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Jack and Ricky are exactly at the opposite: Jack 48 years old and embittered by life, is living like an hermit in suburbia; for Jack is almost a self-reclusion, a punishment he is inflicting himself for some past sins. Ricky is 18 years old and at the beginning of his life: he has just discovered sex and his first experiences were not so good, not bad enough to discourage him, but probably enough to give him the idea that, trying with someone more skilled maybe will do the difference.

Ricky knows Jack since forever; he is his neighbour and his parents’ friend. When Ricky started to dream about boys instead of girls, Jack was a good wet dream material, an openly gay man just living next door. On the other hand, Jack has never once considered Ricky on a sexual level, and when his father asks him to hire the guy for a summer job, he takes it more like a bother than a chance. It’s not clearly said, but I had the feeling that Ricky consciously tried to seduce Jack, right for the reason I said, Ricky knew that sex could be good, and he wanted to learn from a master.

Jack is almost dormant: he has not sworn off sex, but he confined himself far from temptation; when temptation falls on his lap, he is not against the idea to profit of it. But Jack, even if doesn’t consider the age difference an impediment, well knows that Ricky is really young, and willing assumes the role of the training ship: Jack doesn’t take, he gives, but only if asked; he poses like an inflatable doll for Ricky’s inexperienced hands. It’s a strange relationship, since for sure there is no sense of guilty on Jack’s side for being older, or on Ricky’s side for being younger, but both of them are well aware of their age difference; they don’t consider it a limitation but instead an advantage.

I also liked a lot that Ricky, even if obviously appreciative for Jack’s willingness on sharing his sexual experience, doesn’t erase himself on Jack; when they reach some points where Ricky is no comfortable to go, Ricky is also strong enough to say no, and Jack is also balanced enough to accept that no. On the other way, Ricky is willing to learn and absorb, and in case, to change his mind: but it’s not something he does to please only Jack, it’s something he understands it will be good for both of them.

There are 30 years between Ricky and Jack, but truth be told, the age difference seemed shorter, but it’s Ricky who shortened it; he is way more mature and balanced than boys his age. Jack instead has all the strength of a lived past, and the wisdom of someone who was able to capitalize that past. For this same reason, nor Jack or Ricky start this relationship swearing forever and exclusive love to each other: Ricky needs to see, and try, what is good and what is bad, and then, when he will have enough elements to ponder, only then he will be able to take the right decision.

There is a lot of sex, and it was always good; there is also a good romance, a right dose of drama, but not too much angst. Anah Crow and Dianne Fox again confirm to be a pair of authors able to write romances apparently simple and good (family, love, happiness, good feelings), but never “light”.


Amazon Kindle: Slow Bloom

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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 19th, 2010 06:37 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much for the review, Elisa -- we're so glad you enjoyed the read. I always look forward to seeing your perspective on our work.
May. 19th, 2010 06:44 pm (UTC)
you are welcome Anah, I always appreciate your work.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


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