January 11th, 2011

andrew potter

Wrestling with Desire by D.H. Starr

Due to the publisher, the Young Adult line of MLR Press, and the author, who is writing for both targets, Young Adult and Adult, my expectation for this novel was to be a good compromise, meaning that a good love story, with enough “sexy” details to make it enticing, but not too much for being x-rated. And I’m glad to say that my expectations were completely met.

Derek is a senior high school student, gay but a little in the closet; it’s not that he is afraid, or scared, to come out, it’s only that, first of all there are really no reason to do that, and second he doesn’t like to “stand out”. A good student, a good athlete (he is in the wrestling time), pretty enough to be above the average, Derek has all the basis to be considered an high school sweetheart, but he doesn’t like to be on the center stage; when he was offered the captain position of his wrestling team, he refused; when he is invited to a party, he prefers to being the D.J., rather than to mix with other guys and girls. For once, Derek is not one of those characters who “would like to”, but has not the characteristics “to be”, he is someone who wants to be a wallpaper boy.

All of that changes when he meets Scott, the new guy arriving at his high school. Scott is cute and kind, and he needs a friend being new in town; he has also the same love for wrestling that Derek has, they love the same music, they have similar expectations in life. They are the perfect couple, the only problem seems to be that both of them are too shy to make the first move. But as I said, this novel is a good mix between a true Young Adult, that usually tends to be full of angst, and a Romance, that has a more pink glasses perspective on life.

Derek and Scott will manage to have their high school romance, even if it will not always be a bed of roses. But the issues they will have to face are plenty manageable by two teenagers, and it’s not something so dramatic to completely upturning their life and changing their future. Moreover, the author will compare two possible family experiences, one supporting and the other not so much, but being gay will be not their main issue, and so, in the end, their relationship trouble will be pretty much similar to any other teenager couple.

The sex will arrive to something more of an heavy petting even if it will not move to the final stage; in this way this novel remains on a level that is still acceptable for a Young Adult reader (maybe a little more near the Adult edge than the Young one) but that can appeal also an older reader.


Amazon: Wrestling with Desire
Amazon Kindle: Wrestling with Desire
Paperback: 300 pages
Publisher: Featherweight Press (October 19, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1608202216
ISBN-13: 978-1608202218

Reading List:

http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
andrew potter

Into the Flames by Morgan Lee

Probably the most interesting thing for me of this short story is the new author and the new publisher, I have always a little trill when I can “test/taste” something new. And if the experience is good it’s even better: most of the time, when I approach a new publisher, there are little details that could have made the experience better, but that were overlooked, like editing, proof-reading, and so on. Moreover if it’s a short story, the little details are even better, because in more or less 20 pages, sincerely I think you can avoid simple mistake.

For all the above reason, I have to make my compliments to this new venture, since, even if the story was short, and the plot was nice but common, the experience was good since I think they paied attention to details. John and Gabe are fellow firemen, John is Gabe’s boss and he has already lost a lover to the fire. John is attracted to Gabe, but he is scared to have his heart broken again by a careless man, no more hot-headed firemen for him.

But Gabe is not easy to ignore, the desire burns more than the fire itself, and one night they are no more able to avoid the explosion.

I like that the author wasn’t unbalanced on the usual issues of being a fireman and a gay man, here the issues were more related to hazard your heart to someone else. John is a nice character and he is also the one more on center stage, but Gabe, with his smirk and f**k you attitude (and yes, pun very much intended) was a beautiful bad boy.


Buy Here

Amazon Kindle: Into the Flames
Publisher: Demanding Romance (September 6, 2010)

Reading List:

http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle