I've been quite remiss in my Amy Lane reading recently (not to mention also Mary's books, and my Fridays and SatuReview posted at The Armchair Reader.
I've been quite remiss in my Amy Lane reading recently (not to mention also Mary's books, and my Fridays and Saturdays have been very lonely with no Author Backlist Reviews), and I didn't have much time this week, but… I've been meaning to read this Christmas short forever! I read Amy's story for this year's Dreamspinner Advent collection, Turkey in the Snow and loved it, but I've still been meaning to read this one, so I thought now is the perfect time to drag it out, right?
It was! Charming as always, Amy really got to me with Kit's character. When he becomes friends with his new (and hunky) assistant Jesse and wishes that he could join in on a basketball game, he decides it's time to get in shape. Kit has terrible self-esteem, not only from the extra weight he carries, but also because of his mother's terrible treatment his whole life -- yet another reason he's not come out and a virgin pushing 30. He still lives at home because he's scared to leave her alone. But when he buys a DVD of a workout with Danny Fit (a hunky and [maybe?] gay workout superstar), his whole life starts to change for the better. Hopefully, that includes Jesse.
The best thing about Amy's stories are the characters, and while I could say the quirky writing, that still goes back to the characters because somehow that voice always seems to work perfectly with their characters. Kit is no different. For all his perceived flaws, he's a wonderful character simply because he's the best of what we, as a society, see as worthless. It is the perfect story for this time of year, when we want everything to be tied up in a cute little bow and reading about it happening (in a completely non-cheesy way, so I thought) was perfect. I can't believe I put off reading this for so long!
So, if like me, you find that you've still not read this a full two years after it's release, please go and get it now. It's heartwarming and cute and you'll fall in love with this couple. Another treat from the incomparable Ms. Lane....more
This was the first time that I'd ever listened to an audiobook. So,Review posted at The Armchair Reader.
**Note: Review is for the audiobook version**
This was the first time that I'd ever listened to an audiobook. So, I don't have any comparison, but I had been worried initially about a few things. First, the narrators's voice; and second, my ability to pay attention, especially while driving. On the second count, I have a history of zoning out while people are talking. I'm a visual person, and ask any lecture professor I had about me and they'd confirm this while gnashing their teeth. I shouldn't have been worried, though. If you've never heard Jim Bowie speak, the man has a very high, cultured voice with a subtle British lilt that is very smooth. At first, it was a little jarring, but most of that was my getting used to listening to the words in the first place when my own in-my-head narration sound so different. Later, I realized that his accent and particular diction is quite suited to some stories, but maybe not others (more on that in the next review). It worked for me in this story, though some of the voices he did were a little strange, particularly for the women and children.
The story is set just before Christmas in a small Midwestern town, where the narrator Jordan who is an ER nurse, has been dragged to see The Nutcracker, where his little niece is playing a mouse. He's enthralled by a gorgeous man who dances beautifully, even though he knows nothing about ballet. When he sees him later in the ER and the man doesn't have anyone to take care of him, his nurturing nature (as well as his sexual one) comes out to make sure the man has the care he needs.
I'm not new to Diana Copland's writing, but I might have enjoyed this a little more if I had read this before her most recent book, A Reason to Believe, which was better all around. Still, this was the perfect kind of book to listen to on a long drive -- it is sweet with no angst and the Christmas setting and the ballet interest were refreshing and light. The book does have a bit of a middle complex, where the beginning skips to the end and unfortunately that made the romance take a giant leap of faith. I wouldn't call it insta-love, but it's also a matter of opinion. The plot doesn't allow for there to be an ending without read, serious and lasting feelings, so the lack of a middle where those things grow bothered me quite a bit....more