Title: Seducing Light
Author: KC Kendricks
Publisher URL: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure
Genre: Contemporary GLBT (M/M)
Length: Novel/ 250 pages
Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5
A guest review by Kassa
Asher Myles struggled to put his life back together after an identity thief striped him of everything but his talent for capturing light and shadow with a camera lens. With a new job and a new start, Asher’s on his way to Montana—and a meeting with the man he’s fantasized about since he first saw him on the silver screen.
Nick Light, actor, director, and Hollywood royalty, doesn’t like paparazzi. When he agrees to have his Montana ranch photographed for a style magazine, the unexpected happens—he falls for the man with the camera. Nick’s secret comes out when he realizes Asher is also gay.
If there’s one thing Nick can’t resist, it’s a man with a talent for seducing light…
This is a very sweet romance that has a lot of elements incorporated within the story, yet the author manages to skim over most and focus on the emotion between the men and slow emergence of a committed relationship. A solid story for the most part where readers and fans of the author will likely ignore any inherent problems, focusing instead on the satisfying romance and resolution at the end. There is some anxiety and miscommunication involved as well as problems relating to the differences between the men but for the most part there are few real problems. Be sure to save this one for those times when you just want something appealing, satisfying, and light with a touch of angst and drama to round out the book.
The plot is a tried and true story about closeted movie stars and the men they eventually come out for. This particular offering doesn’t offer anything inventive or refreshing on the well known theme but nonetheless has delivered a comfortable, absorbing read that is likely to satisfy romance lovers. The writing helps with a lyrical quality to the prose, allowing a fluid read to the point that I barely realized I’d read the whole book. This style of writing was especially evident during the sex scenes where the author conveyed the romance and emotion much more heavily than explicit language and action. The point of view is first person from Asher’s perspective and he is a strong enough character to pull it off for the most part. His telling draws you in at an even pace and carries the story along rather well going from sex scenes to angst to the brief dramatic argument. This does leave the story rather predictable though and relying heavily on coincidences, which I found somewhat annoying after a while, so you’ll need to get by this to want to continue with the book.
The characters are engaging and likeable, but still somewhat contradictory. Both are older men (40s versus the rampant 20s in romance books), having their share of success and setback and are at a point in their lives to seek commitment and stability over casual sex. Asher especially, for all this tragic past and drama, is almost untouched and unfazed by setbacks of his past. He seems to drift along with an integrity and strength that is at odds with his easy going personality. He claims to refuse to sell tabloid shots when he was losing his livelihood, his house, his car, and his very identity supposedly demonstrating an iron integrity that can’t be questioned. I found this aspect odd as the photographs in question were taken when Asher was in a pack of other photographers so none of these were stalker pictures or especially unique. So if selling a generic photograph of a star you admire would help you save your house, who turns that down? Additionally, Asher’s reaction to a fight with Nick, who he knew for about a week or so was much more dramatic and intense than his reaction to even his parents and twin sister’s death. The author offers pat explanations for this, but it felt weak and contradictory to the character presented.
Even with these problems and there were a few others, Asher is interesting enough to capture your attention and Nick is a classic character. Very much a strong, silent type that is a slave to his wealth and fame within Hollywood, he has no intentions of coming out even to appease his unhappy life. His attraction to Asher is immediate and he seemingly can’t help himself, taking risks that are out of character. Nick’s reactions to Asher also make little sense and little is explained about Nick other than a wealthy family he loved who never accepted him. Nick is a deeply unhappy man, which makes his final choices at the end even more surprising. However, for all this the focus is on the romance between the men and less about their actual character development and the outside forces.
There are a lot of elements presented within the pages from Nick’s closeted sexuality to the threat of scandal and exposure and none are handled very well, if at all. The ending is very romantic with a love conquers all type theme where no resolution is offered. An epilogue is added, jumping forward almost two years to wrap everything in a neat bow without offering any real explanation to the resolution of problems—merely that everything is wonderful. This, in combination to the other problems with the characters and plot, had this sliding into an entertainment read that I didn’t connect much with but was very sweet to read regardless. Some of the prose and scenes were straddling that line of too sappy, but on the whole it worked for the tone and effect the author was striving for.
This is the type of story that is perfect for curling up with on a rainy afternoon when you want something very romantic with a minor touch of angst.