“He didn’t answer. Instead, he ripped my clothes off and tossed them aside, leaving me naked.”
Why did I decide to read this book? Firstly, who doesn’t want the man in your dreams to be a reality? The promise of a normal guy getting caught up in an ongoing war between angels and demons is something I couldn’t ignore. Additionally, A demon with an overprotective obsession with the lead protagonist Jason, really peaked my interest. I love that kind of intensity (or maybe it’s because I’ve never really had that sort of attention, therefore, I seek it out in literature).
Secondly, it’s written by a man and this was very noticeable in the sample. I didn’t expect to see a difference between male and female writing, but there is. I had to look at the author’s name to confirm the gender. I could tell the erotic thoughts were definitely from a man (lol).
Finally, I read the author’s bio and saw myself staring back. The similarities between James Lee Hard and me were uncanny and this is what sealed me reading the book. I actually got my housemate to read the author bio that I copied onto a word doc. He thought it was me.
So, what did I think? I was shocked to find I was 68% of the way through the book and we were still only in act 1. I don’t like to read too much beforehand and so I hadn’t spotted that this book is only 44 pages long. Finishing, it felt like a TV episode and I’m not sure I like this format (at the moment). I can understand the episodic nature and for a writer, it’s a great way to keep motivated. You get feedback from the first instalment to carry on and take on board readers thoughts. I was just surprised that it wasn’t a finished piece. I think the author is trying a technique out and I can see the benefits of it.
I don’t call this a gay romance, not if we take just book 1. This is erotic, and well done, but not romance. It has an edgy, forced sex appeal to it. Tones of dominance and control, which is fine. It’s more primal and I liked that.
The beginning with Jason heading to the subway and his ‘encounter’ was the strongest part for me. This would be one hell of a teaser for the opening episode. As Jason gets on the tube all self conscious looking at everyone and realising the stains on his suit, the titles would have come up.
What lets it down for me, is that I don’t yet get a feel for Jason or his world. He’s walking around in a dream state, feeling in a bit of a rut. At the moment, I’m not invested and don’t care about him enough. You need to feel for and know Jason, to be with him on his journey. But things happen very quickly. Jason is thrown into a world of gay sex and demons and we don’t care for him yet, so we don’t feel for him or empathise. That’s what the first act should be about. Jason should resonate and identify with the reader, but this doesn’t happen.
It’s written from a 1st person perspective which goes back to the above comments. If you are going to see things from Jason’s’ perspective for a whole book, you need to like and care about him or the audience disengages.
Saying that, I like Jason’s internal fight with himself being straight, but wanting this particular man (Blaine) and the need to give away his sexual control. This is enticing to read, and more of this struggle is needed. I could visualise ever scene and saw it all in my head clearly, together with some really nice imagery which gets a big thumbs up from me.
“The silky darkness of the night was cut in half by a lightening bolt that struck the ground.”
There’s enough here for me to want to read book 2. There is a lot of potential here. I definitely want to read one of James Lee Hard’s other completed books now.
Oh. I love the cover.