I read my first book by Xavier Axelson, The Incident, back in November of 2011. This book is a gay romance, but the way Axelson dug deep into his characters had a lot to do with the reasons behind my including it with my list of 2011 LGBT Favorite Books and Authors under the romance category. I liked his style.
Since that time I've read a few of his books, from his back list and new releases as they come along, but I've not reviewed them. This month alone I read titles by Axelson, so I figure it's time to go ahead and give you some quick impressions of his books and why I read them.
First let me begin by saying that The Incident remains my favorite book by Xavier Axelson. After having read most of his works, it is the one gay romance written by him that I found to have both depth in characterization as well as that emotional connection that makes for an effective and memorable romance.
Having said that, Axelson also conveys that emotional connection between the main characters in The Birches. In this story, I love the way that he connects eroticism and the pleasures of sex with those of food and cooking. The depth of character that I found in The Incident is not there, but then this is a lighter, less character or angst driven story, instead the romance and the erotic make The Birches a surprisingly pleasurable read. Certainly after reading it, I kept looking for more books by the author. :D
As an interesting aside, three of Axelson's books, Dutch's Boy, Lily and Earthly Concerns, feature sons and/or daughters and subjects related to parental errors in judgment or parents who need to accept loss and/or their children's choices.
If you're an M/M romance reader, you might enjoy these books and I do recommend them for you. If you would like to know a bit more about Mr. Axelson, you might want to read "A Conversation with Xavier Axelson by Gavin Atlas." This interview inspired me to read that first book.