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I think that basically Lex Valentine is an het romance writer, and a good one, and she decided to write a gay romance episode to mount it in a series, Tales of the Darkworld, that again, is basically an het paranormal romance series. The result is good and enjoyable, but clearly aimed to those readers that, before shifting to the gay romance world, enjoyed the classical paranormal romance. I will not be strict, and say "women", since I know there are also men, even if few, who like that genre, but I think that the intake the author has and writes on men, is of a straight man who, for a reason or the other, loves another man, but only that one. Holden, the straight man, is a women's man, but his mate is another man, and the pull of the mating is stronger than his sexual preferences; so Holden is forced to accept Garret as his mate, but this doesn't mean that he stops to like women. Holden has written "gay for you" in his forehead, and the author is very much aware of this subgenre, since she is the first to use, and put in the mouth of her characters, that definition.

Holden's family is an ancient dragon clan, black dragons, and Holden and his brothers and sisters reach that age when they have to mate. When Holden meets Garret, thanks to the help of a family friend, from his smell and from the reaction of his body, he soon understands that Garret is his mate. Doesn't matter that Garret is a man, and even less doesn't matter that Garret is a green dragon. The pull of mating goes beyond gender differences and clan old fights. Being Garret a declared bisexual, he has fewer trouble than Holden to accept the unavoidable; and on Holden's side, the first rebuttal reaction is soon forgotten and he is ready to come down to pact.

Holden's behavior is very much what you would expect from a straight man who has to deal with an homosexual relationship; in a way it's like Holden and Garret are forced in an arranged marriage, and their personal preferences don't matter. Holden fears everything he is not able to relate in some way to an het relationship: that his partner can go down to him or that they can have anal sex (with Holden on the giving end), those are things he can understand and accept, but everytime he arrives to the realization that his partner has a penis, he freaks out. But Garret is patient and Holden is like a good little boy who follows the command of his parents, like a virgin maid sent to sacrifice.

The relationship between them starts with Garret letting Holden experiment all the new way they can have sex, and Holden who plays a little the coy virgin girl, refusing to officially "mate" till the moment he is not sure that he can really love Garret, despite the mating bond. Basically Holden wants to understand if, even without the mating pull, he would have been able to find Garret's attractive. Even if they are having a full and very intimate sexual life, Holden doesn't put out, he preserves the "last" virgin territory, till the moment he is not sure of his real feelings for Garret... in a way I find this behavior quite funny, above all since it arrives from a big bad boy like Holden.

The story is a good mix of sex, paranormal and even funny moments (I really like the in dragon form teasing scene, even if they don't arrive to really have sex in shifting form, don't worry). Again, I recommend it to who likes the paranormal genre (all the "mating" related matter...) and my opinion is that it's a story aimed to a female target.


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Amazon Kindle: Fire Season

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( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 14th, 2009 05:09 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
Thanks very much for reading Fire Season. I enjoyed seeing your take on my book. While it's true that I write more het than M/M works, my characters will not ever be stereotypical gay characters. The reason for this is not because I write more het works or because my own sexual partners are usually male, but because of my beliefs about sexuality in general.

As a Biological Anthropology major, the sexuality and gender issue came up a number of times in my studies. After doing more study on my own, I began to draw my own conclusions about sexuality - that it is person specific rather than gender specific. After all, my own life has borne this out, starting with my high school sweetheart who identifies gay, but still admits to being completely turned on by me. Consequently, my characters tend to espouse my own views on sexuality rather than the traditional gay vs straight views. I actually mentioned this in blog post the other day and referenced another author, Adrianne Brennan, who believes as I do.

Still, I'm glad you liked my dragons. I do have another M/M story in the series coming in 2010. It is a more traditional gay story. I have 3 other M/M novellas in the works currently too so I hope when they come out you will read those as well. :)

Lex Valentine
Aug. 14th, 2009 05:18 pm (UTC)
Re: Thank you!
So basically you are the "Garret" of the story ;-) Well, I have the impression that Holden is not gay at all, and since in the end he loves a man, he is not even straight. In a way he is your high school sweetheart at the opposite, he says to like women (generally speaking), but then falls in love for a man.

I think your novel will be very appreciated by the paranormal romance lovers, sometime it reminds me a bit the first Sherrilyn Kenyon. Elisa
Aug. 16th, 2009 04:49 pm (UTC)
Re: Thank you!
LOL It's true that I really am very like Garret, right down to the high IQ that others wanted to exploit. I'm not good with labels especially when it comes to sexuality. My writing tends to sort of follow that. Mostly, I write what I like to read, but that doesn't mean men can't like it. Ethan Day and Jason Edding beta'd Fire Season and liked it very much. Patric Michael loves the story. I like to think that it's just like anything else, some things you like and others you don't... just because. *wink*
Aug. 16th, 2009 04:53 pm (UTC)
Re: Thank you!
Ahah, I didn't say that men will not like it, I only said that the like it those men have to like romance first, and let us true, there are not so many men out there who love romance; but lucky for us, some of them exist, and Ethan Day and Jason Edding are also good to write romance, not only to read it. Elisa
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


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