leigh's Reviews > Falling

Falling by Cameron Dane
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Sep 03, 12

Read in September, 2012

Substantial and engrossing. This is a cowboy story with some of the common tropes: threatening homophobe neighbors, new ranch hand in town, lots of horsey talk. The paranormal element seemed an odd fit for such a milieu, but it quickly drew me in. Cain is a curiously diluted sort of demon. He is not intrinsically evil or destructive at all, and his nature expresses itself only in a monthly requirement to kill an animal for food. (Going by that criteria, plenty of humans are more demonic.) The appearance of his body in demon form is clearly intended by the author to be sexy in a brutal, primal way, and it works. It is not surprising that human Luke falls for Cain in both his forms.

Their romance is intense, with a slow-burn beginning necessitated by the plot element that states that if Cain is discovered by his demon ruling council to be engaged in a gay relationship, he will be punished by death. He holds out against this as long as he can, and the scene where he finally decides that a brief affair with Luke is worth the ultimate price is both touching and incendiary. The nearly 200-year-old Cain has kept himself a virgin to all romance, and his earnest yet fumbling first overtures are endearing and affecting.

Aside from the romance plot, the story is surprisingly dark. Luke has suffered horrific (described on-page) abuse at the hands of his former employer; there is a later scene where the same villain threatens someone else close to them; and Cain's confrontation with the demon council results in a chapter's worth of detailed torture scenes. This is a lot of graphic material which will disturb and put off some readers.

The relationship is angsty, with Cain having deep-seated issues which interfere with his ability to accept Luke's feelings for him until very late in the book. Despite this it is floridly romantic, with lengthy declarations and sentimentality, which either floats your boat or doesn't. The sex scenes are numerous but not, to my mind, excessive. As this is Cameron Dane the assholes and rectums do plenty of winking, kissing, fluttering and pulsing (I say this with affection and appreciation to Ms. Dane, but again, this style choice is a matter for reader preference).

The novel could have been shortened by truncating both the torture chapter and the recovery time afterward--I enjoy long novels, but the 'hurt' side of hurt/comfort was so heavily skewed by the end of this one that the reader may begin to grow weary. The ending was nice and a good payoff for what the boys had to go through to get there. Am definitely looking forward to more of this series.
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