I chose this after watching In the Land of Blood and Honey. I guess you could say I was in a mood. I think this is fairly historically accurate, but (a) I’m no expert and (b) it’s a romance novella so…
Title: More Than Life
Author: Garrett Leigh
Rating: 3.0 of 5 Stars
A love forged in war, and saved by the shadows of death.
Set in the Kosovan war, Mikail fights in the depleted underground resistance, smuggling intelligence and precious cargo out of war torn Pristina. Isa, an enigmatic CIA operative becomes an unlikely ally, and when a secret mission brings them together, heat, passion and a love they’ve never known consumes them. They forge a deep bond, but the war around them continues to rage, and as Serbian forces close in on Pristina, Isa makes the ultimate sacrifice to save his young lover.
Four years later, Mik lives in the shadow of the Albanian mountains, trying to rebuild his life with what remains of his family. His grief for Isa weighs heavily on his young shoulders and their time together feels like nothing more than a stolen dream.
This is my first experience with this author and it wasn’t a bad one. Both Isa and Mik are likable enough. I think their relationship suffered because it wasn’t given adequate time to develop. It struck me as instalove which I can overlook since it’s a relationship formed during a war. Stressful times speed the bonding process and all that. I get it, but I think it would’ve been better had more of the bonding process happened on the page.
Mik is a resistance fighter in Kosovo and Isa is undercover American posing as a Russian contact when first they meet. Isa is likely CIA, and we come to find out later that he had some sort of relationship/understanding with Mik’s father who imparts that Isa used to be Special Forces. So, Isa’s pretty much a badass. Mik can cross the border into Albania with ease, thus has been tasked to do so repeatedly. This actually struck me as odd that the Serbs hadn’t put the kibosh on Mik’s movements since this has been happening for some time, apparently.
At any rate, there are numerous meetings between the two, all of which happen off the page, and their trust in each other grows as does their desire. Both these cats have zero gaydar. Most of More Than Life is told through Mik who cannot fathom Isa having any interest in him until Mik asks for his help getting children out of Pristina and they wend up spending the night together in a mountain cabin and Mik jumps him.
Suddenly, it felt like he could climb inside Isa’s skin and still not be close enough.
Round of applause for Mik’s boldness, please.
More Than Life was extremely romantic and oddly enough, feel good despite the setting, though I did think it read a bit histrionic at times especially in the dialogue. The sex was medium hot, nothing extraordinary. I’d be interested to see what this author could do with a full length novel. The writing is pretty good with only a couple of SPaG errors. I think both these characters could’ve been developed better with adequate page time. By the end it seemed as though Isa had done a 180º. I could delve into this further but, I fear, that would spoil things for you so I’ll refrain.
I liked it, but it’s not something that I’ll think about for days or longer. Still, a quick, romantic and good read.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC 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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