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Blue Umbrella Sky

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3.93  ·  Rating details ·  107 ratings  ·  51 reviews
Lambda Literary Award Finalist for Gay Romance

Milt Grabaur has left his life, home, and teaching career in Ohio to start anew. The Summer Winds trailer park in Palm Springs, butted up against the San Jacinto mountain range, seems the perfect place to forget the pain of nursing his beloved husband through Alzheimers and seeing him off on his final passage.

Billy Blue is a
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Published March 23rd 2020 by NineStar Press (first published March 19th 2019)
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Average rating 3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  107 ratings  ·  51 reviews


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Judith
Mar 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m, arc, age-gap





The more books I read by this Author,the more I love his writing.This one deals with some heavy topics,the death of a spouse and a recovering alcoholic BUT at no time did it feel depressing.It's more about coming to terms with the past,moving forward and letting love in again.




Milt wanted a fresh start when his husband died and chose to move to Palm Springs.He's kind of just existing,living in a trailer with his beloved dog for company.He certainly didn't expect to have his world turned upside
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Christelle
This is my second read from Rick R.Reed and just like the first time, I was surprisingly moved, in a good way, by this very slow-burn between Billy and Milt.

Milt is in his forties and decides to move to Palm Springs after losing his husband from an aggressive form of Alzheimer. Still mourning, he doesnt realize that he doesnt socialize anymore.

Billy is in his twenties and recovering from alcoholism with a sunny and positive, but not blind, attitude. And with that, he finally grabs the
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Cadiva
Feb 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I read a book written by Rick R. Reed, I never feel like I'm reading a story, he always transports me into a snippet of the lives of two - on the surface - ordinary men who together manage to find the right glue to hold them together.

In this one he gives us two vastly different men, different ages, different life experiences, different expectations and then he slowly, oh so slowly, brings them together into a glorious, but so very realistic, future.

There's no real central plot to Blue
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Sheri
Okay. So, I'm going to quickly spew my bipolar response to this book.
The blurb gave me major feels. *preparing for angsty read*
The cover made me swoon. *preparing for solid romance*
RRR has made the cut of my top 10 authors for years but the last few books I've read have felt...different. So I'm pulling for this one...big time.
Kicks off with a great start.
I didn't realize Milt was Dane's bestie!?!
And I love Dane and Seth. Yayyyy! *happy smile*

All right...it's hard and heavy early on. *grabs
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Joyfully Jay
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sammy
A Joyfully Jay review.

5 stars


If you are lucky, sometimes a book really resonates with you and reflects either something you hold dear inside you or echoes a journey you have been on before, making you feel that the story you are reading really understands just how you felt in that moment. Rick R. Reed has given me such a book. Blue Umbrella Sky deals first and foremost with how to survive the trauma that is caring for a spouse with Alzheimers and I can tell you first hand that this author hits
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Truuss / Loveislovereview
Billy and Milt both live on a trailer park at Palm Springs. Billy already lives there and Milt chose this place for a new start. Billy saw the new man arrive and was instantly smitten by the lonely, silent guy. He watched him with his dog and when there is a flood and Milt shout for help Billy is there to help him.
When Milt tells his story about his life with his deceased husband to Billy, Billys heart sank more and more. He can never compete with this husband. Instead they build a friendship.

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Kirstin
Mar 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a great hurt/comfort story about two men, both in different places in life, hoping to move forward at the same time, together.

Milt was a happily married man for a long time. His husband, Corky, was affected with Alzheimer's and died recently. Without a real plan, Milt just had to get away. The hot desert of Southern California called to him and he answered. Living in a trailer with his dog, he was doing okay. He didn't think he needed anyone until it rained and his trailer flooded. And
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Serena Yates
Mar 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gay, read-2019
It's a wise man who understands that every day is a new beginning, because boy, how many mistakes do you make in a day? I don't know about you, but I make plenty. You can't turn the clock back, so you have to look ahead. Mel Gibson

New beginnings often sound better than they turn out to be, usually take longer than expected, and can require a lot more hard work than advertised. This novel tells the story of two very different men who are trying to start over but encounter lots of obstacles, both
...more
Ulysses Dietz
Jun 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
REVIEWED BY: ULYSSES DIETZ
MEMBER OF THE PARANORMAL GUILD REVIEW TEAM
When is a romance more than a romance? Answer: when it looks at love as part of the process of healing, and not simply the result of physical attraction.

Rick Reed really pushed two of my major buttons with this one. On the one hand, we have the widower, Milt, still reeling from the loss of his long-time husband to early-onset Alzheimers disease. Hes only forty-two, but feels older, drained by both his grief and the residual
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CrabbyPatty
First off, "Blue Umbrella Sky" is a beautifully written story of loss, grief, addiction, failure, redemption and recovery. What it isn't is a garden variety M/M romance full of steamy, sweaty sex against any number of surfaces. So, perhaps adjust your expectations ... and get ready for an absolutely wonderful book.

If you've read Reed's Big Love (and you definitely should - it is exceptional), Milt is Dane Bernard's friend and fellow teacher in Summitville, Ohio, and after the death of his
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Lelyana
Apr 05, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mm, arc, dsp, 2019

Blue Umbrella Sky is a frustratingly slow burn romance, understandable with all the baggage.
I didn't really enjoy the story and the chemistry between the two MCs felt a little bit flat (?)
But one plus point is, Blue Umbrella Sky is honest and raw. All with the feeling of mourning your love ones, and the struggled Billy had with his drinking problem. But at least, he tried. Not like some people I knew who denied that they needed help.
I admit I did some skimming finishing this, put it down a few
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Kristin
The blurb describes our two main characters fairly well, which is really what the story is about. Milt, still reeling from the long, slow decline of his husband Corky to Alzheimers, has fled from his friends and job in Ohio to Palm Springs, CA. He keeps to himself, avoiding neighbors, social activities and life, except for his rescue dog Ruby.

Billy is a recovering alcoholic. Bill threw away his potential career as a singer for the bottle. He works at Trader Joes, goes hiking, attends daily AA
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Barb ~rede-2-read~
ARC provided by the publisher through Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words in exchange for an impartial review.

Milts husband of many years, Corky, has passed away after suffering from Alzheimers Disease, a horrible deterioration of mind and body. As is the case with many who suffer from this disease, Corky forgot who Milt was at times and at other times was angry and resentful toward him. He escaped his home, sometimes while nude, and in short, tested Milts reserves to the nth degree. But Milt
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Amy Dufera
Mar 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Blue Umbrella Sky is a great romance by Rick R Reed.

Billy and Milt are neighbors who meet during a storm. Both men are dealing with a whole lot of damage from their previous experiences, but the attraction is undeniable.

Milt's new in town, trying to escape his loss, and is isolating himself in his grief. His background with his husband is so damn dismal, as watching a spouse with Alzheimer's is never easy. It's tough enough that he lost his husband, but it's worse that he nursed him for years,
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Cindi
It's difficult to summarize this book. Both Milt and Billy have issues that they need to work through before attempting a relationship. Milt is still mourning the loss of his husband. Billy is a recovering alcoholic. When a flash flood brings them together it doesn't start with a bang. It starts with a slow friendship that leads to more. Milt feels like he's betraying his late husband by even thinking about Billy in any way outside of friendship. Billy knows he's competing with a ghost. He ...more
Elle
Mar 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Like many of Mr Reed's books, this is not an easy read. It features two broken men who, in their own way, are fighting every day to live a normal life.

Milt's grief is palpable, this, coupled with his guilt, makes reading about him quite gut- wrenching . Billy's alcoholism isn't played down. It's an illness, which he battles every single moment of each day. His struggle is intense, I felt that I was living every minute with him.

As with most of Mr Reed's books, the writing flows, and his
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Sue
Mar 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I truly enjoyed this story by new to me author, Rick R. Reed. The loss of the love of your life can bring such immense pain that you truly believe that you never deserve happiness again. Milt and Billy meet during some trying times. Will Milt allow Billy in despite the age difference? Despite his belief that must forever be alone? Story of love and loss and finding yourself again?
Sarah
Mar 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was given a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads.

This is the slow, reflective story of two neighbours who meet while rebuilding their lives. Milt is a widower still grieving his ex husband and Billy is a recovering alcoholic.

As the blurb suggests, this is a gritty, angsty read. A compilation of memories, reflections and small shared moments, most of the story takes place in the past as Milt - and often Billy too - seems to live inside his own head. Milts experience of
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Becca
Jan 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was so good and so hard to read. Wow. Im still in hangover mode. There are possible triggers. One of the MCs is an alcoholic. He talks about his addiction and there are flashbacks to it. The other MC deals with a spouse with Alzheimers and I know the survivors go through absolute hell. So just a word of caution if it is needed. You may need tissues during parts of this book. I did. It doesnt hold back and I appreciate what the author did with that. These two things are nothing to sneeze at, ...more
Annie Maus
Mar 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rick Reeds "Blue Umbrella Sky showcases the honor and dignity grief allows us. After all, whether weve lost a person, pet, a dream, or simply years wasted in bad choices, our mourning reflects the depth to which weve loved. Without a moment of maudlin, nor any attempt to evade, Mr. Reed views Milt Grabaurs healing with a gentle, firm gaze.

Milt has moved from Ohio to a Palm Springs trailer park after nursing his husband, who died of early onset Alzheimers. But hes been in shock the last six
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ButtonsMom2003
Mar 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: xd-assigned-read
A sweet and moving story.

This is the first book I've read by Rick R. Reed and I really enjoyed it. The story is sweet but also a bit melancholy. Milt is mourning his dead husband, Corky, and at the same time he feels a bit guilty. Corky died from early-onset Alzheimers and Milt kept him at home as long as he could and was burned out from the stress of being a caregiver. As much as he misses Corky it was almost a relief for it all to be over.

Billy was attracted to Milt when he saw him moving into
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Serena Yates
Mar 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gay, read-2020
It's a wise man who understands that every day is a new beginning, because boy, how many mistakes do you make in a day? I don't know about you, but I make plenty. You can't turn the clock back, so you have to look ahead. Mel Gibson

New beginnings often sound better than they turn out to be, usually take longer than expected, and can require a lot more hard work than advertised. This novel tells the story of two very different men who are trying to start over but encounter lots of obstacles, both
...more
Didi
3+ Stars

Oh my. Blue Umbrella Sky is such a poignant yet romantic read all at the same time. It revealed the journey of two men who went through hardship and came out the other end as new men ...and found each other. The tone of the alternate POVs - throughout the present-days and flashbacks - were melancholy as hell, but rather sweet, too. I couldnt help but liking Milt and Billy in spite of their flaws and vulnerabilities. Especially for Billy for being wise and patient (for his age), even when
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Elaine Gray
Mar 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Blue Umbrella Sky is about coping with grief after losing someone you. Milt lost his husband to Alzheimer and had to take care of also. Billy is a recovering alcoholic who is attracted to Milt. Rick Reed did a tremendous job with the book. You can feel the struggle that both are suffering throughout the book. At sometimes the book is so intense and very emotional that you feel their pain coming off the pages. The book is so well written that you can't do anything but read it in one sitting.
Patricia Nelson
Mar 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh my word!! The author has written a beautiful, heartbreaking yet hopeful, powerful, grab-you-by-the-feels, raw, gritty, intense, sometimes happy, sometimes sad, gripping, and totally awesome story about grief, pain, hope, redemption, and revelations.
Cammey Kelley
Mar 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I see new work being advertised by this particular author, I get so excited! I expect well written characters, a strong plot, and I normally need a box of Kleenex before I reach the epilogue...tears just always seem to fall.

This is a story of new beginnings. A start over for a middle aged man who has lost his partner to a horrific disease. A do over for a younger man who has decided he can beat addiction.

A heartbroken school teacher and a talented singer trying to find his voice.

So highly
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Dennis
Mar 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Blue Umbrella Sky

Sweet, slightly emotional story about love, loss and finding it again. The characters were well written and I like the flashbacks that showed where Milt and Billy had been.
Terri
Mar 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this quiet, sometimes painful story of Milt and Billy, neighbors becoming friends and slowly finding peace and love together. Both men were struggling to overcome their pasts, which the author provided detailed information on via flashbacks. Both men had people who loved and supported them, though I would have loved to see Milt find a support group or even a counselor.
I was expecting a great story from this author, and that's what I got. I loved Billy and Milt, and I wanted them to be
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Ravenclaw Silverstripe
I think this would fit into the second chance trope. I know some people only reserve that for the same couple getting a second chance at their relationship, but in this story two of the MC's are experiencing something a bit different to that.

One of the MC's, Milt, just recently lost his husband and is looking for a fresh start. Grief can take a lot out of someone, and the idea of "starting anew", I think, relates back to the aspect of a second chance. The second MC, Billy, is an alcoholic in
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Barbara
Mar 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Milt has lost his beloved husband to early Alzheimers and he had taken care of him to the bitter end. Now lost and adrift, he leaves his home and friends to move to a warmer climate. Hiding in his grief, he doesn't make contact with any of his neighbors but does get himself a dog to give him company. Billy Blue struggles with grief of his own. Unable too fight his addiction to drugs and alcohol his singing career goes down the drain. Now on the right path with AA, he has been dry for years and ...more
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Real Men. True Love.

Rick R. Reed draws inspiration from the lives of gay men to craft stories that quicken the heartbeat, engage emotions, and keep the pages turning. Although he dabbles in horror, dark suspense, and comedy, his attention always returns to the power of love. Hes the award-winning and bestselling author of more than fifty works of published fiction and is forever at work on yet
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