I gave this book two stars but that is totally based on Goodread's definition of two stars..."it was okay". On a personal scale I'd have given the boo...moreI gave this book two stars but that is totally based on Goodread's definition of two stars..."it was okay". On a personal scale I'd have given the book 3.5 stars.
If you want a book where you ask yourself during each chapter, "Why is he with this prick?", then you'll love this book.
If it doesn't bother you watching a nice person be a total doormat...a leaf in the wind to a self-centered asshole, dig in.
If it doesn't bother you to see a person manipulate a lover with lies and secrets. You should enjoy the book more than I did. By the third time that Colin revealed to Lucien that something huge was gonna happen soon, something he planned and knew about well in advance and then LIED when Lucien asked "Is there more your not telling me?"...by the third time it became a chore to finish this. I did not feel any kind of love connection between these two main characters. I felt that they loved each other as artists...they loved each others work...but each other? No, I felt like they were just settled...like the fires of time had solidified them together.
And the secondary story of James and Adam? WHAT?!?!?! They met, shook hands, Adam sculpted James chest and suddenly they were lovers? Like, "I'm leaving you (James) and Adam my studio" type lovers. Like they had been together for years.
The use of art and firing (kiln) in this story was wonderful. I'd suggest having Google at the ready or go watch some YouTube vids, it could help you understand and visualize what is being talked about.
Sarah Black is a wonderful writer, I LOVED Idaho Pride...I just couldn't get into the characters in this one. (less)
The Letter Z is the third book by Marie Sexton that takes place in Colorado and involves Matt and Jared (Promises) and Zach and Angelo (A to Z). “Sequ...moreThe Letter Z is the third book by Marie Sexton that takes place in Colorado and involves Matt and Jared (Promises) and Zach and Angelo (A to Z). “Sequel to...” “Spin-off of...” In my head I’ve labeled them “the three books from the Coda, Colorado series” One of the dangers of reading a series or “falling in love” with a character is that as the story continues there is a chance that the author can introduce a situation or characteristic that can change the dynamics of what you’ve been enjoying. For me that kinda happened in this book, I’m not as warm and fuzzy about Zach and Angelo. But my love for Matt and Jared has grown.
Promises centered around Matt and Jared. A to Z centered around Zach and Angelo. The Letter Z features both couples and is told from the POV’s of Matt and Angelo in alternating chapters. For those that have read A to Z you will remember that the relationship between Zach and Angelo was in it’s beginning stages...shaky, yet growing...certainly not at a “happily ever after” stage.
At 102 pages Letter Z is a quick, enjoyable and, for me, at times a frustrating read. There was some growth in the relationship of Matt and Jared that I really liked. I’m glad that they are going strong and still learning things about one another. Matt still has tiny bits of the closet that he is shaking off...as a matter of fact there was a comment made toward the end of the book that made me wonder if I was incorrect to assume he is gay, he may actually be bisexual.
Angelo and Zach... Angelo. And. Zach. In this book we see these two settle into their relationship a little further...and this includes setting rules for what the boundaries are when it comes to seeing other people. It would be difficult to talk about their rules without giving too much of their story away so I’ll avoid that. I will say that I’m interested to see what other fans of Marie’s books think of Zach and Angelo’s arrangement. I respect that each couple, straight or gay, has to set their own rules that govern their relationship. I just didn’t walk away from this book thinking these two made the healthiest of choices. We are told it’s a good choice for them. The reasons are laid out. But for me it’s the difference between being told vs. believing. If Zach and Angelo were friends of mine in real life I’d have looked at my partner at the end of this book and said “Poor messes. I give them 3 months.” I’d like to add that I think Jared gets a bum rap in this book...yes, he goes off half-cocked in his accusations but he’s concerned for a friend.
Regardless of what I think of the character’s actions, I continue to enjoy the world Marie has created. The strongest book has been Promises, but A to Z and The Letter Z leave me wanting more. (less)
Wonderful, fun, sexy and romantic...simply a great read.
Being a huge fan of MM historical romances I am often overly critical of these types of storie...moreWonderful, fun, sexy and romantic...simply a great read.
Being a huge fan of MM historical romances I am often overly critical of these types of stories. It’s easy for an author to take a “straight” storyline, change the female to male and present a MM romance. This book does not suffer from that problem. This story is told with respect to male characteristics, appreciation of the era and wonderful use of language.
Alan Watleigh is a physically and emotionally damaged war vet. He’s in a very dark place and decides he’s going to take his own life. While he is out one evening he sees Jem, a street whore, and on a whim asks him to come home. I didn’t get the sense that he planned to find himself some companionship...I think it was more a twist of fate. Jem is an attractive, street-smart, young man with a wicked sense of humor and a very clear view of the world around him. He is not unhappy doing what he does...he’s not exactly proud of it, but he has a very healthy acceptance of his situation. Their one night together leads to Alan offering Jem a position in his home and from there an attraction grows.
Think you’ve heard this story before? Or at least something similar to it? Perhaps. But I feel confident saying that you’ll feel like it’s completely unique.
Bonnie and Dee have a very skilled way of presenting characters without loading you down with too many details. You can feel that Alan is in a dark place without a wheelbarrow of sad details being dumped on you. His experiences in war are given, but not played up for shock. Jem’s history is presented to the reader organically, through character conversations rather than paragraph dumps.
Both authors have a wonderful way of using language. I’ve read several books where an author tries to put on paper the accent they have for a character in their head and it just didn’t work. Jem’s cockney accent is consistent and easy to follow...it’s as much a part of the character as knowing the color of his eyes or how tall he is.
The attraction that develops between the two, while predictable (of course), didn’t feel forced. The sex scenes were hot and descriptive.
There is a second storyline which opens the door for a little adventure as well as a change of scenery...a chance for the boys to leave London. I enjoyed this portion and I’ll only add one comment. There was an event that took place that could have been so cliché I actually said out loud “Oh God, ladies. Please I hope he doesn’t ______” and thankfully, he didn’t.
Excellent read. Beautiful. I've never read anything by M. King before but if this is any indication of her quality, I'm all in.
King creates powerful t...moreExcellent read. Beautiful. I've never read anything by M. King before but if this is any indication of her quality, I'm all in.
King creates powerful thoughts in her characters...contemplations of heaven and hell, of humanity, of damnation and forgiveness.
Prior to the casting out of rebellious angels and Lucifer, Hael and Xaphan were lovers in heaven. Hael was content being an angel while Xahpan wondered why they shouldn't be given the same benefit that God gave humans...the benefit of choice and free will.
Xaphan is a classic bad boy. In one scene he and Hael are in the Garden of Eden after Adam and Eve have been cast out. They make love under the Tree of Knowledge and Xaphan playfully picks up a piece of fruit and attempts to take a bite. This action and Heal's reaction give a good glimpse into the type of characters they are...all in a few short paragraphs.
Both characters long for the other, each placing blame on the other as well as God's inability to offer forgiveness, something he gives so freely to even the worst human.
Each has had several millennium to consider the actions of the other. Xaphan is haunted by the image of his lover standing there, mute, while judgment is passed on him, his wings removed and cast from heaven. Hael is troubled by Xaphan's willingness to destroy all to get what he wants, as well to a betrayal he feels that God can't forgive those that he cast down.
Caught between the battle that heaven and hell are having Xaphan and Hael are after souls. One collecting them, the other protecting.
They finally meet each other once again by a chance encounter over one human's soul.
I loved reading this book. I'm a big fan of angels and demons created in a dark and gritty world. King uses language to her advantage and several times I paused to digest the thought she had presented..."Why couldn't God do..." "Why are humans like..."
The sex scene is erotic and beautiful...it almost invites you to ignore the page and add to the beauty in your head.
This is a very short read, just 50 pages. But well worth the few dollars you'll pay.
Another reviewer labeled the main characters in this story as flat and I would agree with that.
We really don't learn anything about them beyond the th...moreAnother reviewer labeled the main characters in this story as flat and I would agree with that.
We really don't learn anything about them beyond the their main character traits - 1) Lucas has a deep-seeded fear based on a horrible attack he suffered and a asshole bf who didn't stick with him as he healed, therefore making him fearful of being hurt 2) Nick loves Lucas.
I would have loved to have known more about them.
The overall story was enjoyable and it kept my attention, but I really wanted a better connection to the characters.(less)
Promises tells the story of two lonely people who have caused their own solitude. It’s not a totally stifling solitude; both the main characters are v...morePromises tells the story of two lonely people who have caused their own solitude. It’s not a totally stifling solitude; both the main characters are very active and socially healthy individual. It’s the type of loneliness that happens when people put up barriers in their own lives.
Both characters are in their own sort of closet. Matt is a classic closet case, placed there by pressures from family and society. He’s already been giving serious thought to where he is in his life and when he meets Jared it forces him to deal with what his true heart desires. Jared is openly gay but does his best to fly under the radar. When people whisper about him he ignores it. He knows what it means to live in a small town and be openly gay…even if you’re not what most people would consider “the stereotypical gay”. Jared’s closet is self-imposed for the most part. He ignores his teaching certification because he’s sure that nobody would want a gay teacher in a small town. He wants a man in his life so he won’t be lonely, but when he gets one will he be ready to actually be seen as a gay man in a relationship?
I enjoyed this book a lot. If it ends up not being on my 2010 Best MM Romance list then I’ll be shocked and a little excited…because that means I’m in for some pretty good reading this year.
There are plenty of sexually charged, tender and descriptive sex scenes in this book, but nothing overly graphic. Marie Sexton does an excellent job putting you in the moment. When a nervous first kiss is about to happen, when Jared is possibly going to make a pass that could be shot down, you feel the tension and hesitance.
There is drama in the book and what some would consider a “soapy” element, but it’s written well and the book flows quickly.
Matt’s slow progression from the closet and Jared’s saint like patience, as well as his own insecurities make both of these characters real, interesting and likeable. I know so many gay men like them.
I hope that Marie Sexton writes more books. I will not hesitate to purchase the next thing with her name on it.