January 26th, 2011

andrew potter

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andrew potter

Stone Canyon by AKM Miles

This is a mystery/thriller novel that has not really mystery; I use to know AKM Miles for her highly emotional story, and that side of her work is still here, so as is the idyllic gay paradise some characters managed to create even if the outside world is bad and against them. AKM Miles has often the theme of the experienced gay man who wants to help other young gay men as someone else helped him in the past.

In this novel it’s the time of Micah; his personal story has just that tad of drama to make him sympathetic for the reader, but actually it’s not really a tragedy: when he was 16 years old he was kicked out of home by his abusive father and brother, and his mother didn’t interfere; this could have been Micah’s tragedy, but it was actually his lucky day. Micah was “adopted” by Ted and Lizbet, a couple without sons and owners of a big ranch, the Stone Canyon. The place became almost a youth shelter for trouble kids, even more when Ted suddenly passed away and Lizbet decided to live in the city. Now Lizbet is dead and Micah discovers it’s not accidentally.

The one to help him solving the non-mystery (since actually all the clues were in a letter Lizbet wrote to Micah) is city private investigator Able. Now in your traditional romance, cowboys and PIs are not a usual pair because they are two alpha male characters, and you cannot put two bulls in the same pen. But as soon as the reader meets Able, it’s clear that he is not your traditional former cop-turned PI; actually Able is a gentle soul, probably even too gentle for his chosen career. He is also the classic gay character (even if not flamboyant): beautiful loft with artistic prints on the walls, a dog that is more a son than a pet, a supporting family that is more than happy for him to have finally found a good man (actually this is probably not your usual characteristic for a gay character, but it gives you an idea of the type of man Able is).

So there is actually no question on who will be the alpha man of this couple, and Micah immediately takes the role of the protector, that is a strange thing considering Able’s role in the story; in any case from when they meet to practically all the novel until the end, Micah and Able are joint to the hip, always together, sharing more romance than adventure. The resulting sex scenes are quite hot, there is no shy virgin between the two of them and even if there is no actually declaration of eternal love or forever commitment, it’s almost assumed that they are now a couple.

The tender and first love feeling is demanded to Momm, one of the young man Micah is helping on the ranch; he has some self-issues to resolve but he will be helped by a patient and caring lover. I sometime got distracted from Micah and Able by the evolution of Momm’s story, and I think that it happened also to the author, I clearly remember a scene that was an apex for Micah and Able’s relationship, but the author shifted the focus on Momm, that was in the same house, only some rooms far from the two.

In the end I think this novel is more aimed to a full romance reader, someone who appreciated good feelings and homemade pie ;-)


Buy Here

Amazon: Stone Canyon
Amazon Kindle: Stone Canyon
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: MLR Press (June 23, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1608201937
ISBN-13: 978-1608201938

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

Ruby Slippers by Alexi Silversmith

This short novella surprised me since it gave us an insight on a world that is not common in the M/M romance, that of the drag queens. I have to say that, after movies like Priscilla, or the US remake To Wong Foo, with an unforgettable Patrick Swayze, I’m maybe a little biased, well prepared to like the story of a flaming drag queen, Sterling Steele, that already from his given name, has a soul of a diva in a body of a trucker. Sterling was a chubby kid, not so tall and maybe a little too “round”; but appearance are deceptive and in the end, his inner diva came out and he is now a female impersonator in a night club. Problem is that he tends to attract “straight acting” men, i.e. those gay men who think lipstick and eyeshadow are a shame for the gay population, let alone wearing a dress.

Of course Mark, the straight acting gay man, has some issues of his own to resolve; first of all he is a cop, and even if he has moved in a gay friendly city to avoid the closet, he has still this idea that being a gay man makes him a lesser cop; second he is from an Italo-American family, and maybe he has the preconception that a man has to do a man work and the woman has to be at home waiting for him; and last but not least, Mark was in love with another straight acting man who left him for a woman: if he admits that anything womanly is attractive, he will give a reason to Bryan to what he has done, and now way he will do that. So only manly man for Mark, even when Sterling is obviously his soul mate.

The story has a less dramatic and angst tone that what it could have been, and Sterling is really a cute man, I really felt for the inner diva struggling to come out when he was a kid and now forced back in the closet to appease Mark’s expectation on what it means being gay. I think the purpose of the author was to give a message without being preachy, in the end what really matters is only love.


Amazon Kindle: Ruby Slippers
Publisher: Torquere Press, Inc. (August 28, 2010)

Reading List:

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