My thoughts on reviewing first: 1. I don't think one can have the same expectations for a novella / quickie as a full length story. There can't be theMy thoughts on reviewing first: 1. I don't think one can have the same expectations for a novella / quickie as a full length story. There can't be the same world building or character development etc... That'd not to say one shouldn't expect any depth. 2. I think within the m/m genre that a majority of the shorts are relationship intensive and thus usually heavy on the sex. This is where I feel publishers and big book sellers like Amazon do buyers a disservice. Those that cater to the the romance buyer, like ARE or Ellora's as just two examples, often have heat indexes. That way a buyer knows the emphasis on sex when buying. If I buy a 75 pg book with 5 flames, then basically I know I'm buying at best PWP (Porn with Plot). I can understand how a seller like Amazon that sells literally everything can't do that, so it falls on the publisher to make those things clear in its description both the shortness and heat level. Because besides price, that is often the only thing many buyers look at when making decisions.
Now on to the specific story.
This is a very well written short story. The writing and story telling are above average in comparison to others within m/m of the same length. The authors do an amazing job of establishing a really strong connection between the two m/c's very quickly. They make you feel it and see it. They don't just tell you how close the two are to each other. I would not suggest this story, no matter how beautiful it is, unless someone was in the mood for a lot of HOT man on man love; which I freely admit is the main reason I often read m/m and find the heat ratings so important. I want to read a story with the heat level to match my mood, so I'm not disappointed in a story about something it was never meant to be. This is one seriously hot little story.
This book has been sitting in my TBR pile for years. I believe I've had it since it possibly came out. I tend to avoid m/m stories with Priests, Rabbis, Monks, Imams, or other similar such themes no matter which religion, so it's taking me a long while to take this one on. I was PLEASANTLY surprised to see these authors were never dismissive or confrontational about a Priests vows, nor did they have him drown in anguish and guilt. He understood his churches beliefs. He also understood he couldn't stay in the priesthood, but what he knew most about his relationship with Christ was the emphasis on love and honesty followed by forgiveness and commitments. They handled this very difficult area in such a short story without vilifying one side and by showing how someone with two apparently mutually exclusive deeply held beliefs could possibly come to terms without completely losing either....more
Objectively I felt the story deserved 4 stars for the writing and plot. But personally, I would not rate it as high. I read almost solely for escapismObjectively I felt the story deserved 4 stars for the writing and plot. But personally, I would not rate it as high. I read almost solely for escapism. I'm one of those who wants that HEA / HFN endings. To a certain degree this book gives the reader hope / glimpse into a possibly happy future but not in the traditional sense. On that note, this story was a little too dark for me. I don't want to finish a story being sad or feeling like real life has intruded upon my fairy tale. Yet, the story kept me intrigued. The details of the setting were rich, and I did feel as though I learned some interesting cultural / historical facts within the reading. Overall, I'm glad I read it. I was surprised by the ending with the relationship being a little more resolved than I had expected. The story is definitely more focused on relationships even though the story is fueled by betrayal and intrigue. For those not on or at least not firmly on the HFN bandwagon, I would most definitely recommend. I also feel those who appreciate flawed main characters who find ways to overcome will appreciate this story. If you read m/m for lots of hot sex and/or romance then this is not your book....more