December 7th, 2012

andrew potter

Peter’s Chair by John Simpson

Peter's Chair is for sure a breaking novel, the fantapolitical novel on a gay Pope: how many boundaries it's throwing down? gays inside the Church, sex outside the marriage, celibacy (or the lack of it). That is probably not fantasy, but it's for sure something no one dares to speak. John Simpson decides to break that rule, and he does it from as a man informed of the facts. It's clear that he knows the way of the Church, its traditions and structure. Even in the simple things, like the use of foreign language, in this case Italian, he never once did a mistake. All the Popes he is referring to, at least until Papa Luciani, Giovanni Paolo I, are real, he only decided to take a different path in history from that event, and changed the name of all the other Popes after that.

For a human decision, the desires of some young Cardinals to change the path of history, or maybe for the will of the Holy Spirit, a 49 years old american man, Brian, is elected Pope. Brian is a man with a strong will and with his own ideas: he is gay and has a 27 years old lasting relationship with William, another priest he met in seminary, who now follows him everywhere as his personal assistant. If you are expecting a naughty tale about sex between men in soutane, change your mind: for all what is regarding Brian and William's relationship, they are more like an old couple than two horny men in love. More, when Brian is elected Pope, William is both worried than scared, he doesn't feel right to continue having a sexual relationship when Brian represents the same structure that condemns both homosexuality than the lack of celibacy among priests. In a way, Brian is more coherent than William in saying that he doesn't see what is changed, if they were having sex before, why not now? But I liked Brian's attitude, it was a way to prove that he really believes in his role as a priest.

Brian and William are very different, but complete each other. Brian is more a leader, but he probably wouldn't have reached that position without William by his side. William makes Brian think, gives him the chance to ponder his choices. On the other side, William has not the strength to be a leader and probably not even the outside image. It's not that William is weak, it's more that he doesn't like to be on center stage. I really liked their relationship, it talked a lot of their past together, without need to speak the words aloud.

Brian, as Pope, is more a political chief than a man of the Church, but sadly that is the true. Vatican is a little state, but it has a lot of power in the matters regarding the free choices of people all around the world, and so the work of a Pope is more a political issue than that of a shepherd of God. Peter's Chair is a a lot of adventure / thriller novel and not so much romance, but it has its sweet moments, like the day to day romance between Brian and William, made of little habits honed by years of cohabitation (Brian is not a morning person, William is a bit on the stubborn side, and so on), and the naughty side of the sex relegated to more younger men, like Brian's personal bodyguards. But still, the sex is not really the main element of this book, and I think that is right like that.

It can be said that John Simpson has a deep knowledge of the recent political history and in particular all regarding the Church. It's also clear that he has is idea and he has no problem to expose them. And, little side note, it's also clear that he doesn't like so much Italians or Italy: some remarks by Brian on how he wants all American things around him, also the smallest things like a tv programs, made me wonder what we did to him ;-) Italians and Italy are not so bad after all, at least not all of us.

Amazon: Peter's Chair
Amazon Kindle: Peter's Chair
Paperback: 200 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press; 2 edition (December 7, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1613727054
ISBN-13: 978-1613727058

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

Petit Morts 2: Food of the Gods by Sean Kennedy, Josh Lanyon and Jordan Castillo Price

Pretty Ugly (Petit Morts 6) by Jordan Castillo Price

All the authors in the Petit Morts series have their distinctively style, and that of Jordan Castillo Price is to be biting (and yes, considering we are talking of sweets, the pun is very much intended). She has a little horror touch, nothing overwhelming, more or less like an aftertaste, something that is lingering on the palate after you finish to read one of her novella.

Here we have Dominic, forty something interior design photographer, that, mostly due to his work, is used to judge everyone from their looks. It’s not that he is particularly searching for beauty in a partner, but it’s sure that he judges people from their looks and if they are not beautiful, then they are not important, and for that reason, he more or less doesn’t give a second chance or a shot to a long-term relationship. Problem is that Dominic himself is not handsome, actually he thinks he is ugly, and every possible relationship is always tainted from that from the very beginning: since Dominic is ugly, no one can be really interested in him, probably they are with him for a chance of mingle with the very important persons Dominic works for.

Chance, the magic chocolatier that is the common link in all these novella, will give a gift to Dominic, more or less a different perspective, a concept of beauty that is different from the cold interior design style Dominic is used to. Beauty is in the eyes of who is looking, and so if Dominic knows how to look, he will find it everywhere. But he has to be carefully, because beauty is an elusive thing, and if he gets distracted, he can lose that magical deeper sight.

Amazon Kindle: Pretty Ugly (Petit Morts)
Publisher: JCP Books, LLC (October 26, 2010)

Sort of Stranger Than Fiction (Petit Morts 7) by Josh Lanyon

Nice and sweet, this novella is also unexpectedly “innocent”; Ethan has lived all his life in a less than 500 people small town and he believes he is the only gay man among them. Not the ideal situation if you want to have a boyfriend, and so twenty something Ethan is pure like the day mum did him, and he tends to fantasize like a teenager girl on “boys”. Ethan’s latest crush is Michael, the owner of the dojo two doors after Ethan’s coffee bookstore, a former soldier who arrived in town six weeks before. Michael is a mystery, and the wanna-be writer in Ethan like the mystery and the man.

Ethan is so naïve that he doesn’t realize that, not only Michael is interested in him as well, but there is another man who is trying to make a move on him. So from not having any prospect boyfriend, now Ethan can pick, and the lucky guy will see his dream comes true.

Usually this series has some paranormal element, something “magic”; Sort of Stranger Than Fiction is instead an “ordinary” story, just boy meets boy, boy gets boy, and happily (for now) ever after. I think than, in the end, I prefer it like that.

Amazon Kindle: Sort of Stranger than Fiction (Petit Morts)
Publisher: JCP Books, LLC (October 26, 2010)

One Less Stiff at the Funeral (Petit Morts 8) by Sean Kennedy

What I liked the most of this novella was the fact that Fred, Jason's love interest, is not some hunky, fall in love at first sight type of guy, but he is instead a sweet and kind guy, with slight paunch and a "koala" resemblance. All of this is even more empathized i
f you think he is in comparison with chocolatier Chance, who is basically a sex god.

Nor Jason or Fred are extraordinary guys; Jason is a psychology graduated who ended up working in a funeral parlor, not exactly his dream job and totally not a sexy one. Jason is a good guy, but truth be told he is average. When he meets Chance, he of course finds the guy extremely sexy, but like you can admire something in a window well knowing you are not buying it. But with Fred is entirely a different story, and when Chance himself flirts with Fred, Jason is jealous of Fred, not of Chance. Deep down Jason knows Fred can be his right match, and he doesn't want someone like Chance to pouch on his pond.

What I probably regret more of this series, is that all stories have wonderful characters, but we have only a glimpse in their lives. Sometime I'd love to have the chance to spend more time with them.

Amazon Kindle: One Less Stiff at the Funeral (Petit Morts)
Publisher: JCP Books, LLC (October 26, 2010)

Amazon: Petit Morts 2: Food of the Gods
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: JCP Books (May 10, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1935540238
ISBN-13: 978-1935540236

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

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andrew potter

Love Comes Silently by Andrew Grey

Even if this was not a seasonal releases, coincidence wanted that I read this more or less under Christmas period and the feeling was pretty much that. Truth be told, and that is the only small fault I could find in this novel, the story of an ill little girl who wanted to celebrate Halloween and Christmas in advance since she wasn’t sure she was able to survive till the right time was the theme of a Christmas movie I used to see on television in those lazy Christmas time afternoons, when you have nothing to do if not idling in front of the television.

But the fatherly “love story” between a little girl and a kind but mute neighbor, is one of the two you will find here, the second that of the same kind, and young and handsome, neighbor with the single dad of the little girl, a renowned painter who just moved next door. Patrick was a famous singer, before losing his voice in an accident; he has now retired on the same small town where he grew up, a place where he can hide and be comfortable, people not bothering him other than to check if he is alive and averagely well. After adopting a daughter, Ken decided to move to the same small town to give his daughter a better place to grow up. The time of the move coincides with the discovery of his daughter’s illness and his break-up with his boyfriend. When Patrick starts to do small kind gestures, little by little he conquers both father than daughter.

As I said, this is the perfect story to read bundled up on the couch, maybe in front of a fire, and again, coincidence wanted I was more or less in that situation, being at home with a low fever. I enjoyed the story, I enjoyed the warm feelings it left me, and I enjoyed it had the right dose of sexiness without being the main theme.

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3253

Amazon: Love Comes Silently
Amazon Kindle: Love Comes Silently
Paperback: 200 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (October 1, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1623800080
ISBN-13: 978-1623800086

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

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andrew potter

Spring Reassurance by Andrew Grey

Sequel to Winter Love, it’s actually more like the second part of the same story. I read Winter Love long ago, I think it was probably the second story I read by Andrew Grey, and always in the same Satyr series. What I remember of that story, and that I have found again in this next novella, is that Blayne’s character, the non-satyr, is in a way more primal than Roeder, the satyr. I will try to explain this feeling, Roeder is like a doe, he is sweet and kind, almost skittish; he is able of great love, but he is scared to let himself get attached, since he knows he is not able to live in a modern society, and his lifestyle is very basic and isolated. Blayne instead is more straightforward, direct and passionate; he is the one taking the very important decisions, maybe sometime overwhelming Roeder. True, he is doing it out of love, and so, most of the time, only good things came out from his actions, but nevertheless, maybe he should pay more attention to the sensitive Roeder.

Nice, sweet novella, warm feelings and sweet love.

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=1054

Amazon Kindle: Spring Reassurance
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press; first edition (April 2, 2009)

Series: Satyr
1) Children of Bacchus: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/375365.html
1.5) Love in War
2) Thursday's Child
3) Child of Joy
4) My First Bacchanal
5) Small Kindness
6) Winter Love: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/447445.html
6.5) Spring Reassurance

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

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andrew potter

Waiting for Colton (Afterlife Book 1) by Drew Hunt

Nice, good feelings novella, I have to confess I managed right till the last page to not shed any tear, but one escaped in the end.

This is the story of Dennis, a kind-hearted, but a little goofy gay man, who was a Children Books’s author when he was alive. Dennis died too young, after only 10 years of shared joy with his lover Colton. When he discovers that alterlife is a paradise welcoming to everyone, Dennis doesn’t know if hoping Colton will join him soon, or wishing for him a long life. In the meantime, Dennis is assigned to Brett, a young college guy. Dennis doesn’t understand why a total stranger is welcoming him, but little by little he will understand that Brett is the son of the heart he has never had.

There is a lovely romance in this story, but it’s not really the central theme of it; it’s more like a fantasy tale, a tale that aims to give hope to everyone, hope that we are all loved.

http://www.jms-books.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=29&products_id=191

Amazon Kindle: Afterlife Book 1: Waiting for Colton
Publisher: JMS Books LLC (January 1, 2011)

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

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