Book Reviews

Moment of Silence (Moments in Time 4) by Karen Stivali

Genre Gay / Contemporary / New Adult / Erotic Romance
Reviewed by Bob-O-Link on 12-February-2020

Book Blurb

Growing up, Jason Stern led a charmed life complete with devoted sisters, a father who was one of Brooklyn’s most respected rabbis, and a mother who made the world's best babka. He headed to NYU ready for anything—except falling for the wrong guy, coming out, and getting disowned by his once-loving family. In spite of that, Jason managed to graduate with honors. He's got friends who treat him like family, and he's proudly running the largest LGBTQ teen shelter in Manhattan. Life is good, but he's still falling for the wrong men. 

When charming, sexy Quinn Fitzpatrick begins work at the shelter, Jason falls hard and fast. Quinn is tall, blond, funny—damn near perfect. Only if Quinn’s gay, even he doesn't seem to know it. If he does, he's not telling anyone. And he's about one ceremony away from becoming a Catholic priest.

Long hours of work turn to long nights of talking and laughter, and Jason dares to hope this time he's falling for the right guy. But Quinn's got a past to deal with and major decisions to make about his future. When Quinn leaves for a silent retreat, Jason knows the silence may change everything.

First edition published by Dreamspinner Press, December 2015.

Book Review

This review will be a little different. As the regular blurb, above, satisfactorily outlines the novel’s narrative, my review will not overly relate the facts. Rather, let me begin with several salient points.


1) I have just read and reviewed volumes one, two, three, and 3.5 of Ms. Stivali’s ‘Moments in Time’ series, and, quite properly, I have raved about them. By the end, the main heroes had become my familiar friends. Though barely mentioned in passing, Jason Stern – a secondary character, appeared merely as a fascinating snag in the story’s fabric. This current book, ‘Moment of Silence’, picks up that thread and weaves a glorious, new tale.

2) I discovered as an adolescent, with a copy of Gone with the Wind in hand, that reading and crying are not hard tasks to reconcile, and can be so satisfying for hormonal release.

3) In exchange for me keeping this review manageably short (though ecstatic), please promise to read ‘Moment of Silence’.


Main Review

Even if you are a novice to this series, the tone is quickly set, only loosely relating back to personae from the earlier volumes. Meet Jason, on his own, doing “good works”. He is drawn to Quinn, an “almost priest”, who is yet to take his final vows. Each morning, Quinn emits a look of having engaged in hot sex, and I identified with Jason’s ambivalent attraction. (Oddly, Jason’s sister is, unknown to her family, involved with the son of a Methodist minister: the rabbi’s daughter knocked up by the minister’s son! To borrow – and mangle – a familiar phrase: “The oys have it!”).

Ms. Stivali brilliantly uses Jason’s first-person voice, interspersing occasional introspective flashbacks, to reinforce tone and structure, and to sharply control the flow of the developing story. As Quinn and Jason become more attached, this is a “learning tale” for straight readers. For the rest of us, it’s just one of many moving coming out experiences.


If a memorable sauce is often the measure of a great restaurant, the provision of piquant bon mots is surely Ms. Stivali’s measure. Here are a few, to whet your appetite.

“Priests can say fuck, they just can’t do it.”
Jason: “Geez, I thought Jews cornered the market on guilt. You Catholic types seem
to be right up there with us.” Quinn: “I think guilt is pretty nondenominational.”

Quinn, reacting to Jason’s story of getting a Dear John letter from his first love: “Not exactly a fairy-tale ending. Then again fairy tales aren’t usually about gays, ironic as that may be.”
“The guy’s so far in the closet, he’s probably organizing his neighbor’s shoes.”



‘Moment of Silence’ is essentially about growing - into love, into familial acceptance, into beautiful (and beautifully described) sexual intimacy. The road has its bumps, and overcoming each adds to your emotional commitment to the fully-formed characters. The story earns an honorable place in a long line of books in which commonality generates love and not differences. Resisting the temptation to tell you too much, I’d rather leave you with the anticipation of the joy to be had in reading this novel.


Reviewers like to award stars - an easy way to tag their degree of approval. I want to try a new way to rave about ‘Moments of Silence’. It’s sufficient to say: It’s Stivali-cious!






DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by the author for the purpose of a review.


Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel, 230 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 19-November-2019
Price $4.99 ebook
Buy Link