elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

Life Lessons by Kaje Harper

I have contrasting feelings on this novel, sometime it seemed too realistic and sometime I wondered if what was happening was really possible. Tony Hart is an openly gay high school teacher; being gay and a teacher is not one of the things that made me wonder, he is working in a fairly big school, in a medium size city, and more or less he is popular with both fellow teachers than students. The fact that the only teacher he didn’t like, and the feeling was mutual, is murdered and Tony is the only witness, put him among the suspects, but that is only at first and soon dismissed.

Jared MacLean is the police detective in charge of the case; he is gay too, but in the closet and with no intention to come out, neither for a pretty man like Tony. That is what made me wonder: sure Tony is no more on the list of suspects, but how likely is that a police detective gets involved with a witness, when by the way, he is also trying to not be outed? But that is, you can think Mac is tired to be in the closet, that he needs to have a role model like Tony, that if he really falls in love he will change his mind… and that is the second point that made me wonder, but this time for exact the opposite reason, i.e. I really liked how the author approached the issue: love, unfortunately, is not the answer to all your trouble, and even if Mac falls in love with Tony not for that reason he will forget that he has to be discreet, that he already has his issue raising a child without a mother, that is department is not exactly gay friendly, and on and on. Maybe the author was planning one of those long mysteries series, maybe, rightly, on book is not enough to face all the issues, but in any case love is not like the magic potion, and these two men will have an happily for now ending. That was unusual to find in a novel, and maybe for that reason even more appreciated.

I have also to highlight that, even if in the closet, and under the fire line of a killer, Mac and Tony don’t hesitate to test and taste their love, and the sex scene are plenty and hot, even more surprisingly considering that, for a reason or the other, Tony is pretty much always bandaged or under the effect of pain drugs (and no, not since Mac is rough). Now, I have to be fair with Mac, he is not obsessed by sex so much to not let Tony go even if he is not in good shape, most of the time it’s Tony that entices the sex and almost seduces Mac; that is probably the nicest side of Tony, he is always positive, he seems to never losing his wittiness and he is pretty open with his feelings and above all desires. Truth be told, I think sometime he uses sex to exorcize death, and so it’s more Tony that is taking advantage of Mac, but Mac is not resisting much.


Amazon: Life Lessons
Amazon Kindle: Life Lessons
Paperback: 276 pages
Publisher: MLR Press (May 9, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1608203603
ISBN-13: 978-1608203604

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
Tags: author: kaje harper, genre: contemporary, length: novel, review, theme: cops

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