t really feel like it.

***The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book***

Profile Image for Sandra .
1,716 reviews308 followers
July 13, 2017
This book is told in three parts/novellas and span about 10 years of Ethan's life.

We start off with VGL Male Seeks Same, in which Ethan, in his early 40s, has lost hope of ever finding someone to build a life with. He's tired of the bar scene and his empty bed. When he overhears a younger colleague at his job talking about a website to meet other men, he's intrigued and signs up. At first, he doesn't get any bites, but when he changes his profile picture to that of a fabulous hunky silver fox, his profile gets a ton of responses. Including one from a hot guy named Brian.

This story really drove home the point that looks can and do fade and what matters are the personalities and compatibility of two people in a relationship, as well as the fact that many people on dating sites will focus more on looks and less so on the actual person behind the profile. And that lies have a way of catching up with you.

I quite liked this - 4 stars.

In NEGUB2, Ethan goes for a routine HIV test and is told that it came back positive. Knowing he hasn't had sex with anyone but Brian recently, Ethan is immediately convinced that Brian has to have infected him. He stops responding to emails and texts and avoids his boyfriend while he grapples with his new reality. Needing an outlet, Ethan starts a blog "Off To See The Wizard Of Poz", in which he shares his fears and muses on what the future will hold. I really liked the blogposts that were included for this, but I hated Ethan for jumping to conclusions and the utter lack of trust he displays in Brian. It frustrated me that he would immediately suspect Brian of infecting him, and it took the advice of a co-worker for Ethan to pull his head out of his ass and talk to Brian. Still, considering that this novella kept me glued to the pages, I give it 4 stars also.

In the third novella, Status Updates, we catch up with Ethan 8 years later. And the moment I found out what had to happen for this novella to take shape, I was mad. I understood why the author did what he did, but I hated it nonetheless. Sure, it brings Ethan's story full circle, and it was beautifully written and really brought out the author's ability to write realistic emotions, which is why it's getting the 5 stars it deserves, but I was so upset at Ethan being alone again that I actually cried. Ethan's grief was heartbreaking.

I thought that the entire trilogy was very realistically written. The character of Ethan was beautifully done, and while I didn't always agree with his actions and reactions, he did feel real to me. He could be that guy I saw the other day at the grocery story, looking a little sad, while filling his basket with groceries for one.

It's not a grand romance, but there is love inside, real love, and loss, too. And it begs the question - is it better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all?

** I received a free copy of this book from its publisher. A positive review was not promised in return. **
Profile Image for Steph ☀️.
698 reviews28 followers
November 7, 2017
***2.75 stars (rounded-up)***

Part One - 2008
Well, to put it bluntly it sucked. The first part is a lot of his inner dialogue that drove me up the wall. There is very little exchange between him and his coworkers, he doesn't have any friends outside of work so yeah it was boring. I really wanted to give him a happy pill. It wasn't until he met Brian for the first time that it started to get a bit better. I never knew I craved so much interaction until I read this story lol.

Part Two - 2009
Starts off six months later with Ethan receiving really bad news. He is abrupt, which is understandable, and pushes Brian away, again I understand, to work how his life will change. So, he ends up creating a blog: Off to see the Wizard of Poz, which I have to say was my favorite part of the book. While again there is too much inner musings, I did enjoy his blog. How he uses it as a medium to help express his fears to others out there and how they in turn reach out and react to him. It was beautiful.

Part Three - 2017
Fast forward eight years later and again with the bad news. Without giving too much away this last book brings Ethan's life of sorts, full circle. In the end however, there is hope where there was none. Reconnecting with a person from his past, he starts to realize that he is not alone.

Overall thoughts :
I do wish we could have known how Ethan contracted HIV, and how he was doing on the meds he was initially prescribed. Also, did he still keep with his Blog: Off to see the Wizard of Poz. I wondered if he continued with it because I am sure the community he built would help him through his tough time.

I am one of many reviewers at Gay Book Reviews and can be found here: http://gaybook.reviews/author/steph/

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
2,890 reviews20 followers
August 28, 2020
Lonely and middle-aged Ethan longs for love: full of emotion👬

I found this trio of stories about Ethan and Brian an interesting construction. Author Rick R. Reed is anything but formulaic about the stories he writes.
I love that when I open a new book by Reed I never know what to expect (though I have always found the writing excellent and the emotional content powerful).

Ethan is the central figure who unites the three segments which all take place in Chicago from 2008 to 2017. Each segment zones in on a different issue Ethan faces in his emotional journey through middle age. All tug at the heartstrings, but the first two segments were my favorites.

Issue one: how to find someone when you are no longer young and you've past your physical peak. I loved the real obstacles Ethan negotiates to find his man Brian.

Issue two: dealing with a life-changing diagnosis and its threat to a budding relationship. Once again, Ethan's emotions and reactions felt real and, in this segment, so raw.

Issue three: surviving the end of a loving relationship. This section lost me a few times as it delved into spirituality, but the memories are so poignant and the struggle to cope with loss so sadly true.

It's not a hearts and flowers HEA romance by any means, but for me this collection hit a satisfying note as it dealt frankly with the joys and sorrows of life.

Thanks to publisher NineStar Press and NetGalley for providing an advance copy of the book; this is my voluntary and honest review.
Profile Image for Jeff.
Author 2 books9 followers
August 29, 2020
M4M contains three stories in one volume. BUT for me, reading it for the first time, it worked as one complete work. I'm not sure how I would rate this if I had read it in 'pieces'. I chose this based on the art, title, and author-- expecting a romance with complicated characters- based of previous work (I've read) by Reed. I loved this-- but I don't consider it a M/M Romance. It's a full-fledged novel.

Gay men are often portrayed as shallow, haunted, sex-obsessed creatures. Here, Ethan (as well as Brian and Ben) become human. I mean that in the all the best ways. Take the frivolity of many gay romance characters, sometimes angst driven characters as well-- Take us on a journey that doesn't just involve sex or just finding a boyfriend; doesn't just focus on transforming self (and societal) hate in acceptance... Ethan, after years of going through the motions of life-- becomes, well, more than a man-- he becomes human.

Expecting a light romantic read, I was soon surprised by where Reed decided to go. Any doubt I had (early on) about finishing it transformed into a truly meaningful, reading experience. There's some heavy topics here: loneliness, HIV, grief. And Reed doesn't shy away from difficult subjects. What he does here, better than pretty much anyone-- is give us hope.

This is a book that may force you to think, it might make you feel, and it might touch your life. This one is going to stick with me.

I received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Shirley Frances.
1,796 reviews110 followers
October 10, 2020
Back in 2012, I read VGL Male Seeks Same where Ethan, a 42 year old gay man was looking for love in all the wrong places when he decides to give online dating a chance. That's where he meets Brian, who sounds utterly perfect for him and soon Ethan feels like he's found the love of his life and his own happily ever after.

In NEG UB2 Ethan gets some news that turns his word upside down and and we find ourselves accompanying Ethan in this journey as he battles doubt, hurt and a huge sense of betrayal at the news he has found. Soon he finds himself writing a blog as he struggles to make sense of his new reality and his relationship with Brian.

Apparently, after reading the two previous stories, I completely missed Status Updates which is why when I saw this book in NetGalley I decided to request it.

In this installment, we find Ethan trying once again to come to grips with his new reality and failing. It isn't until he receives a friend request from the annoying little brat he used to work with that Ethan seems to finally come to life again. But this is Ethan, so of course we get to enjoy his journey as he questions and analyzes every little conversation, sentiment and thought.

I enjoyed re-reading the first 2 installments and getting to visit Ethan again but I enjoyed the last installment even more because it finally granted Ethan with that elusive HEA he'd been searching for. And that he found it in the most unlikely of places brings his journey full circle, at least it seems that way to me.

212 reviews
August 30, 2020
Thank you Netgalley for letting me read this book in return for an honest review.

M4M has three stories in it all featuring Ethan.

The first book is where Ethan is lonely and tries to find someone using the internet (it is also set in 2008).
The second book is where Ethan finds out he is HIV positive and he is wondering if his boyfriend (who he met in the first book) was the one who infected him.
The third book finds Ethan all alone and when an old nemesis contacts him on Facebook, he may find another chance at love.

The three stories together sounded like a good and potentially sad premise but I couldn't get past how the relationship with Brian in book one literally started off with Ethan using another mans face on his dating profile. Brian is the one who reached out to Ethan on the site, being fooled by the fake picture and by the sounds of it, he is completely smitten (to the point it is an obsession) with the picture of Ethan.

A relationship built on lies is not a relationship I want to read about and I didn't like Ethan at all as he felt quite immature and so judgemental. Brian also felt quite over the top to me with how he treated the relationship (screenshotting and printing all the conversations they had for example.)


Would I read it again:

Would I recommend it:
Not really, however, I understand that if a book isn't for me that doesn't mean others won't like it.
Profile Image for annob.
511 reviews60 followers
July 11, 2017
4.5 stars! Reading the 2nd edition of this story, I can see why it is totally worth to be published anew. It's a strongly recommended read, with a main character and supporting cast that come across the page as real and fully fledged, all with flaws of their own (mainly simply being human), reflected in their actions and reactions as the story progresses. I blush along with Ethan when he is confronted with the tangled web of untruths he created, get angry with him when he - during a vunerable time in his life - is an inconsiderate jerk to his partner, and cry my eyes out when Ethan is struck by grief and loss. There are equally lovely and detailed side characters in the book, and if anything I wanted to get to know even more of Ethan's aquaintances I can sense in his world, just out of the reader's reach. And I wanted more happy. That is the only thing missing from this little unforgettable tale of romance being a five star read, even more of the exciting thrills and the blissfull moments of falling in love and finding that special someone who makes Ethan glow. I most certainly will read more by Rick R. Reed in the future.
Profile Image for Amy Dufera - Amy's MM Romance Reviews.
2,683 reviews121 followers
September 2, 2020
I know this is a good book.
I know the writing is fantastic.


This one just isn't for me.

I struggled from the start with the cover. The cover models in no way what so ever represents the men in the story. The cover models are in their 20's probably, while the men in the story are in their 40's. With the older cover, I wouldn't have had this issue. But, damn, I couldn't get passed this.

And then ...

I find the story to be very authentic, but it turned me off. I felt bad for the men feeling they needed to deceive one another with their photos, but I just couldn't read past them meeting. I just didn't like the deception.

But - for anyone else, these things might not bother them.
Profile Image for Michael W. McFarland.
15 reviews1 follower
February 12, 2018
The first of many i believe

I will read of Rick's books. He knows how to play on heartstrings and took me from happy to angry to grabbing for the Kleenex. At first, I could "hear" Rick's voice reading M4M to me, but then his characters took full hold and developed their own voices. I'm looking forward to reading another, and another, and so on....
Profile Image for Sarah Baines.
1,106 reviews8 followers
November 4, 2020
This will be a short review as words don't do this book justice. Simply put, M4M is absolutely stunning. It's also incredibly emotional. I confess at one point I nearly gave up on it as it wasn't grabbing me. I am so glad I didn't because I'd have missed a beauty.

Thanks to NetGalley and Publishers for my ARC of this book.
Profile Image for AL.
1,184 reviews7 followers
September 3, 2020
It took me a moment to get used to the style the author chose to narrate the story, but overall, I liked it. The theme of story is very contemporary and important, the approach interesting and well realised.
I liked the characters and it's a stron 4 stars for me.
Profile Image for Stupid Romance.
51 reviews1 follower
February 17, 2021
Wow! Did not expect that. Not a typical love story, but what a beautiful one it is. This is not a book I am likely to forget soon. It most definitely made an impression on me.
Profile Image for Ada.
1,709 reviews29 followers
July 15, 2017
You know what? Some people will really enjoy the somewhat dramatic style of writing. To me it feels... meh. And I don't want to keep on reading a meh story.
Profile Image for Mel Bradley.
228 reviews9 followers
August 23, 2017
2 Dating Website Failed Stars
I think I remember seeing this series out several years back and skipped over it, but thought I’d give it a go this time around with an extended episode and a new publisher. Unfortunately, it was not a good read – and not one that I would recommend giving a second glance at.

The first story read as old and stale. And honestly, Ethan was incredibly pathetic and under-developed as a character. He came across as a wimpy guy pining for his someone, lying, a potential creepy stalking situation, and then happily ever after. Which brings you to the second book – when Ethan finds out that he is HIV+ (and as the blurb says, could this “perfect man” from book one have infected him?). There were some sweet parts in this book and some depth of emotion in places, but it fell short all over the place. He literally just picked himself up, got positive about being positive (sorry for the pun), and moved on.

And finally, book three was so absolutely ridiculous it annoyed me. This was the new addition with the republishing of the series, and OMG – why? WHY? Ethan’s alone again – we skipped something like 10 years (maybe 5, honestly, I can’t remember) of his life and boom – huge changes summarized in a page or two. COME ON. There was an emotional passage when things are explained a bit, but it couldn’t redeem the rest of the story and premise. And perhaps to add a little levity here, Facebook magically brings people together in this book… like the dating website did in the first. Trite, aged, skip it.

Review Copy of M4M provided by Dreamspinner Press for an honest review.
Reviewed by Mel from Alpha Book Club
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