A photographer with post-traumatic stress disorder falls for a comics artist on a wild New Zealand beach, but can he find true love when he feels so wounded by life?
Everything changed when the bomb exploded. Forty-five-year old, Alex Cox worked as an international photographer until a deadly explosion left him with post-traumatic stress disorder. Emotionally wounded, and desperate for a sense of safety, he’s run all the way to wild and remote Kahawai Bay, New Zealand.
Under the worst possible circumstances, Alex meets Joe, a shy young comics artist. Joe lets Alex into his playful, gentle world of comics, and soon Alex is falling for him, hard. Alex longs for more. Joe is reticent. But is it shyness? Or does Joe not want a much older lover with ‘issues’? Or is something else keeping them apart?
This is a tender and uplifting story about creativity, adversity, true love, and comics.
Review by Natalie:
This was a marvelous novella! I didn’t know the author, or even the length of the book when I began reading. I was immediately captivated by the way words were used, so beautifully that they truly created pictures in my mind’s-eye. Characterization can often be shortchanged in novellas but both Alex and Joe were replete with details that also added to the atmosphere and setting of the narrative. I liked Alex but Joe was the one I identified the most with, even before finding out his full history. The few additional characters were well detailed, even the tag-along invited by Alex’s friends.
It’s a relatively simple story, with a hurt/comfort trope that’s fresh and different, as most of the healing comes before any kind of physical intimacy, and that is only near the end. There’s little drama, any angst comes from sharing their pasts and I appreciated the gentle unfolding of the relationship. This would have been quite perfect for a chilly, cloudy or rainy afternoon to go with the ambience created by the book; alas, I’m in Florida!. Recommended.
November 17 – BooksLaidBareBoys, Slashsessed, Valerie Ullmer, Gay Media Reviews, The Geekery Book Review, MM Good Book Reviews
November 18 – Love Bytes
November 20 – BFD Book Blog, Zipper Rippers
November 21 – Gay Book Reviews
November 22 – Dog-Eared Daydreams, Making It Happen
November 23 – Diverse Reader
November 24 – A Book Lover’s Dream, Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books, OptimuMM, Jim’s Reading Room
November 25 – The Novel Approach
November 27 – Mirrigold: Musings & Mutterings, Hoards Jumble, Hearts On Fire Reviews, Diverse Reader, Au Boidoir Ecarlate
November 28 – Alpha Book Club
Lee Welch wrote her first book aged seven (a pastiche of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe) and first had an idea for an m/m romance aged twelve. She loves books and comics, and when she’s not writing, she’ll probably be reading. Her favourite authors include Ursula Le Guin, Graham Greene, Linda Medley, Dylan Horrocks and KJ Charles. By day, Lee works as an editor and business communications adviser, mainly persuading people not to say ‘utilise’ when they mean ‘use’. Her job has led her to work in areas as diverse as mental health, nursing, accident prevention and the criminal justice sector.
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