Sammy Goode's Reviews > But My Boyfriend Is

But My Boyfriend Is by K.A. Mitchell
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Oct 31, 13

There is no doubt in my mind that K.A. Mitchell is a great author. She writes smart dialogue, interesting characters and just plain good story lines. But My Boyfriend Is was no exception. However, this is one of those rare times when I really must set aside my own preferences and dwell on why the story worked because unfortunately I never really connected with any of these characters, not one bit.
The story is actually fairly straightforward but the layered emotional connections were far from that and truly gave this story its higher rating. Dylan is so far in the closet he has convinced himself that letting a man occasionally give him oral sex means nothing. He trolls the local park for anonymous hookups and one night rebuffs someone without a thought as to any consequences. Dylan has an identical twin, Dare (Darryl). Unbeknownst to Dylan, Darryl suspects that Dylan is gay like their brother Aaron. Naively, Dare is concerned that he too might be gay, since he and Dylan are identical and so goes to the park to see if he can be tempted by a man. While there, the man his twin rebuffed earlier sees him and along with his two buddies beats Dare, severely wounding him. Dare is rescued by Mike, who, himself is gay, and happened to be in the park that night. Mike calls the police and gets Dare to the hospital and it is there that he meets Dylan and the sexual tension between them is palpable.

As the story progresses, these two men, Dylan and Mike will engage in an ofttimes angry and denied relationship that goes far beyond casual hookup for sex, although this is what Dylan tells himself repeatedly even as he lays in bed beside Mike. Meanwhile, Mike continues to lie to himself and his roommates that the feelings he has for Dylan go far beyond friendship and he, too, lies to himself about how much he is willing to give up to somehow keep Dylan who refuses to admit he is gay. How these two can possibly resolve their issues and come to the idea of a life together hangs in the balance through most of this novel.

The incredible way in which author K.A. Mitchell defines and draws her characters is really stunning to behold. While I had a difficult time liking these guys, I can assuredly tell you that they were the most conflicted people I have ever read about. Dylan was so angry, so guilt ridden and so often right on the edge of admitting he was gay yet each time he pulled himself back, unwilling, almost frightened to admit he could really love another man. And Mike who kept his life so compartmentalized, desperately hung onto to his career in sports medicine, knowing that telling anyone he was gay would out him. He sacrificed relationships for his work and convinced himself that it was his exes that were too demanding. Not until he was confronted with a reluctant Dylan did he realize how much he had been hiding and had cut himself off from the very idea of ever having a boyfriend.

Two proud and utterly conflicted men and they find themselves falling in love with each other--it was a recipe for disaster and author K.A. Mitchell certainly knew how to put it all together into a well written story. While I could not necessarily muster up the investment needed to appreciate these well-done characters, this was not the reason for the loss of a star in the ratings. Rather, it was the dynamic between the three brothers. Aaron was just really mean--nasty mean and while I recalled him being as such in his own novel in this series, I thought that life with his sweet partner Joey might have mellowed him a bit. Instead, he was so angry, (much like Dylan) and extremely insensitive. And for Joey, who was a counselor, to sit back and allow that dynamic to play itself out seemed really at odds with his character as well. Between that and this unreasonable assumption that Dylan would keep tabs with the police and find out the status of the case while the rest of the family along with the victim, Dare, went to Florida, I was really flummoxed. These two plot points were so over the top for me. I felt that they detracted rather than added to the story. The reality was that Dylan was a young, street-wise black man who knew the score and the police were less than interested in finding the offenders considering this was not only a race issue but a gay issue as well so for the family to put all that additional pressure on Dylan was just unfair and seemed unrealistic in the story.

All in all, But My Boyfriend Is by K.A.Mitchell was a worthy installment to this well done series.
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10/31/2013 marked as: read

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