I had heard good things about this author but I had never read anything by her before, I shall certainly be changing that now.
Author: Lily Velden
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
My Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
From the Publisher:
Despite a successful college teaching career, Noah Daniels has become depressed. He feels he’s leading a monochromatic life: love has eluded him. When he’s offered a chance to teach in London as part of an exchange program, he accepts, hoping a change of scenery will do him good. But once he’s there, his outlook on love and sexuality changes in ways he never expected.
Robert Callinan is Noah’s English counterpart in the program. The men exchange not only their jobs, but also their homes, and it is what Noah stumbles across while staying at Robert’s house that sends him on a journey of self-discovery—both mentally and physically. A journey that puts color back into his life… just not in the way he expected. When the exchange program ends, Noah has to go home, but he doesn’t know if he wants to return to the life he left behind.
This is a wonderful novel about the dangers of living without self knowledge and the explosion that occurs in your life when you discover your true nature. Lily Velden knows how to wield words as a visceral weapon or a soft caress. I read a short story before this good length novel, and was put off by the flowery, cheesy dialogue surprised when I found out a man had written it. I recommended a friend, who happens to be a gay man, read it and tell me what he thought. Likewise, he thought it had been ‘written by a woman who didn’t know men’.
I then copied various paragraphs of this novel to him and he thought it was written by a gay man. In this context it is a great compliment. This book is very sexy. It has desperate need, sexual awakening, fear from new arousal and understanding of self. It also has some quotable gems,
His cock was definitely a star. His heart and lungs were merely its life support system, his nerves its communication system, and the apex of his thighs its home address. Though I wouldn’t mind if he called my ass home away from home.
When Noah’s sexual awakening occurs he behaves like a teenager, who has just discovered the sexual pleasures out there, he is unable to put the genie back in the bottle and is aroused by men everywhere. His first attempts to assuage his permanent arousal and experiment are at a gay bath house, but it is the cache of home videos and the sexual images of someone he has never met, which have him desiring more. Because this is a story about a man in his early thirties it means every feeling and event, in his coming out, is heightened for him.
Noah’s awareness of how he has been half alive for three decades makes discovering love for the first time feel more poignant. When he finally meets the true object of his desires he has his first gay kiss,
That one kiss was the best sex I’d ever had.
This novel starts off with some descriptions, which my previously mentioned friend said rang really true. He himself has been out and proud since a very young teen, but knows men who have felt, as described by Lily Velden, when depression overcame them whilst in the closet for decades,
I was living a monochromatic, black- and- white photograph of a life where everything was a shade of tedious. I wasn’t sure how it happened, or even when it happened.
It just had.
It crept up on me, like a slow-spreading parasitic vine, gradually sapping the vibrancy from my life. One day I woke up and everything was gray, dull and lifeless.
This novel impressed me, entertained me, aroused me and gave me everything I enjoy in a believable romantic story between two men. Additionally no women had to be insulted or stereotyped to do this and I think I’ve already sold it to my friend.
I would like to thank Dreamspinner Press for providing me with the RC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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