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This is probably one of the less "dreamy" book I read by Victor J. Banis, means that it's pretty down to earth and direct and open, but probably also among my favorite, Lola Dances still has the first place, but this one is very near. I like Victor J. Banis' style, but one thing I almost always regretted, that in the end the two main characters don't walk toward the sunset together; only Lola did, and this is the reason since she is first on my list. Since Deadly Nightshade is only first on a series with the same characters, well, it's not exactly that you will find an happily ever after in there, but it's really close, and I have to say that the closing scene is quite romantic.

Tom is a good homicide detective, but he has not the right skill for the case: a drag queen is killing men around the city, and, well, Tom doesn't know a thing about the dark side of life. And so he is paired with Stanley, that is suddenly promoted detective only for the fact that he is gay. Better Stanley is queer, and he has it written in all he is, small, stylish, intrusive. Stanley never let it go anything, he picks every little fight, he needs to be acknowledge, probably since in his life too many person let him go.

Tom is quite a simple man, not at all the perfect cop... or at least not the perfect fiction cop: divorced (and one of the reason for that is that he was cheating around), disenchanted, not so handsome... let me say that probably he is not a man for whom women swoon. But he has something other than his gruff exterior, an awkwardness, I don't know, like Stanley, probably I think that he is unable to be really bad. For how much big and strong he is, I believe that Stanley could be more lethal.

Anyway Stanley has a thing for him, and he manages to have the man in bed; as expected Tom doesn't protest too much (see what I said above), but it's like he unwillingly surrender to Stanley. Even if Tom likes Stanley, Tom is really straight; in many stories I read where a "straight" man turns gay, he has mental boundaries, but usually his body speaks for him, usually they are attracted from the other man. Here instead Tom can go off with Stanley, no problem, but he is always embarrassed by the fact that Stanley is a man... in a way, Tom loves Stanley, since he IS Stanley, but the main obstacles is that Stanley is a man: having him in a woman body would be better... Said that, it's strange that in the most intimate act they can share, it's Tom that takes the submissive position, but it's another time when Tom proves that he really loves the other man, even if he didn't speak the words.

Probably the main character of the book is Stanley, with his quirk behavior, and his way to investigate, judging a suspect by the way he furnishes the house or chooses the curtains, but who stole my heart is Tom. I'm really interested in seeing how he evolves in the future books.

http://www.mlrpress.com/ShowBook.php?book=DNIGHTSH

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Amazon: Deadly Nightshade

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Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Jan. 22nd, 2009 09:21 pm (UTC)
My dear Elisa,

Thank you once again for a kind and perceptive review. Yes, I loved both these guys but I confess, my heart was with Tom, who is trying very hard to figure it out (and, you know, in his heart, he is already in love with Stanley).

I promise you, that you will find the relationship develops over the next two books; I can also promise you that the third in the series, Deadly Dreams, will take the reader where she/he never expected to go.
elisa_rolle
Jan. 22nd, 2009 09:26 pm (UTC)
You are welcome Victor. As I said, Lola is still my favorite, but this book has took many points. I hope Stanley and Tom will find a way to stay happily together ;-) Elisa
(Anonymous)
Jan. 22nd, 2009 09:40 pm (UTC)
And how....?
Elisa:

After reading your great review of Victor's "Deadly Nightshade," I wonder how you go about selecting books to review. I'd be delighted if you might consider one of my Dick Hardesty mysteries, or the first in my new Elliott Smith mysteries, or my western/romance/adventure Calico, or....

Sorry I didn't have an email address to use to contact you directly, but any info you can give me...and I'm sure a lot of other authors...would be most appreciated.

Thanks,

Dorien
elisa_rolle
Jan. 22nd, 2009 09:50 pm (UTC)
Re: And how....?
Dear Dorien, it's always strange when an author considers my livejournal worth of attention, but of course always appreciated. My friends know that I'm a moody reader (not really a reviewer...), but I love gay romance, and so I give at least a chance to everyone.

Edited at 2009-04-08 07:21 pm (UTC)
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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