This short story, about a veteran recovering from an injury and his old flame, had a lot going for it. I found Craig's character interesting and engagThis short story, about a veteran recovering from an injury and his old flame, had a lot going for it. I found Craig's character interesting and engaging; he was going through a lot of turmoil, struggling to deal with his new condition and try to find his place in the world, both through the story and before it.
Zach was less filled out to me, for some reason. He seemed more vanilla, more cardboard...not that he was a bad character, just that he was less important and less of a focus than Craig. I wish there had been more characterization of him, more time spent on his motivations and getting to know him.
My main niggle with this story was a technical issue, not something about the story itself. This was written with a somewhat shifty POV. It's told mostly from Craig's perspective, but it sometimes wafts over to Zach, and even once over to a park ranger friend, all without warning or fanfare. It also shifts back and forth unpredictably, enough that it was jarring for me. If this bothers you, be wary, but it's generally subtle enough that more casual readers might not even notice it (assuming they haven't read this first, of course... :)).
That said, it is a very sweet, interesting story, with a pretty solid HFN ending, an indication of something starting between these two characters....more
Overall, a good read and a cute story of "opposites attract". I really liked Davy, and grew to like Gavin despite some of his quirks. Though I'm sureOverall, a good read and a cute story of "opposites attract". I really liked Davy, and grew to like Gavin despite some of his quirks. Though I'm sure most people are automatically charmed by the bad-boy player type, I was just suspicious, and despite some of thoughtless ways he hurts Davy over the course of this story, I did come to like him and appreciate their relationship.
My only niggle with this story is in the storytelling. Time seems to flow in fits and starts, and they seems to become friends and then switch to more rather quickly, despite the longer sections describing each stage. I did like the cast of characters, though (view spoiler)[I felt that Nate's sub-story was obvious and a little weak in how it was told, which made him hard to like (hide spoiler)]. In particular, I loved Ray and Oliver, at least the idea of them, though Oliver felt a little flat at times. (view spoiler)[The subplot with Gavin's mother also felt a little tacked on, and just a way to create the rift between Davy and Gavin as well as give them a kid for the "loving gay family" ending. (hide spoiler)]
The sex scenes were pretty good, but I felt like they took up too much of the real estate of the book for me, more half "sexy times" and half story, whereas I think a better balances is 1/4 sexy, 3/4 story and plot. Can't win them all, I guess... :D
If you enjoy the bad boy/good boy dynamic, the jock/geek dynamic, or they shy/confident dynamic this is definitely one you should try out. Also, if you like stories with kids, or stories with some decent secondary characters, you should give this a try.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
If you've read some of Mary Calmes' work before, the way this story reads should not come as much of a surprise. Her traditional methods of storytelliIf you've read some of Mary Calmes' work before, the way this story reads should not come as much of a surprise. Her traditional methods of storytelling (nested flashbacks, mental tangents, sometimes awkward dialogue conversations, etc.) are still there, love 'em or irritated by 'em, so be forewarned if you don't care for her style.
That said, I generally don't mind them, and find her stuff rather fun to read, not too deep and thought-provoking, but not entirely fluff either. Floodgates fits into that theme; you have a cast of characters that fall somewhere between 2D and 3D, and interact in ways that are fun and engaging but not too earth-shattering.
I did have a few quibbles with this story. Knowing how Calmes' works usually go, I guess I shouldn't have been surprised by this, but I was disappointed somewhat in the switchover from "enemies" to "lovers" that happens between the love interests in the middle of the book.
We spend a good chunk of time at the beginning of the book setting up the characters of Tracy and Cord, and their cadre of friends and acquaintances, as well as the conflict that separates them now, mainly that Tracy thinks Cord is a slut due to how he seems to use and throw away the men in his life. A previous encounter between the two started Tracy's perception down this road, and nothing that he's seen seems to have changed this.
Suddenly, however, we are expected to believe that Tracy is going to throw away all of the thoughts, fears, and beliefs he's had over the last 5 years because he finds out that Cord might actually truly want him back, and may have changed. Not much thought behind it, he switches from his faith in Cord's sluttiness to pretty much absolute certainty that they are a "forever" couple. Without the structures that can support that (such as lifemates/bonded/etc. in works that deal with supernatural forces, such as werewolves), I just didn't buy it.
That main issue aside, I did enjoy them. Tracy's ex Breckin is a cad of the worst sort, and it is both entertaining and frustrating to watch their interactions play out. Tracy is all too trusting (which might lead to why he instantly trusts Cord), and (view spoiler)[his increasing number of revealed indiscretions makes me wonder how much more we don't see that he lied about. (hide spoiler)] But when Tracy and Cord get going, it's also very entertaining to see them bicker and maneuver around each other.
If you like Calmes' previous works, pick this up. If you're looking for something entertaining and a little fluffy, this is probably also a good fit for you, but be warned, there are some structures of Calmes' works that might be off-putting if you're not familiar with her writing style.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Very sweet. This story had a lot of things that I loved...an introverted and sweet main character, a large family, some emotion and angst, and the warVery sweet. This story had a lot of things that I loved...an introverted and sweet main character, a large family, some emotion and angst, and the warm feelings evoked by holidays.
Calvin is really sweet, and I totally related to his feelings through most of the story. His emotional turmoil over coming out, and dealing with a large family as an introvert, are very similar to my own experience. His boyfriend, Philip, is amazing and wonderful in all the best ways, and I love how supportive he is for Calvin, despite his subtle frustration with keeping their relation hidden for so long.
All in all, a good story, and while it might sound a little fluffy, there's quite a bit of meat in there...my only complaint is that I wish we had gotten to know the family a little more, but with a short story that can be hard. :)...more
Sweet story about two athletes who find each other in the midst of a match. I liked both characters, and the hints of other issues (class problems, tySweet story about two athletes who find each other in the midst of a match. I liked both characters, and the hints of other issues (class problems, typical male misunderstandings, etc.) were well-balanced and believable. Highly recommended for a short, sweet read....more