This is a re-re-re-read for me. I've been in the mood for historical romance lately, particularly America historical romance. I don't know what any current authors are writing and all my old-school favs seem to have comoletely changed up their style. It's always good to go back to what you know.
This was an oldie, but a goodie. I love to story of Joanna, Tag, and Windhawk. You feel so bad for the siblings having lost their mother and to be set up by greedy, no-good relatives. Having to flee their home and wealth just to preserve their lives. And to go through the arduous task of travelling by wagon train to get to their father, only to be set upon by a murderous chief and his reluctant warriors. The siblings are separated and both thinking the other is dead. Joanna falling in love with the mad she believed was responsible for her brother's death, and poor Tag taken captive by the man who murdered his sister.
This story has everything. Betrayal, escapes, fighting, kidnapping, rescue, revenge, death, love, miscommunication, angst, reconciliation. It's no wonder Savage Seasons is one of my favorite romance series!
Dustin, our narrator, doesn't believe in love. Definitely not lasting gay love. He's young, full of cum, and enjoys anonymous hook-ups since they allow him to remain in the closet. Of course, fate has other ideas, and Dustin's latest blow-and-go, in the university library men's room of all places, leaves him questioning whether his current choices are the right ones. He cannot get this particular hook-up out of his mind, and when he meets him again in the form of his algebra tutor, Dustin is pulled in further.
He tries and tries to get Kyle out of his system by having more meaningless sex with others, which only confirms the feeling of missing something in his life. Namely Kyle. Who is not gay, no, sirree, nope.
There's also Jason, his straight roommate, and Jason's girlfriend (she's actually really sweet). Jason calls Dustin "buddy" all. The. Damn. Time. That quickly grated on my nerves. Props to Jason though for being supportive after Dustin comes out to him and generally trying to be a good friend.
About 1/2 of the book is taken up by explicit sex scenes, most of which are Dustin with other people. Not exactly what I'm looking for in a romance, but I dealt, since this is billed as erotica more so than a general M/M romance. It surely wasn't cheating since Dustin and Kyle aren't together at the time, considering that Kyle has made it clear he's not willing to do that again, and each subsequent hook-up does drive home the change in Dustin - he now realizes how empty hook-ups are and wants to be in a relationship, and he's possibly in love with Kyle.
The writing isn't terrible overall, but the dialogue often felt contrived and stilted. However, there were definitely moments when I thought that the author did a fine job bringing Dustin's confusion and longing across.
The only character that felt sufficiently fleshed out for me was Dustin himself, which makes sense as he's the one telling the story, so we don't get a whole lot of real info on Kyle, other than what Kyle shares in dialogue. Some scenes felt rushed and lacking depth, and some were drawn out to the point that I started skimming.
I guess I wanted a more meaty story than what I got here. It had so much potential - peer pressure, fear of coming out, first love, figuring out who you are and what you want, risking your heart... all those things sounded promising in the blurb, but sadly, the story didn't delve deep enough for me. I was on board with Kyle's fears and as he hems and haws his way out of the closet, but then the sudden switch at the end was too rapid for me to be believable.
YMMV. There is definitely an audience for this book, so don't let my personal hang-ups scare you off giving this a try.
** I received a free copy of this book from its publisher in exchange for an honest review. **
Really, this is only "Sci Fi" in the very strictest sense. What this truly is, is a Murder Mystery. So far I see no reason Mystery lovers wouldn't enjoy it, as long as they enjoy Historical Mysteries set in Victorian times. And can tolerate airships and "mechanicals".
I really appreciate Chloe here, and her relationship with her husband. It does a good job of balancing the attitudes and actions of a woman who is more independent and free thinking, and a husband who is understanding and indulgent about it, with understanding of at least outward submission to the sensibilities of the time to some degree.
It's not jarringly anachronistic in that regard as some historicals.
And I enjoy their relationship, which is one of friendship that grew over time, and similar interests, not great passion.