**spoiler alert** If you've ever watched the TV series "Queer as Folk," this book has a real familiar vibe/basic premise: Older professional guy (Matt...more**spoiler alert** If you've ever watched the TV series "Queer as Folk," this book has a real familiar vibe/basic premise: Older professional guy (Matthew) saves high school kid (Lucas) from street thugs, then takes him home and proceeds to introduce the youngster to all the joys of gay sex. Matthew is emotionally closed-off and totally uninterested in having any kind of relationship with another man, let alone the kid he picked up. Luckily, Lucas is pretty persistent in his affections and, over time, manages to worm his way into Matthew's reluctant affections. (Only, will Matthew ever admit it?) But that's just the basics.
What made this book so great for me, was that unlike many MM Romance selections, this novel really focused on plot and character development. (All sex was implied/off-screen, FYI.) The POV switched back and forth between Matthew and Lucas, which I don't always like, but in this case, I thought worked pretty well. I like hearing both sides of the story - it allows the reader to really connect with the characters and to understand both their strengths and weaknesses. I found myself laughing with them, hurting for them, and even crying over them at times. The point is, I really felt for them.
Another device used in this novel were flashbacks from Matthew's past (thus explaining the "Time Past" portion of the title). Present-day Matthew is professionally successful, true. But on a personal level, he is closed-off, angry, and generally emotionally screwed-up. (A la "Brian" from "Queer as Folk" - sorry I can't help comparing.) Anyway, Matthew's flashbacks serve to show you how he got that way. Often times with flashbacks, I find myself skipping through, more interested in the present-day story line. However in this case, I found the "Time Past" to be just as fascinating and enlightening as the "Time Present." The flashbacks add a huge depth of character for Matthew that you don't often see in romantic fiction.
**SPOILER AHEAD RE: ENDING OF THE NOVEL** My only big complaint about this book is how it ended. Not that it ended badly or anything. It ended "happily" I suppose, with the two main characters (Lucas and Matthew) being reunited, and with a sort of implied promise of reconciliation. But it was all so abrupt!! Matthew and Lucas's final scene is only a page long...and then you're like, wait, is that it?? At least I wish there had been an epilogue or something!! But no!! I ended up looking around online for some sort of sequel to the story, but I couldn't find anything at all about the author except this one single book being sold. No author website or info or anything that I could find. What a shame! **SPOILER SECTION DONE**
So in sum, I loved the book. I thought it was great, well-developed, and emotionally engaging. Read it!
I wanted to like this book, I really did. It's a sweet story idea: two best friends, one "straight" and one gay, temporarily move in together and slow...moreI wanted to like this book, I really did. It's a sweet story idea: two best friends, one "straight" and one gay, temporarily move in together and slowly discover romantic feelings for each other. However, that one sentence pretty much sums up everything that happens in the book. It's as simple (and boring) as just that.
I suppose I have come to enjoy a little more drama/angst/action/something with my reading, and this book just didn't deliver. The migraine and shoulder injury referenced in the book blurb play no real part in the plot except as a device to force the two men together at the start of the book. The development of the relationship that ensues seems totally improbable. (What straight "ladies' man" sleeps and cuddles in bed with his best friend, casually runs his fingers through his hair, and supposedly has never had any attraction toward men before in his life??) When the "straight" character, Trace, begins to experience and explore his romantic feelings toward his friend David, there is almost zero angst or worry involved. Don't get me wrong, I'm not usually a huge fan of angsty characters; I'm just trying to point out that there's absolutely no source of conflict to be had in this book.
Another gripe I can't help but register is the constantly switching POV from one character to the other. Switching POV from paragraph to paragraph is bad enough, but here it switches from sentence to sentence at times, making the reading jarring and confusing when trying to figure out who's talking. This may not be a problem for everyone, but it drives me up the wall.
The potential pluses for this novel are that it's simple, light, has a sweet/feel-good quality, and is quick to read. So if that's what you want, go for it.
With all that said, the bottom line is that the book is ok for passing the time, but honestly, I probably wouldn't recommend it to a friend.(less)
WHAT??!? THAT'S THE END??!? NOOOOOOOOOO!!! GIMME THE NEXT BOOK NOW!!
So I bought this book ages ago and finally got around to reading it today. And wel...moreWHAT??!? THAT'S THE END??!? NOOOOOOOOOO!!! GIMME THE NEXT BOOK NOW!!
So I bought this book ages ago and finally got around to reading it today. And well, if you can't tell, I really enjoyed it and want the next one in my hands, like right now. (I'm not exactly known for my ability to be patient.) What can I say? I love me some teen gay romance -- all the angst and first love and coming-out and homophobia issues -- I can't help myself! It's great stuff.
Unfortunately though, it sounds like I've got until May 2011 to wait for the sequel, where hopefully we'll find out what happens with our young characters. (The series got picked up by Dreamspinner, so this is getting re-released, and the sequel won't come out until some time after that. Check out the author's recent blog update here.)
Oh well. Congrats to the author on getting picked up by Dreamspinner! I, for one, can't wait to see what comes next.
EDIT (5/23/11): Wow, I just saw the new Dreamspinner cover art for the first time. SERIOUSLY?!??! I don't know who is in charge of designing this crap (one of the editor's 12 year old daughter playing around on Photoshop??), but it kind of makes me want to cry a little. Personally, I thought the cover on the original self-published version was 10000% more appealing.
What a fantastic novel! It's unusual, for sure (I didn't even know there was such a thing as "furry erotica"), but I personally found the anthropomorp...moreWhat a fantastic novel! It's unusual, for sure (I didn't even know there was such a thing as "furry erotica"), but I personally found the anthropomorphic worldview to be refreshingly endearing. The characters may be animals, but they are engaging and well-rounded, and their lives and feelings are just as heart-breakingly human as anyone else's.
But what makes this novel great isn't that it's unusual; it's great because the characters and relationships portrayed are so universally relatable. Everyone wants to fall in love, and everyone who does will struggle through good times and bad. We may not all be able to relate to a fox and tiger in a gay relationship, or to a closeted football player struggling to define himself -- but most people can understand the challenges and sacrifices inherent to a romantic relationship, the joy and wonder at finding someone to love, the personal pressures we feel from family, the struggle and desire to define oneself and find acceptance in the world, and the prejudices and betrayals that can make all this so difficult. Kyell Gold takes a couple of unusual characters -- a football playing tiger and a proud to be Out, cross-dressing fox -- and makes them into very real and utterly compelling individuals. Out of Position is one of those rare m/m romances with real depth, and with an author whose excellent writing skills can bring it all to life.
Bottom Line: One of the most enjoyable books I've read in a long time. Great writing, compelling characters, and beautiful artwork make this an extra-special treat. Sequel to come, Jan 2011.(less)
Completely unrealistic storyline and dialogue. Reads like it was written by a 15 year old fangirl. Also, don't be fooled by the "85 page" length - the...moreCompletely unrealistic storyline and dialogue. Reads like it was written by a 15 year old fangirl. Also, don't be fooled by the "85 page" length - the type and spacing are humongous.
Now, with that said, I'll also say that the sequel to this book, To Keep and to Love, is about 10 times longer and 10 times better written in comparison. (I actually accidentally read the sequel first.) So if you want to give this author a try, I'd recommend skipping this one and trying something that she's written more recently instead.(less)
Oh yes, this series hits all my buttons. In-the-closet homicide detective dates out-and-proud high school teacher. Throw in a couple of kids, a serial...moreOh yes, this series hits all my buttons. In-the-closet homicide detective dates out-and-proud high school teacher. Throw in a couple of kids, a serial killer on the loose, and a little potential coming-out-of-the-closet drama...well, let's just say it's like Christmas for me here. But what makes it all work is the execution: good writing, good characterizations, good pacing, good use of sex to further the plot. It's all good.
Bottom Line: If you like cop/crime dramas, this is great. If you like men with kids, this is great. Actually, I'll just go ahead and say that everything I've read from this author is great.(less)
Had trouble feeling connected to the main characters or their romance. Very much got the "you are the only gay man in town, so let's shack up" vibe. N...moreHad trouble feeling connected to the main characters or their romance. Very much got the "you are the only gay man in town, so let's shack up" vibe. Never felt like I really knew Gary or Chuck as people or why they were even attracted to each other let alone why they fell in love. Also, the ending is a bit abrupt.
However, despite all that, I did think it was a generally enjoyable read. I liked the secondary character Talley the best of anyone; he was actually quite amusing. I also liked the music angle - the fact that it wasn't the typical rocker band you see in m/m books. (It was bluegrass!!)(less)