Author: Carolyn Levine Topol
Publisher: Liquid Silver
Rating: 2.25 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 03/23/2015
Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)
Genre: M/M Romance
All relationships take work … some more than others. Budding careers, overbearing parents, and homophobic vigilantes, with all the roadblocks thrown in the path of love, it’s going to take a strong commitment for Del Mathers and Joey Dixon to build their life as a couple. But, some things are worth fighting for … Veiled Security, Carolyn LeVine Topol’s contemporary tale will be a welcome addition to your romance library.
Del Mathers and Joey Dixon have settled in the West Village of New York City, trying to launch their careers at a local and well-respected drag club. Del is balancing his devotion to his lover and his desire to perform on stage; his drag queen alter ego, Venus, a sultry chanteuse, exists to mask his identity because Del is not out to his family. Joey, a gifted musician and lyricist, treasures Del as his partner and inspiration, but he has his own frustrations and is hiding behind a series of conditions, throwing roadblocks into their uncertain path to complete an unconditional commitment.
As if dealing with the precarious first steps in their relationship and Del’s overbearing parents isn’t enough, Del and Joey face danger when a group of homophobic vigilantes starts targeting the gay community. All it takes is a moment’s carelessness, and everything they have struggled to build could be destroyed.
I spent several days ruminating about this book before writing the review. Why? Because I didn’t like it, but it doesn’t deserve to be torn apart either. Though for me the negatives outweighed the positive, I think there are plenty of readers who will like it.
The novel is technically well-written. I didn’t find any grammar or spelling mistakes. The author definitely has a strong grasp of the English language but her style just isn’t the type I prefer to read.
I usually prefer first person POV over third because there can be a distance between the characters and the readers. When done right, third person POV can allow just a deep glance into the characters as first, but that wasn’t the case here. I never felt a strong connection to Del and Joey, not as separate men or as a couple.
The biggest problem was telling instead of showing. Often times it felt like I was just skimming the surface of the characters’ lives, as if it was someone retelling the story instead of experiencing it firsthand. Often, the characters’ emotions were told, instead of being shown. All of this I could’ve gotten over and maybe enjoyed the book more had it not been for several other issues that pulled me out of the story.
There was often a factor of unbelievability to the tale. After college, Del and Joey move to New York hoping to make it big as performer and songwriter, respectively. To make ends meet, Del uses his degree and gets a job at a financial institution. However, he starts off with his own office and assistant. I would think it would take years of working in a cubicle farm or something similar before that happened.
Del tries out for a singing gig at a local club where the owner is, at first, shown as an asshole. However, Del’s singing is just so amazing, the man is swayed and hires Del, calling him the best singer in years. He even compares Del to Cole Porter. The incredulity continues when a talent agent listens to Del sing one of Joey’s songs and wants to immediately sign them to a contract.
Del and Joey are on top of the world. Which means it all has to come crashing down. The conflict was easy to see from a mile away because the author basically tells you ahead of time it’s going to happen. This led into my least favorite part of the book.
Del is hurt and Joey blames himself, and I just never bought why Joey would beat himself up quite that much. I could’ve dealt with a little self-blame but the extent to which Joey beats himself up is ridiculous. On top of that he thinks it would be better to step out of Del’s life and leave him with his parents, who have been shown to be possibly homophobic and verbally abusive. I didn’t buy into the idea that Joey would do that to the man he claimed to love so much. It just didn’t make any sense.
Add some dialogue worthy of a Lifetime-movie-the-week and a cheesy HEA and I just couldn’t enjoy this novel.
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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