Monday, July 17, 2023

Review Tour & Giveaway: Reflections on the Boulevard by L.J. Ambrosio

L.J. Ambrisio

Coming-of-age / Literary Fiction
Publisher: Film Valor
Publication Date: April 23, 2023
Page count: 238 pages



Michael's story continues from "A Reservoir Man" (2022) where we find him teaching at a university ready to retire. He unexpectedly meets a young man named Ron who becomes his protégé and journeys with him in a haphazard adventure throughout America and Europe. In Michael's final journey in life, each twist and turn of the road brings unexpected adventures. The journey taken is one of joy, friendship, and discovery.



They begin to move closer to Ron, a streetlight illuminating one of them for a moment; everything else was in darkness. He realized these were some of the kids from the shelter he used to be in. They had a fire in them, maybe it was jealousy that he got out and got on his feet. How did they know that much about Michael? He knew that they could hurt Michael, at his age that could kill him. They could hurt Carol, badly. They might have a knife. He knew how much danger they were in now.

Ron made a move towards the one he recognized, when suddenly all five pounced on Ron, beating on him, taking no break in their punches. One of them picked up Rhonda and threw her against a brick wall. Ron spit blood and, in between blows, tried to move to protect Rhonda. Carol ran to grab Rhonda. She tried to pick her up and saw she was hurt. Ron looked at the young men, spit blood at the closest of them, and screamed, “Fuck you! I hope you all die for what you did to her! Fuck you!” 

The noise of this was so loud, a group of people leaving a bar saw the commotion. One of them yelled “Hey! What’s going on there? Hey!” Another woman was dialing for help on her phone. The young men ran away as quickly as possible, disappearing down a dark side street and into the blackness of the night. 

They were nearing the back door of the house, Carol carrying Rhonda, with Ron limping on his own. As they approached the door, two of the young men were behind them again, taunting them. He asked Ron if he could meet his boyfriend. Ron lunged at one of them and  fell to the ground. They began to kick him. Carol screamed for help.


5 stars!

Great characters and big, deep feelings made this a book I didn't want to put down.

Reflections on the Boulevard is the second book in L.J. Ambrosio's Reflections of Michael Trilogy and continues the tale begun in last year's A Reservoir Man. The story is quietly deep and emotional as Michael mentors a young stranger lost after the collapse of his family during the Covid pandemic. 

Michael is understandably reserved and initially suspicious of Ron's overtures, but his innate goodness and drive to help people soon override his caution. The two begin a lovely, comfortable friendship. I was quickly drawn to both characters wondering where this relationship would take them, and before I knew it, I was a couple of hours into a book I didn't want to put down. 

Much of the story involves the two traveling across the U.S., Michael retracing his steps from an earlier journey and Ron experiencing the country's beauty and wonder for the first time. I enjoyed all of their stops and the descriptions of the sights and noted many places I wanted to see for myself someday. Michael's solo trip through Italy, Greece, and Cyprus was alive with details as he sought out old friends and relived old memories and past actions. The journey was equally enjoyable, even with the mounting suspense of what was going on with his health and what he would find when he finally got to Paris. 

With its great characters and moments of joy and sadness freely shared with the reader, I recommend REFLECTIONS ON THE BOULEVARD to readers of literary fiction and fans of the previous book in the trilogy.


Louis J. Ambrosio ran one of the most nurturing bi-coastal talent agencies in Los Angeles and New York. He started his career as a theatrical producer, running two major regional theaters for eight seasons. Ambrosio taught at seven universities. Ambrosio also distinguished himself as an award-winning film producer and novelist over the course of his impressive career.


The author will award a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner and an autographed copy of the book to a second randomly drawn winner.

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