ElaineY's Reviews > Acts of Passion

Acts of Passion by Sedonia Guillone
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Jun 21, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: mm, romantic-suspense
Read from June 21 to 24, 2010

Michael is part Japanese, part Italian. When Jack, the detective handling the murder case, first meets Michael, the attraction is instant and mutual. Michael, however, is a man tormented by his past - the abduction and killing of his younger brother, Peter, when Michael was only ten. Then there's also his committed relationship with Toshi, a gorgeous Japanese detective which didn't work out and Toshi had returned to Japan. The residue of these two milestones in Michael's life makes him a complex and difficult man to know. By contrast, Jack is warm, loving, open, all-round nice guy. And in a matter of days it was clear he was head over heels where Michael is concerned.

I was fully engaged in these two men's romance but wished Jack weren't that generous and understanding. Here's a guy who's fallen very hard for Michael but when Michael talks in his sleep, (twice, at least, IIRC) it's Toshi's name he calls out, it's Toshi he is saying 'I love you' to. Does Jack even ask him about it? No, he wants to give Michael space and time to resolve these issues and not push. Admirable, indeed, and I don't fault that but as a reader, I did want resolution. I didn't want Jack to have to listen to Michael calling out Toshi's name again, I wanted Michael to take down Toshi's picture - which he hadn't been able to do even though it had crossed his mind after he realized he had feelings for Jack.

That resolution did come but then the story ends rather abruptly. So I felt a little cheated because I had Toshi's ghost throughout the whole book even if he was in the past and now safely away in Japan with his own partner. I would have liked to know a bit more about what Michael understands about his feelings for Jack but there's none. It ends with Michael still talking about Toshi. Still, Jack, ever-undemanding, is satisfied with Michael's explanation of why he was clinging to the memories of a past love so I guess I can be.
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Comments (showing 1-10 of 10) (10 new)

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ElaineY I wanted to buy this but didn't know how to use ebook bucks to get the rebate. I looked around the site but I can't find any ebook bucks anywhere.

Anyone know how to do this? If not, I'll have to get it from Ellora's Cave.

ElaineY Ok, FloJ is helping me on chat. Thanks, J!

ElaineY This is very good.

message 4: by Sedonia (new)

Sedonia Elaine wrote: "This is very good." Hi Elaine - I really appreciate your review - I actually had written and entire scene in which Michael works thorugh these feelings and really gets into detail about why he remained so hung up on Toshi - but my editor made me take it out. I'm sorry about that. I should have left it in.

ElaineY Sedonia wrote: "Elaine wrote: "This is very good." Hi Elaine - I really appreciate your review - I actually had written and entire scene in which Michael works thorugh these feelings and really gets into detail ab..."

Sigh. Editors. Any chance of me getting hold of the deleted scene? I really mean it - you made me read every line in that story and I don't often do that, tending to flip through long-winded sex scenes and such. I cared enough about Michael and Jack and wanted to see/read with my own eyes that he was, at last, able to move on. Why? Because Jack deserved it (and so do I. LOL!). I was still thinking about the story long after I finished and thought this would be one book where an epilogue was very necessary.

I don't mind endings such as AoP's but not when there was already so much given out between the start and end. It wasn't that kind of book, not literary fiction. It's a romance, for God's sake and it annoys me when I loved every page, every scene to end up with pffft.

Still, thank you for Acts of Passion and taking the time to respond to my review. I've gone and checked out your backlist and see a couple there I'd like to buy. I avoided your books in the past because I saw that many had Asian protags. I'm Asian and the Asian heroes I've encountered in romance before weren't very credible. I decided to try AoP when I read the excerpt and guessed Michael was Eurasian. Being Singaporean, I know Eurasians well and they're a good way for an author to get around any cultural knowledge gaps - focus or blame the western parent:P

message 6: by Sedonia (new)

Sedonia No problem, Elaine. I found the deleted scene and pasted it into the body of an e-mail I can send to you. My e-mail is bimday450@yahoo.com if you'd like to send me an address where I can e-mail the scene to you. I'd be happy for you to have it. I sorely regret cutting it out and wish I'd argued with my editor more.

As far as the Asian heroes in my stories - I hope they're credible characters. When I write any character, regardless of culture, race, etc, I don't write from an idea in my mind of how that person would act, I write them from my heart, and just put myself completely in their place. Which makes them, I hope, fully human and believable. Michael's being Eurasian rose organically because in the series where Toshi is the main character, Michael is mentioned in Toshi's thoughts and memories, not as an active character. I didn't have a fully-formed idea of Michael until I focused in on him, like a camera zooming in and then his whole background came to me, including how his parents met and what happened to his brother and the way the rest of his life went because of it. I hope this all makes sense. I appreciate that you gave Acts of Passion a chance and I'm really glad you enjoyed it.

message 7: by ElaineY (last edited Jun 24, 2010 10:46PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

ElaineY Thank you, Sedonia. I'll drop you an email rightaway.

Michael did strike a cord in me, which is why I needed to see him resolve his feelings about Toshi...especially when Jack, as I said, deserves more than what Michael was able to give him at that point in time. I suppose I could always hope that Michael and Jack will make an appearance in the next book snd I'll get to see that Michael is able to say 'I love you' to the right person this time!

Oh, and I just bought Toshi's books.

message 8: by Sedonia (new)

Sedonia Oh, thank you, Elaine. I'll send that scene to you now.

ElaineY Thank you, Sedonia. Before I read the deleted section, I didn't fully grasp what Michael was saying to Jack about Toshi and Peter. If that had been left in, I would have understood this complex, tortured man so much better and would have felt less exasperated every time Toshi was mentioned. The ending would not have felt so abrupt either and even though Michael couldn't say or give more to Jack, I wouldn't have felt short-changed. In one week, Michael's come a long way so I'm confident when Jack returns that evening, Michael will be able to talk more, as he said.

message 10: by Sedonia (new)

Sedonia exactly. this is one of those times I'm kicking myself for not listening to my intuition!

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