It was hopeful, and joyful, and playful, and wonderful; just something I was really needing.
James was not exactly broken, but in a place where he coul...moreIt was hopeful, and joyful, and playful, and wonderful; just something I was really needing.
James was not exactly broken, but in a place where he couldn't seem to see a silver lining anywhere in his life, except for his dog Marlowe, and maybe, I think, his student Sophie (who I absolutely love; she's who I aspired to be in high school and college, but with a sharper edge to her.)
I didn't get quite as much a feel for Rafael, probably because the whole story was told from James's POV, but that's ok -- there was enough of him through Sophie's eyes to get a sense of him.
And I would have loved to see more of some of the supporting characters -- especially, Rafael's sister Liliana, and his Noni with her tarot cards.
So, yeah -- James learns to trust and love again, and how to show it in a big way. Rafael gets a Grand Gesture that he seems to need. And they both get to be together. What could be better?(less)
In "The One That Got Away" we only saw Elliot as the kid brother of Jim's childhood friend, and a guy who Michael saw as kind of a rival for Jim's tim...moreIn "The One That Got Away" we only saw Elliot as the kid brother of Jim's childhood friend, and a guy who Michael saw as kind of a rival for Jim's time and attention. He seemed kind of shallow and not too bright. Jamie, however, was a friend of Michael's, as well as his therapist; the guy who helped him get his shit together and figure out what he wanted and needed from a relationship, and that he needed all of that from Jim.
In "The One That Was Lost," Jamie kind of starts out thinking that same way about Elliot, but as he helps El overcome a pretty traumatic incident, and spends time with him just as a friend, Elliot becomes a little deeper and stronger (not that he wasn't, but it becomes apparent.) He's also starting to grow up. He's still living with Michael and Jim, and seeing them together, while he hates the sugar-coma, is giving him a picture of what a long-term relationship can be. And he's seeing what it's like to trust and respect the person you're with, rather than indulging in a series of no-trust, quickie encounters.
Of course they have their issues, since Jamie's quite a bit further along the growing-up scale; he's always known he wants a permanent partnership, and he manages to convince himself that Elliot can't and won't ever want the same thing. As with the previous book in the series, a lot of unhappiness would be avoided by one of the guys saying "Just think about me as a long-term relationship prospect, ok?"(less)
Of the two guys in this story, I really truly liked Jim the best, although I related more to Michael in most ways. Michael is sweet, but the kind of p...moreOf the two guys in this story, I really truly liked Jim the best, although I related more to Michael in most ways. Michael is sweet, but the kind of person who gets more attractive as you get to know him better, rather than the kind of guy who just knocks you out cold at first glance. A lot of that, of course, is confidence; as he grows more sure of himself, he becomes more the type of guy who others look at and see as hot. Jim is just plain hot -- and also smart, funny, kind...and Michael's roommate. So when Michael is brutally dumped, who better to try to cheer him up, right?
Except that they've both been kind of in love with each other for a couple of years, but neither has really realized that. And by the time Jim figures it out, he's in way deep, and is kinda freaked out by it. Michael knows something's up, and rather than just *ask* Jim (not that Jim would have told him) he runs as far and as fast as he can.
So what made this book and what I disliked about it are, actually, the same thing, in a weird and random twist of life. I love that Michael feels the need, finally, to confront Jim about what happened between them that took them from happily shacked-up-but-definitely-NOT-a-relationship-thankyouverymuch to OMGrunrunrun... What I hate is that it was necessary. But Michael was so hung up on the idiot that wrecked his plans that he couldn't see Jim as anything but a convenience; couldn't even wonder that they spent three months exclusively together, and for a casual relationship, Jim seemed surprisingly ok with that. And Jim couldn't take the potential rejection he feared if he just told Michael how he was feeling. And, ok, I get that; when you have what you want most, you don't want to lose it because you want it too much, but... Dude. In this case, he ended up just losing it, anyway. At least if he'd said something, even just, "Look, I know we said this would be just casual, but the truth is, I'd really really like it if it weren't. And I'd really appreciate if you'd, y'know, think about whether or not you could be happy having a real relationship, like long-term, with me." Just months of angst might have been avoided.
On the other hand, all that angst-ing introduced us to David and Russell, and Russell's son Jamie, so new friends! and another book!(less)
The truth is, I haven't really figured out how exactly I feel about this one. I didn't really like either Stefano or Silvio to begin with. Honestly, I...moreThe truth is, I haven't really figured out how exactly I feel about this one. I didn't really like either Stefano or Silvio to begin with. Honestly, I'm not sure I like either of them, really, still. Although they're starting to grow on me; Silvio especially. I guess I'll reserve judgement until I read the next installment, at least. (And I'd really like to see more of Donata; I wanna see if she's the kind of girl I like or not. That's definitely going to have an impact on which way I lean.) I do like how torn Stefano seems to be between his feelings for Donata and his visceral reaction to Silvio.(less)
M/M shapeshifters from the author of Soulless. This short was a quick, easy, fun read, showing the sense of humor I loved from Soulless. It's set in c...moreM/M shapeshifters from the author of Soulless. This short was a quick, easy, fun read, showing the sense of humor I loved from Soulless. It's set in current-day US rather than a steampunk-y Victorian England, which was an interesting change (and, yeah, I kinda missed Gail's London, but this particular group of weres more than made up for it. Highly enjoyed!(less)
OK, what worked for me: The MCs, Eddie and Nate, were nicely characterized. I felt like I could get to know them and be friendly wi...moremake that 4.5 stars
OK, what worked for me: The MCs, Eddie and Nate, were nicely characterized. I felt like I could get to know them and be friendly with them (which is always a plus). I like that Eddie was able to grow believably on-screen (as it were) without it taking up a lot of space, although there's a part of me that wishes he'd had more space, while acknowledging that would have taken away from the main romance.
And, OMG, when Eddie finally got to tell his ex off for being a prick? I loved it! It was perfect! Snarky, and mean, but not so mean as to make you feel less sympathy for Eddie. Very "just telling it like it is, man!"
I love that there's just enough place description to give a feel for the setting, without being so detailed it borders on infodump. More detail might be appropriate for a longer story, but in that case it can be dribbled out, which isn't the case here. Ethan's really good at painting a picture with just a couple of bold, well-placed sentences, using minimal details to evoke the feel of a place without weighing down the narrative. (Which I might be doing here, but I'm ok with that.)
(view spoiler)[And there was definitely a wrench in my heart when Nate had to leave Eddie the first time, and even more of one when they met the second time on the job, and Eddie said "No." Then when they finally get together for real, and Nate explains why he was cheating -- and, well, it made it feel less like cheating, to be honest. I mean, Nate's marriage was one of convenience, for the sake of a dear friend's health, and both of them (Nate & his wife) know the score about Nate's sexuality, and she even TOLD him she was ok with him finding a guy for his emotional/physical needs, but he still felt guilty about doing it! So heart-wringing! (hide spoiler)]
Things that were...well, not so great: Nate was cheating. Which, if you read my spoiler-y bit above, he really kind of wasn't, but still kind of was. That's tough ground to tread, emotionally. But it was pulled off well.
The pool table scene: Just wasn't as hot as I could've hoped -- think it's one that would be improved by more screen time. I don't play, but I enjoy the by-play, and I think pool tends to be more of a long tease when it's used as foreplay. So that was fun, but not AS fun as I think it maybe could have been.
Overall, an excellent way to spend a few minutes, and the perfect length to read while waiting for my bread to rise!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I "read" this dozens of times as a small child, and now I've read it to my kids even more times, and it just never gets old! It's fun to pretend to ge...moreI "read" this dozens of times as a small child, and now I've read it to my kids even more times, and it just never gets old! It's fun to pretend to get more and more agitated along with Grover as the little ones turn the pages to the not-so-surprise ending.(less)
I will be honest; I haven't actually successfully managed to make anything from this book (not that I've tried particularly hard) but I find it incred...moreI will be honest; I haven't actually successfully managed to make anything from this book (not that I've tried particularly hard) but I find it incredibly entertaining (and maybe even a little enlightening) to read. (less)