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Drawn Together by Z.A. Maxfield

Everytime I read a new book by Z.A. Maxfield I wonder how can she manage to write something new everytime, and still be original and better than before. If you pick one per one all the books she wrote in less than a year, and try to compare them, it's almost like they are written by different authors. There is only one thing that is certain, that the two characters will fall in love and that their romance will be wonderful, even if not simple.

This last book starts as a funny romp to go through a thriller story and end as a big Hollywood comedy; the middle part reminds me a bit that movie with Cary Grant, North by Northwest, with a simple man that finds himself in a story bigger than him and forced to play the role of an unwilling knight in shining armor. Well to be exact, Rory, our unwilling hero, at first is not so unaware that he is embarking in something big and unknown. From a small town of less than 1000 people, he falls in love with the work of a Japanese artist, Ran Yamane. People who knows him are not surprised: Rory has a big heart and is a very good boy, but he seems to not have the reputation of a very clever man. But he has dreams, and when Katrina upturns down his life and leaves him with nothing, Rory clings to that dreams: he will find Ran Yamane, the artist who draws a comic that is become Rory's only bond to reality, and he will sweep her away in a crazy dance under the moon and she will love him. And they will be happy.

And so when Ran Yamane comes to California for an anime convention, Rory takes all his worldly possession, spends his last money to buy flowers, and stays in line for dazzling the girl with his smile. Only that the girl is not a girl, but a man, a man older than Rory, and way more experienced and not so easily impressed. Yamane is beautiful, no doubt, but Rory is not ready to forget the little details that he is not gay, not even for an handsome man like Yamane.

I like that Rory, without being grossed out or disappointed about Yamane, doesn't either immediately falls at his feet. Rory has dreams, dreams about a girl, and he can't change them without notice when he discover that Yamane is a man; he needs time to assimilate the news and to reprogram his mind on this new turn. But even if he needs time to decide if he wants to go on with his romantic plans on Yamane, he has no doubt on the artist and the man: Yamane needs help, he needs a knight in shining armor, and Rory will be that knight, even if he will not immediately profit of the grace of the damsel in distress. Rory faces this new adventure as if he is playing with a new videogame; he plans his move, he hides his traces, and he for real sweeps Yamane away but not for dancing under the moon, but in a run through the country. As a good player, Rory has aces in the sleeves, means that he has friends scattered all around the country, everyone the face of the state in which they live, from the party girl in Las Vegas, to the mormon in Utah, to the cook in Louisiana, every single supporting character is like a piece in a country puzzle. And when he has not a friend in the place, Rory is ready to tighten new bond of friendship: no one seems able to resist to his southern charm. Neither Yamane.

Yamane is a strange character; at first he probably doesn't believe in Rory, he thinks he is an overgrown puppy, an adoring fan like all the others. And since he doesn't believe in him, he also doesn't believe in their story, and he doesn't fight enough for it. And when their relationship becomes intimate, he approaches it like a carpe diem thing, takes as much as you can since maybe tomorrow it will be over. Again Yamane doesn't trust Rory to be serious. I don't know if Yamane is worried since Rory is too young, too straight, a bit of both... Probably it's also a cultural clash, even if used to live in USA (he is also half American), Yamane is also Japanese, and Japanese man always follows a strict etiquette, in everything they do, and instead Rory is an outburst of energy, always in motion. And then Rory tends to do thing without informing Yamane, and this is not good since, even if he is not aware of it, doing so he is dismissing Yamane as a man and a partner. I really think that Rory is not aware of it, he is only young, and obviously used to having relationship with girls, and above all with southern girls. From what I know, southern girls are really good in making their men doing what the women want believing that it's what the men want to do; they don't talk but they are really good in directing behind the scene. And so Rory is not used to give explanations, but Yamane, on the other hand, is not good in reading between the lines. Even if small and apparently fragile, Yamane doesn't like to be treated as a woman, even if, truth be told, he likes to be the center of of attention.

All right, at this point you have understood that I can go on for thousand of words, always finding something new, some new side, some new perspective for the story. Not only the two main characters are complex and interesting, the book is also full of funny and various supporting characters, don't get me start with Rory's grandparents, or the various police officers, even the evil men have their "positive" side.


Amazon: Drawn Together

Amazon Kindle: Drawn Together

Reading List:

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

Cover Art by P.L. Nunn


( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 13th, 2009 11:05 pm (UTC)
ohh - I love the cover art!
Mar. 13th, 2009 11:09 pm (UTC)
P.L. Nunn is quite a genious, and she always renders in a perfect way the mood of the book. Elisa
Mar. 13th, 2009 11:21 pm (UTC)
I want to read this just because the cover art is so awesome! But your review makes the book sound great too *wants*
Mar. 13th, 2009 11:27 pm (UTC)
Oh yes, that cover is a big incentive. But as I said, I think that Z.A. Maxfield could be the author rivelation of the year for 2008: 4 books so far and for me, all 4 of them are worthy read. Elisa
Mar. 13th, 2009 11:58 pm (UTC)
Oh, my Elisa, I just commented on the other blog post you did about how you review and may I say again, here, that you are a treasure! (And not just because you seem to like my work.) I know that you read a zillion books all the time, and I can't help but say that it is always a thrill to see that you've read one of mine.

It is always a big charge when you review something that I wrote, of course, but I want you to know that I always tune in to your blog and read what you've written, at least 3/4 of the books I buy come from your recommends, and I watch the commercials, I enjoy the man candy, the art, and all the blog posts you do about romance writers, most of whom are people I've read, but never met, and knew nothing about. And you know I love your photographs. Thank you again, not just for this, for me as a writer, but for me as a reader, for the time you invest in giving us wonderful information all the time.

Thank you!
Mar. 14th, 2009 09:28 am (UTC)
Oh my gosh, you really read all I post (LOL). You are the perfect friend ZAM, and I'm really happy everytime I have the chance to read a new book by you. Elisa
Mar. 14th, 2009 12:02 am (UTC)
Now this sounds like a good one!
Mar. 14th, 2009 09:29 am (UTC)
It's really complex and full of characters, but it always maintain a funny core that I liked very much. Elisa
Mar. 14th, 2009 12:46 am (UTC)
Cover art. Period. Now I want to read it!

Which I know sounds superficial, so let it be known I read your review too lol
Mar. 14th, 2009 09:30 am (UTC)
Oh well, I think this is the reason of a good cover art, if then is paired to a good book it's even better, like in this case. Elisa
Mar. 14th, 2009 03:03 am (UTC)
Read this on the first night it came out and I LOVED IT!
Mar. 14th, 2009 09:39 am (UTC)
I need a bit more time since I knew that once I started it, I would want to finish it in a night. Good choice since it's a page turner. Elisa
Mar. 15th, 2009 11:54 pm (UTC)
ZA Maxfield
Elise - Thanks for such a thorough review. I will read ANYTHING by ZA Maxfield. I first read Crossing Borders and since then have faithfully read everything she's ever written. Your observation of her work is right on. Every time she writes something her plot and style is fresh and different. On the surface her plots don't always appear attention grabbing but her work, regardless of the voice she chooses, is consistly wonderful. I'm buying Drawn Togethr now and can't wait to start reading!
Mar. 15th, 2009 11:56 pm (UTC)
Re: ZA Maxfield
I'm sure you will love also this one, both characters are so endearing and charming. Elisa
Apr. 5th, 2009 08:12 pm (UTC)
Ecco un autore con cui vado sul sicuro.
Di solito sono un po' ritrosa nel leggere libri in cui ci sono mangaka perché temo una uke/Seme. Niente di sbagliato in questo, ma semplicemente troppo al di fuori della realtà per me, oramai.
Ma sapevo che era di Z.A. Maxfield, quindi mi sono detta "Beh, un nome, una garanzia. Proviamo."
E ho avuto la conferma che, in effetti, ZAM è una garanzia. Ho amato profondamente i personaggi e la storia, con tutti i suoi risvolti e restroscena.
Mi trovo perfettamente d'accordo con te nel dire che si potrebbe parlarne per ore e trovare sempre qualcosa di nuovo da dire.

Questa autrice mi colpisce profondamente per la sua capacità di spaziare nei generi e nelle trame.Nonché nei personaggi. Sono talmente reali e complessi da farmeli sentire vivi. Oltretutto sa equilibrare bene le scene di sesso all'interno della storia.
Hot sex with love, the best :P
Apr. 5th, 2009 08:18 pm (UTC)
Ho avuto il piacere, come forse ti ho detto, di conoscere LauraLyn a San Francisco. E' così entusiasta del suo scrivere, che si capisce come poi vengano fuori romanzi come questi. Credo prenda anche molta ispirazione dal mondo che ha intorno, per esempio credo che l'ispirazione per il protagonista le sia venuta dal uno dei suoi quattro figli, appassionato di anime e manga. E la cosa pazzesca è che tutto questo scrivere è una cosa recentissima, lei non è una di quelle che ci ha provato per anni senza successo. Speriamo solo che la verve non si esaurisca. Elisa
Feb. 25th, 2010 07:44 pm (UTC)
Oh my! I am about to start this one!
To me PL Nunn's or Anne Cain's cover art is a guarantee that the book is good. And I have never been wrong so far :)
Feb. 25th, 2010 07:48 pm (UTC)
I think you will like it. I own it in ebook, but I'm very tempted to buy the print book for that cover, it's wonderful. Elisa
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )


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