Shana's Reviews > Mercury in Retrograde

Mercury in Retrograde by CJane Elliott
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really liked it
bookshelves: fiction-actors-and-models, fiction-contemporary, fiction-glbt

Alex is ecstatic when his astrologer tells him that he's going to find his true love, just in time for him to not spend his thirtieth birthday single and alone. It's even better that he's just gotten back together with Jeff, an old love. Could the timing be any more perfect? He's still celebrating when a vacation brings him to a lodge in Oregon, where he meets Ben, the lodge's river guide. Ben's cute and a great listener, but Alex's destiny is Jeff... isn't it?

I wasn't sure what to expect with this story, torn between hippy-dippy and Hollywood drama. I'm delighted that it turned out to be neither.

Alex was charming, quite understandably torn between Jeff, with whom he'd been in a steamy relationship before, and Ben, a new acquaintance who just clicked. I could actually see him as a Hollywood star, if a particularly down-to-earth one, but the conveyance of him as such wasn't all that defined his character. His relationship with Jeff (by whom I was also pleasantly surprised in the end) worked as far as believability goes; it was easy to see them as friends in the end.

Ben was a little more difficult for me to get into, especially when he started in on marching orders from God, but I still liked his steadfastedness. The God-demands made him sound a little creepy-stalkerish, but not so terribly for me to be too weirded out to like him.

The chemistry between Alex and Ben was good, sweet and well drawn out. I liked that it took them a while to work up to even a kiss, so that by the time it happened I could believe in what they shared.

This isn't a story about sex; what sex there is takes place primarily off-screen, tastefully implied without providing a blow-by-blow. It's a nice change from stories where the characters fall into bed together ten pages in. It's more about the characters coming to know each other than it is about tab A into slot B, rinse and repeat.

The story itself is the perfect length for its purposes, neither too long nor too short. I might wish for more time spent with the characters, but that would have been padding, and I'd rather the time spent be quality over quantity.

In the end, I really rather liked this little story. It just worked for me, and I'm happy to have spent time in its small corner of the world.

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Reading Progress

January 1, 2012 – Shelved
Started Reading
January 8, 2012 – Finished Reading
April 8, 2012 – Shelved as: fiction-contemporary
April 8, 2012 – Shelved as: fiction-actors-and-models
April 16, 2012 – Shelved as: fiction-glbt

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