Other Love by Michael Itig ~ Review by Leisa

An awesome, one of a kind story you shouldn’t miss …

Other LoveTitle: Other Love

Author: Michael Itig

PublisherJMS Books

My Rating: 4.25 of 5 stars

From the Publisher:

Clayton Twigg has not had a relationship for fifteen years. A desperate situation calls for desperate measures and so he resorts to a message in a bottle — a personal ad left in a graveyard. Surprisingly, it only takes five minutes for someone to pick it up. This is how Clayton meets Shack.

Shackleton Daisy is Clayton’s opposite in every way — carefree, promiscuous, uninhibited, and unashamed. They say opposites attract, but Clayton presents a greater challenge than Shack has ever encountered before. Everyone has their own baggage, some heavier than others.

Clayton is a haunted man. His fifteen years of celibacy is not without reason; every time he tries to have sex, he’s haunted by the ghost of his mother. Will Shack be able to help Clayton live in the moment and bury his past? Or is he doomed to a life lived among ghosts?

My View

Other Love is the story of shy, 42 year old Clayton, a counselor, who is bitterly lonely and hasn’t had sex in fifteen years. His apartment overlooks a cemetery where gay men meet for quick trysts, and in desperation he places a brief note in a bottle on a tomb stone hoping to find someone interested in meeting him. Outgoing Shack finds the note and tracks Clayton down, initially looking for a quickie. They begin a friendship of sorts since Clayton doesn’t immediately want to have sex, and slowly work toward a relationship. The problem? Clayton is haunted by his freakishly clingy dead mother’s ghost who is bent on preventing him from having gay sex. She pops in on Clayton and tells him how desperately she loves him, and how she’s protecting him from a gay relationship. Quite the mood killer …

Michael Itig is relatively new to M/M romance, and I enjoy reading “new to me” authors. Itig’s Other Love is a different type story – it’s not all hearts, snuggles and romance. Instead, it has an almost macabre feel at times. Clayton’s relationship with his mother, shown mostly in flashbacks, is seriously dysfunctional. She lays an enormous guilt trip on Clayton every time he even tries to mention he’s gay, and she’s determined to keep him just for herself. Her damage of Clayton’s self esteem and psyche is obvious and lasting. Shack is a wonderful character – he genuinely likes sad, troubled Clayton, and is convinced that he must save Clayton from himself (Shack doesn’t buy the whole “Mom’s ghost is sitting in the corner knitting” scenario). Itig also isn’t afraid to make the reader squirm uncomfortably. I winced when Clayton and Shack finally have sex with Mom crooning her woes and offering commentary as she watched the men together. But this is part of why this story is so uniquely interesting – the reader feels incredible pity for Clayton, who is haunted by his mother (whether it’s literally or psychologically is irrelevant – it’s real to Clayton), but at the same time, you want to shudder and say, “No …. Just, No.”

Other Love is one of a kind, qwirky, ultimately hopeful, and a bit horrific. It’s also awesome in it’s own way. I’ve never read anything quite like it, and I can’t wait for Michael Itig’s next M/M romance offering. I encourage you to read this unusual story – I promise you will be thinking about it for days after you read the last page. I know I have …

Buy Links:

JMS Books
Amazon US
Amazon UK

I would like to thank JMS Books for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.

 

Farewell Giveaway
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,

Brandilyn
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