Feliz's Reviews > It's Not Shakespeare

It's Not Shakespeare by Amy Lane
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's review
Oct 19, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: m-m, contemporary
Read in November, 2011

This was a light and entertaining read, low on angst and with little conflict despite the opposites-attract setup. Although the plot touches on some rather serious matters like racial difference, finding trust again after a betrayal or harmonizing different views on life, it didn’t dig too deep. The story flows smoothly, with enough witty dialogue and humor to keep it interesting – and this wouldn’t be an Amy Lane book without some seriously hot and emotional sex scenes.

I found both James and Rafi well depicted within their respective molds; particularly Rafi’s family and his interaction with them gave his character depth and individuality. He was so torn between the loving ties he had with his family and his identity as a gay man. I found the way Rafi’s family dealt with his homosexuality very interesting – this don’t ask don’t tell philosophy Rafi had to deal with – and also, I was impressed with James for taking this matter in strides, making it a non-issue in the process.

This might sound as if the interracial aspect was a big deal for Rafi and James, but it wasn’t. It was only a fact, but not a defining factor, just like their age difference (James is 43, Rafi 29) or their different levels of education. As I said, the conflicts were there, but didn’t become overwhelming, keeping the book refreshingly angst-free.

Rafi grew on me fast with his likeable mix of macho attitude and carefully hidden vulnerability. James, on the other hand, I found somewhat annoying for a while with his constant doubts what a man like Rafi could possibly want with an old nerd like him – to a point where I couldn’t help asking myself the same question. In the end, though, James’s relaxed, liberal easygoingness eventually helped to ground Rafi, while Rafi’s boldness helped bring James out of his self-inflicted shell. They fit, after all, and that was good enough for me.
Actually, I found some of the secondary cast better portrayed than the main characters. Particularly Sophie, and even Marlowe, almost stole the show away from the main couple. And Rafi’s grandmother truely made an impression on me, now that’s a character.

This was a nice feelgood read. It’s entertaining and enjoyable, and it just fits the bill if you feel like curling up with a book on a rainy afternoon. Recommended.
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