book reviews · m/m romance · Sam's Favorite Books

Book Review: Lee Benoit’s “Servant of the Seasons” (2011)

51w6kvt89jl-_sy346_This is my kind of book! In the tradition of the post-Apocalyptic, survive-in-a-wasteland novel, we start with an almost barren farm and one man alone, learning about the land and barely surviving. Of course he doesn’t stay alone, and the farm doesn’t stay barren! I could read six thousand books in this series and never get sick of it- it has everything I love. I would happily read about Meco and his new companions and their home forever, gardening, building, cooking, discovering.

This book takes its time, following the seasons and the characters’ journeys learning about each other and building up their farm and house. It is wonderfully domestic, with plenty of attention given to the rhythms of daily life and new relationships. Of course, that’s not all it is; under everything is an ever-present threat of the outside world and the dangerous stranger. Meco’s family draws attention to themselves by their success in rehabilitating the ravaged land around them, and there’s plenty of people out there coveting their land and skills. The tension builds slowly, gradually, until it explodes and the action of the story kicks up twenty levels at once, racing towards the ending!

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book reviews · m/m romance · Sam's Favorite Books

Book Review: Eli Easton’s “The Mating of Michael” (2014)

22370569WOW. Just…wow! This book is incredible and blew me away entirely. I didn’t quite know what I was getting myself into when I started reading it, and probably wasn’t quite prepared for such an intense emotional onslaught. This is the kind of book that’ll have you sneaking away from a party to read by yourself in a corner or staying up all night to finish. It’s the kind of book that will occupy all your thoughts and feelings even once you’re finished. It’s the kind of book you’ll want EVERYONE to read, to hold up as an outstanding example of the m/m romance genre. And…it’s probably the kind of book you’ll want to re-name to give a slightly less, um, cheesy title…ha.

One might expect angst from a story about a lonely man in a wheelchair, but this was angst on a whole new level. The fact that James is in a wheelchair quickly fades into the background as being far less important than his other emotional issues- his scars and childhood trauma, that have left him with crippling social anxiety, depression, and a raw, desperate fear of letting anyone inside his shields. James’s POV chapters are swamped with his dark and pessimistic outlook on life and his future: he’s at a critical, desperate point in his life where he is truly struggling to see any light. Reading about his journey to overcome his fears- even of small things, like going somewhere new and unfamiliar- will be a visceral experience for anyone who’s faced the same issues. In fact I might even put in a word of caution here for readers with depression; I found James’s battle to be almost distressingly realistic.

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book reviews · m/m romance · Sam's Favorite Books

Book Review: N.R. Walker’s “Imago” (2017)

34342184This was a truly striking read, one I would recommend to anyone- shout from the rooftops, in fact- and not just to fans of m/m romance! The plot, pacing, and emotional depth were exceptional, and the characters were lively and likeable. This book had me hooked right from the summary- a geeky butterfly expert? A rugged wilderness ranger? The Tasmanian bushland?! I could not buy and download this book fast enough! I read it within a day and it was fantastic.

N.R. Walker writes amazing characters. Lawson is a precious boy and I adored him. He’s comfortable in his own skin and his own style (bowties! suspenders!), and is living exactly the life he wants, doggedly pursuing his purpose- and he doesn’t give a single flying f**k if his purpose (namely, butterflies) seems a little strange to others. Or, indeed, if he himself seems strange to others. It’s clear he’s not one to compromise. He might be mildly lonely, but he sure as hell isn’t interested in anyone who doesn’t accept who he is. I think he’s actually quite surprised- in disbelief, in fact- when Jack seems to be SO entirely accepting and even in awe of who he is. But even with Jack’s overt, overwhelming attempts to court him, he’s not going to let this charismatic, strong-willed guy just get his own way. Lawson has standards, and those standards need to be met before he’ll give any of himself away. Of course it’s utterly adorable to see Lawson’s surprise and delight at Jack’s efforts to impress and please him, and it’s lovely to read about the two of them gradually getting closer.

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