book reviews · m/m romance

Book Review: Ann Somerville’s “More Than A Thousand Words” (2015)

fb8a0ad0bd3c9602d88c24aff136a8bbfc1a5b67This is a light, happy, easy read that is sure to put you in a good mood. It’s also one of the few Somerville works which isn’t drenched in darkness and foreboding- and although I happen to like the darkness and foreboding, More Than A Thousand Words definitely made for a nice change.

There’s a lot to enjoy here: the writing is great, the pace is perfect, and the characters are very loveable. Luce is bright, temperamental, entertaining- and loves to wear skirts and nail polish. Steve is sturdy and adorably reliable- and 2000% just fine with whatever his unpredictable, gender-fluid boyfriend chooses to wear (indeed, those long, super-silky skirts are a real turn-on). They work together very well, and are sappy and sugary-sweet, in the best way possible. Which, of course, doesn’t mean they don’t have problems to work through- and it’s thoroughly satisfying to see the two work through them. Ultimately they’re the best kind of support for each other- and this is just the kind of romance I need regular injections of to keep my pessimism at bay.

More Than A Thousand Words can be connected to other Somerville works through Luce’s ‘Talent’- his ability to “see” the immediate pasts of the people he encounters. This is a nice touch for dedicated Somerville fans like myself, though I can’t help but feel that others might find Luce’s talent pointless for the story- or worse, simply a convenient plot-device.  In any case, this book can be read without any previous knowledge of Somerville’s other works. The light supernatural element is ultimately a nice, though probably unnecessary, addition to a very enjoyable contemporary romance.

The only negative that really struck me was the opening scenes. I do find this to be the case with a lot of Somerville’s work; she seems to favour the “drop the audience right in the middle of the action” school of thought- make the beginning exciting and action-packed. In some cases, such as with this book, it results in an opening that is more frustratingly-confusing than exciting. Of course since I knew I’d end up loving the story before too long I could just grit my teeth through the first few pages and trust that the writing would settle down soon enough.  I do worry that it might be a turn-off for readers browsing the preview chapters, however. My advice would be to keep reading; I’m sure you’ll enjoy this story as much as I did!

{Summary from Amazon.com:}
Steve McCallum is a private security professional, offering protection to London’s rich and secretive elite. When a nanny is attacked and her charge is abducted, Steve works with the police to find the missing baby. A chance meeting with a skirt-wearing artist with an unusual Talent, changes the case along with Steve’s expectations of happiness.
Luce Sherwood overcame tough times as a teenager to become a successful artist. His biggest problem is an unwanted ability to see what people have done in their recent past, but that proves to be a bonus when a kidnapper and the handsome guy pursuing him, crash into his life.
Despite their different backgrounds and very different jobs, the attraction between Steve and Luce can’t be denied. As they use words, touches, texts, and most of all, Luce’s silly cartoons to negotiate the tricky waters of their relationship, you’ll learn why sometimes a picture is worth more than a thousand words.

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