Monday, April 9, 2012

Minis: Mel Bossa, S.E. Culpepper

Hi there! I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. I took a few days off to rest and regroup. I needed them.

The good news is that the rest really helped and while relaxing, I read for a change. Good stuff! So, yes... I'll be reviewing a few books in the near future. :) In the meantime, here are a couple of mini-impressions that I put together for Goodreads for two gay romances that I read this past weekend.

I haven't been reading too many gay romances and I thought it was high time to give a couple of them a shot for a change. Here are my finds. :)

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SPLIT by Mel Bossa

Quiet and imaginative, Derek O'Reilly spends a lot of time watching a movie in his head. His fiancé Nathan, aka “Mr. Alpha,” wonders why Derek hasn't taken any interest in their wedding planning. Aunt Fran—his spiritual guru—would like to know when her guilt-tripping nephew became some kind of kept boy. One evening, she drops Derek's childhood journal on his lap, forcing him to remember the name he's been trying to forget since he was eleven years old. Nicolai Lund.

Nick was Derek's neighbor—and first love.

Weeks before Derek's engagement party, a chance meeting with Nick catapults Derek into the past. Nick could flood Derek’s stale existence like a blond tidal wave, but Nick isn't that sixteen-year-old rebel anymore. He's a man hardened by invisible scars.

As Derek reads through his diary, Nick and Derek’s powerful relationship sways between past and present, sweeping over their emotional landscape, revealing what they were, still are, and might yet be to each other.
Split is the best, angst-ridden gay romance I've read in a long time. Well-written and executed, with excellent characterization, and an emotional plot that nevertheless left me satisfied at the end. The reader connects with the characters from beginning to end, and that not only includes the main character, Derek, but also all of the secondary characters which are beautifully developed.

The title Split has multiple meanings in this novel, including the fact that the author goes back and forth between Derek's childhood and his present life as an adult. Bossa works these shifts beautifully, and keeps the reader glued to the pages. I know that I read this book in one sitting and it has been a long time since I've read a gay romance that has touched me so. A marvelous debut for this author.

Warning: Get the tissues ready and prepare yourself to fall in love with a few great characters: Derek and Nico, Boone, Johan and the wonderful Aunt Francine.
Grade: A-
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PRIVATE EYE by S.E. Culpepper
Rafe Bridges stopped mixing business with pleasure long ago, but when he receives a call from an intriguing cop who needs help searching for an old family friend, he breaks down and takes on the case. With each day that passes, Rafe becomes further fascinated with Jeremy Halliday...but the biggest problem isn't his attraction to the cop or his growing need for him. It's the tiny little detail of Jeremy being straight.

Jeremy isn't as immune to Rafe as he'd like to believe and as they work together, sifting through a case that is more mysterious and dangerous than it seems, Rafe draws away from him. Knowing he might miss out on someone incredible, Jeremy has to figure out what and who he really wants. And soon.

Nothing is black and white anymore.
I liked the investigative aspect of this novel, the storyline is interesting and it has a good climax. The romance is a typical "gay for you" type of romance between a gay PI and a "straight" cop. The romance is developed slowly by the author and these two don't jump each other's bones immediately. Unfortunately for me, there's nothing that really made Private Eye stand out from other similar stories. Grade: C-

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