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The Rosebud by M. Raiya is a homoerotic short story that is part of the Healing Hearts Torquere Charity Sips Anthology.
James just arrived at the scene of a terrible car crash that he heard a quarter of a mile away. James finds the truck driver drunk but unhurt. Unfortunately, he finds the young man, Ambient, in the mangled car with his head at an odd angle without much time left. James is drawn to Ambient from the first and he knows he can help him, but the price is dear for him. James has the ability to heal others, but afterwards he always falls in love with that person until he heals again starting the process all over. James has lived by never staying too long in any one place or having any close friends. While healing Ambient he sees his rose tattoo and realizes that Ambient is also gay. After he heals Ambient his feelings for him are overwhelming, but the people he saves never remember him. Will James find the courage to take a risk to see if his feelings are more than just transient or will he run, continuing his lonely, nomadic ways?
M. Raiya has written a compact short story with characters who grab the readers interest from the very beginning. I felt sad that James always fell in love with the people he healed, but they didn't return his feelings. The lonely life he was forced to live was devoid of any intimate relationships, but his willingness to keep healing others showed the strength of his character. It was fascinated to read as James he used his gift to save Ambient's life. If other people were willing to help those in need, like James, the world would be a better place. Thanks go to M. Raiya for an interesting story.
Reviewed by: Teresa