As noted in my review for Poppy Dennison's Mind Magic, I'm new to the M-M erotic fantasy romance subgenre. However, I've now read three in as many dayAs noted in my review for Poppy Dennison's Mind Magic, I'm new to the M-M erotic fantasy romance subgenre. However, I've now read three in as many days.
I liked all three, but wasn't entirely kind to the genre in my previous review, noting that on the basis of the first two examples I'd read, one common feature seemed to be horribly written stilted dialog -- though I also said that I found the characterizations largely well-done, and that the genre was likely a new guilty pleasure.
I should have known better than to make snap judgments based on only two examples. Kim Fielding's Good Bones was an unconditional pleasure to read, not just a guilty one. Her dialog feels real, like something people actually say and not just prose written inside quotation marks. One thing it did have in common with the other two examples was that it was an extremely quick read (a single sitting this afternoon), but that's not altogether a complaint.
Fielding does a fantastic job at bringing her characters to life. Not only Dylan and Chris, the protagonists, but Dylan's brother and sister-in-law were fully fleshed out, believable people; I know real people just like all four of these characters, and the world they inhabit is the same one I do, except for the werewolves. Oh, and speaking of those, Fielding's werewolves felt to me much more like real wolves, much more what I want from werewolves in fiction, than the mind-speaking, instant-mating, human-minds-in-wolf-bodies nearly everyone else writes. Kudos for that.
Even Fielding's antagonist, Andy, is complicated and three-dimensional. There's a poignancy to his villainy, which villainy itself is almost accidental and offering subtle shades of gray.
In terms of Dylan and Chris's relationship, too, its progression, doubts, hesitations, missteps, all were quite believable. I've had relationships that remind me of theirs, and I found myself oddly moved (if often exasperated, though that's also true to life) by this romance that felt far-less melodramatic than I'd come to expect....more
A gay man and a specfic fan, somehow I've missed out on the M-M erotic fantasy romance subgenre up to now, but now have read two in as many days, withA gay man and a specfic fan, somehow I've missed out on the M-M erotic fantasy romance subgenre up to now, but now have read two in as many days, with at least one more already waiting on my Kindle. If these first two -- of which Dennison's Mind Magic is one and J.L. Langley's Without Reservations the other -- are representative, then the genre seems to exhibit a few commonalities (besides the expected unbelievably gorgeous perfect bodies, lots of angst and drama, love at first sight, and more sex between the protagonists than one finds in a San Francisco gay bar back room): extremely quick reads (I read this one in a single relatively short sitting) and some of the most painfully stilted dialogue ever.
That latter complaint notwithstanding, I must confess that these books may have become my newest guilty pleasure, though the fact that they read so darn quickly keeps me from feeling quite as much guilt as I otherwise might had they taken me more than a couple of hours to read, since it's hard to consider a waste something I've spent less time on than I would in a typical nightly bout playing Diablo III, say.
So, uncomfortably badly written dialogue aside, I actually found the stories, the settings and the character development reasonably good. The plots obviously are secondary to the romance and sex, and even though the bad guys and their motivations seem to be painfully obvious and transparent, the books to my surprise and slight chagrin nonetheless have engaged me -- and, to be honest, have quickened my pulse and breathing more than once. ...more
**spoiler alert** I'd really like to have given this more stars. I liked the first book in this series, and found in it some novel approaches to conte**spoiler alert** I'd really like to have given this more stars. I liked the first book in this series, and found in it some novel approaches to contemporary urban fantasy. Moreover, I thought the story, world-building and characterization were far better in this, the second. But, unfortunately, I just couldn't get past feeling that I was reading a book that was fairly unimaginative soft-core porn first and novel, imaginative urban fantasy only secondarily.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not a prude. I appreciate well-written sex scenes. But the sex should enhance the story and characterization. Overall, for me, this time around the sex just became too predictable and really quite boring for me, and added nothing to my understanding of the characters. About two-thirds of the way through this book, it began to feel as though every other scene was a sex scene (I'm not referring to the rape scenes, though, which while disturbing did at least advance the plot and led to some dramatic and emotional writing, and the ramifications of which led to some important character choices and development). ...more