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Treading Water

   (14 reviews)
Sub-genres: Drama, General Romance

Craig and Jared, former brothers-in-law, have been tormented in different ways, and lines have been crossed. Can they now find a way to make sense out of a challenging family situation?

This story was originally intended to be part of an anthology, but it grew... and grew. Family dynamics can be quite complicated at times. This is an example of how certain acts can steamroll, and get out of control. I hope you enjoy this tale of love, and how hard it can be to kill it.
Copyright © 2016 Headstall; All Rights Reserved.

Story Recommendations (20 members)

  • Action Packed 8
  • Addictive/Pacing 16
  • Characters 19
  • Chills 1
  • Cliffhanger 2
  • Compelling 8
  • Feel-Good 7
  • Humor 6
  • Smoldering 16
  • Tearjerker 7
  • Unique 12
  • World Building 4

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Cane23

   1 of 1 member found this review helpful 1 / 1 member

In the most of @Headstall stories, a catalyst for the plot and misunderstanding between main characters has been in themselves. It has been some disappointment or painful event from the past which determined their life, attitude and behaving. In this story, it has been selfish and cunning sibling, setting traps and plotting to separate two guys, that has been determined to take something (someone to be precise) which doesn’t belong to her.

The fatal kiss between Craig and Jared initiates the start of communication and dialogue (in wonderful @Headstall style) which leads to discovering the true and revelation. Is it possible to move on together after so many years living in a dark and deception? With such communicational skills provided by author, future for protagonists looks bright and happy. It is characteristic for @Headstall that there are no completely evil antagonists in the story as in fairytales. He describes his characters realistically, with all virtues and flaws as humans are. So, even evil sister gets some pity from the author at the end.

Response from the author:

Life... family... love... none of it is black and white... and people have flaws, some more than others of course, but redemption and forgiveness is often for the injured party's benefit. To hold onto hate and anger is detrimental to the soul in my opinion. This story, which you have so wonderfully described, is a truly human drama, but it is first and foremost a romance. I loved writing this story... it was very important for my development as a writer... so receiving this positive review means very much to me. Jared and Craig are both wounded at the beginning, and they take us on a journey that requires faith in each other, and courage to fight the good fight. Thank you so much, Cane... for bringing me back to this, and for saying such nice things. I feel encouraged and proud. Cheers!

  • Love 3
Link to review
Dan South

   1 of 1 member found this review helpful 1 / 1 member

Every review posted here will let you know this is an epic love story. They are correct, it really is. Read this. Seriously.

I am awed by the emphasis on communication. You’ll meet the two central characters as they learn to communicate with each other. Communication is just so key to their healthy relationship and the healing they both need. The happiness they both deserve.

 I’m posting this review one year and one day after I finished my first reading. I’ll come back again for the comfort, the uncomfortable, the unconditional acceptance that is in here.

Read this. Seriously.

Response from the author:

Thanks so much for this, Dan. It is a lovely testament to this work, a little story that I believe has heart. It deeply affected me in so many ways when I wrote it, and I love getting this kind of reaction to it, especially from someone who has read it twice with a year in between. Please listen to Dan... I seriously doubt you would feel it time wasted to read this story. Cheers! Gary. 

  • Love 3
Link to review
CincyKris

   3 of 3 members found this review helpful 3 / 3 members

I first read this story a few years ago before I was a member.  I read all of Gary's stories when I found Cards on the Table and Morningstar Malaise , this really stuck with me as a pick-me-up feel-good story.  I highly suggest it for a quick binge read of a well written story that will take you to a great place, regardless of what's going on in the real world.

Response from the author:

Thanks, Kris! I appreciate you reading all of my stuff, and I thank you for this glowing recommendation. This will always be one of my favorite things I've written, and I often go back to it too. It taught me a lot about writing and confidence in myself. Cheers!

  • Love 4
Link to review
Albert1434

   5 of 5 members found this review helpful 5 / 5 members

Once again a perfect Gary story with Great Dialogue and perfect Description and lots of Gary Magic!

Response from the author:

Thanks, Albert! This remains a milestone in my writing career. This was meant to be a much shorter story, but the characters didn't cooperate, and I'm glad they didn't. Appreciate your kind review, buddy. Cheers!

  • Love 6
Link to review
centexhairysub

   4 of 4 members found this review helpful 4 / 4 members

Browsing and saw the review for this story from one of my favorite authors on this site, so thought I would give it a chance; so glad that I did.  Read it in one sitting; and it truly flows well enough to do so.

The main characters a so well drawn and you are immediately drawn to them.  Some of the secondary characters are not as fleshed out but that did nothing to impede my enjoyment reading this story.  The writing and plotting were both first rate as is everything that I have read from Headstall.  

The story is fiction and truly well written and constructed; but not sure that I could see it playing out quite like this in reality, but what a wonderful world it would be if it could.  The idea that family is truly who you choose to make it; just permeates this whole story.  We see that actual family can do everything they can to make you miserable but that only happens in you decide to let them.  Don't want to say too much; don't want to give anything away.

Get a nice cup of tea; and get ready to spend a little enjoyable time getting to know Craig and Jared; you will love them as much as I do.

Response from the author:

Thanks for the wonderful review, centex! It is much appreciated. I wrote this story early in my writing career, and I've learned a few things since, but I am still extremely proud of it. These characters have stayed in my head ever since. :) Cheers!

  • Love 6
Link to review
raven1

   3 of 3 members found this review helpful 3 / 3 members

This is truly a great love story about two best friends who were denied the opportunity to declare their love in high school by the manipulations of a jealous, self-centred sibling.  Their struggle to overcome tragedy and help each other is a tender and heartwarming story of triumph.  Headstall is a gifted writer that has an amazing ability to envelope readers in the feelings of the characters and create an environment so realistic you feel you are there with them.  This is a great story to read to get a feel for this author.  Once he has touched your soul, you will want to read more.   

Response from the author:

This is wonderful, raven! Thank you so much. I hope this kind review will convince new readers to give this story a read. It's an early work of mine, but one I am very proud of. If you're looking for a love story, this one works. :) Thanks again. Cheers!

  • Love 5
Link to review
IanDaniels

   3 of 3 members found this review helpful 3 / 3 members

Wonderful, engaging story! You are a fantastic author. I’m late to finding your stories, but so glad I did. 

Response from the author:

Better late than never, Ian! :)  I truly appreciate you leaving a review for Treading Water. Your chapter 'likes' allowed me to go back and reread this story along with you. I love these characters, and this story means a lot to me in my writing journey. It shows a leap in the quality of my writing, in my humble opinion. Thank you so much for this... hopefully it will encourage new readers to give this one a read. Cheers! Gary. 

  • Love 4
Link to review
Ullyssess

   4 of 4 members found this review helpful 4 / 4 members

I had read this story a few years ago and I loved it. However, the story stuck, every now and then I thought back to it without remembering many details. I'm glad to have read it again! Despite the fierce beginnings, it's a real feel good story. 

Response from the author:

Thanks, Ullyssess! There is no greater compliment than someone rereading my stories. It's wonderful to hear how the story stuck with you for years. Jared and Craig, and even Harlan, still live in my head. :)  Cheers!

  • Like 2
  • Love 3
Link to review
Christopher

   4 of 4 members found this review helpful 4 / 4 members

What an AMAZING story! So enjoyed reading and feeling the emotions Jared and Craig were experiencing during it. Thank you so much for a real life, realistic, happy ever after love story! ❤️ Definitely a recommended read.

Response from the author:

Thanks, Chris! I appreciate you recommending Treading Water to others. I'm quite proud of this story, and still revisit it from time to time. Cheers!

  • Love 4
Link to review
KayDeeMac

   4 of 4 members found this review helpful 4 / 4 members

This is my second time reading this story.  I had a rather rough week so I needed some binge reading to help me center myself and I turned to Headstall's "Treading Water" !  It is an an amazing story that speaks to very real circumstances not unfamiliar to me!  His writing is excellent and character development is superb.  Plus, I'm a succor for the HEA!!!  I highly recommend this as well as Gary's other stories.. You'll not be disappointed! 

Response from the author:

I love when readers tell me they've read one of my stories more than once. Thanks, KayDeeMac! I'm pleased you related to this one and appreciate your kind words. Recommending Treading Water to others is the ultimate compliment, and very satisfying. :hug: 

  • Love 5
Link to review
LD Stratton

   4 of 4 members found this review helpful 4 / 4 members

Another 'right-on' story by this author built with tenderness and insight.  The story is engrossing leading the reader from chapter to chapter sometimes with pain and others with hopefulness. Super read!

Response from the author:

Thanks, LD! I appreciate you recommending this story to other readers, and I'm pleased you enjoyed it. Cheers! Gary.

  • Like 1
  • Love 4
Link to review
Normischell

   4 of 4 members found this review helpful 4 / 4 members

Once again we get to experience just about ever emotion possible, but thankfully the sweet, gooey ones came out on top.  So if you are looking for a sweet, loving story (with a few detours so you don’t hit saccharinly sweet), this is perfect for you. 

  • Love 5
Link to review
Caz Pedroso

   4 of 4 members found this review helpful 4 / 4 members

This story showcases sibling rivalry at it’s worse. At least the one-sided kind of rivalry. Carly is a…umm, let’s just say she isn’t a nice woman and leave it at that.

Craig and Jared make a great couple and work together to overcome any obstacles put in their way. I like how they learn to communicate with each other and work through their problems together.

Once Carly’s plans are thwarted, the couple soon settles into being blissfully happy with each other.

  • Love 5
Link to review
LitLover

   9 of 9 members found this review helpful 9 / 9 members

This story had a little bit of everything I enjoy.  There was laughter, and there were tears.  I swore at my screen, and ranted at about selfish characters, but in the end, you gave us the happily ever after I love.  Both characters had their issues, and neither man was perfect, but they were so perfect for each other.  It just took them longer than the rest of us to figure it out.  Although events/people beyond their control kept them apart, I don't think either man would give up the good things they have (like a beautiful daughter, and the bittersweet memory of a loving husband) in order to change the past.  To me, that is what made these men real.  

  • Like 5
  • Love 6
Link to review
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