A Guest Review by Raine
Summary Review: A hot but slow growing romance of the opposites attract flavour set in this writer’s fascinating superpowered but everyday world – though I did have to overcome a personal hangup with one of the characters.
Blurb: Jamie Monday lives in two different worlds. With his family, he’s the golden child of awakened superpowered society. He’s meant to do Great Things and pass on his powers — with the appropriate girl, hand-picked by his mother. He’s already failed at the former, so he can’t bring himself to tell her that the latter isn’t happening, either. With his friends, he’s the social director and life of the party. He’s also an out gay man with an appetite for the quick and easy lay. It’s tough to have a relationship when you’re hiding off-the-charts electrical powers, but Jamie doesn’t mind.
Not until the prickly, paddy rocking, geeky-hot new guy at work shows him what he’s been missing, anyhow. Kellan Shea’s singular combination of dirty mouth and pure soul makes Jamie spark right from the beginning. To break through Kelly’s defensive front and get to the gentle heart inside, Jamie will have to reconcile his split life: come to terms with his past, his family, his powers, even his nightmares.
Easier said than done, but if Jamie doesn’t step up and own the truth, he could lose his love before it gets off the ground.
** This review may contain spoilers **
I just reread the excellent blurb to this book and realised that something I was going to write about is actually not mentioned so I am putting the spoiler warning up.
I wasn’t going to review this book. My main reason was that I’d read and reviewed the first two with great enthusiasm and feared I’d begin to sound like a Katey Hawthorne cheerleader. However overworked Wave asked me if I’d like to and reassured me about the pom pom thing………
I actually found this book grew on me quite slowly, my first read, for reasons I’ll explain, left me a little disgruntled. Thankfully once I got over myself, I very much enjoyed the close focus on the ups and downs of this relationship between two very different guys.
Once again the music playlist provided adds another element to Katey Hawthorne’s books. This time it not only displayed what different tastes the guys had. Jamie’s theme song, Mika‘s Grace Kelly with it’s the addictive pop hook “I can be anything you like…..” translates to emphasize Jaime’s conflict as he has to pretend to be someone else to both win approval and more seriously keep his superpowered society hidden. So there he is a very attractive socially shallow butterfly with a deep, deep secret and of course he has to be attracted to ‘code monkey’ Kellan displaying all the social skills of a stinging nettle, but who is at heart genuinely open and vulnerably honest. His song is Your Pure Soul by The Charlatans!
My slight personal problem with the book came into the open as we got to know more about Kellan. The relationship is very cleverly set up to mimic the real getting to know you scenario of two people gradually teasing out stuff about this person they are attracted to. It sort of followed this path for both Jamie and me; mmm…cute new guy at work ….not easy …….prickly clever nerd…….cute & hot …..flirting…..sport, beer, music, comics, beer, cats…….and then oh God …..God as in the Catholic Church and then Jamie and I both stalled. Now Jamie got over this a lot more quickly than I did but then he had a greater incentive…… superficially at least, a dirty mouth and hot sex. By the way I thought the closely detailed intimate descriptions of both guys and their relationship was beautifully done. The sex is outstanding, hot and tender,……..and he moaned softly, his stomach curving over my head like a fucking cathedral ceiling…..
Reluctantly getting back to the point. So, this a purely personal reaction which effected my growing attraction to a difficult character. I have huge problems with organised religions. I think the late often great Christopher Hitchens said, “Faith is the surrender of the mind; it’s the surrender of reason……” Suddenly Kellan seemed less rather than more. It took me a while to reconnect with him, but this was my reaction- possibly not other readers. I did like the way Jamie came to terms intellectually and emotionally with what appeared to be an initial problem, but then Jamie ” I’m a slut for flattery “, is very much my favourite guy in this book. Likewise Kellan’s acceptance of Jamie’s powers was delightfully expressed,
” I believe in God. You think some lightening I can actually see is going to shut my brain down? “
The fundamental differences between Jamie and Kellan- not surprisingly- provides the main conflict within the building relationship and the story. However the added tension of the sub plot concerning the strange selective breeding ideals of the Cleveland superpowered society didn’t quite cut it. I totally believed in Jamie’s misplaced sense of noblesse oblige but his mother, his predetermined partner Mae and her very disturbed mother troubled me. Even though the writer acknowledged the insanity of this plot within the book, this agreement wasn’t quite enough to convince me.
This was a sweet slow burn of a read for me and while I did have a private moment over the God question, I was gradually won over by the lovely and heartfelt relationship that the characters built for themselves.