Author: Amy Lane
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Reese Dante
Rating: 4.75 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 08/31/2010
Length: Novella (~ 15K-50K)
Genre: Contemporary, M/M Romance
Tate “Talker” Walker has spent most of his life hiding his scars under a bright punk facade, and until he sat next to Brian Cooper on a bus, it worked. But Brian has spent his whole life being the invisible man, and he’s used to looking below the surface. What he sees in Talker is a fragile and lovable human being. Brian is outwardly straight, but Talker is desperate for love, and when Talker’s behavior leads to some painful consequences, Brian is forced to come out of his closet—in dramatic fashion. He’ll do anything to make sure Talker sees that he’s the Prince Charming Talker has always needed.
I really love this series and I have now read it twice. I’m glad I bought it in 2011, as I didn’t have to wait for each ‘instalment’ – I could read straight through as though it were one novel.
Talker and Brian are two of the loveliest most complex characters you could meet. It’s the old story of fragile, lost human beings becoming strong and complete together. These two really have nothing going for them at the beginning – Talker is mentally and physically scarred and makes himself look untouchable with a Mohawk, tattoos and piercings his defence and camouflage. This way they look at his outrageous look and not treat him as scarred or a victim.
Brian is the all American boy in his looks, but he has scars inside -he lost his parents very young and was bought up in poverty, but surrounded with love by his artistic, eccentric Aunt Lyndsey. (Wonderful secondary character)
These two meet on the coach that takes them to college track meets and practice. No one sits with Talker as he is so different looking, has twitches and is gay. It’s not done to be friends with a gay boy as it might brand you as gay by association. Brian sees Talker and wants to know him but is worried Talker will reject him. The two start a friendship which will become the lifeline for both of them.
Talker is looking for his Prince Charming to take him away from his troubles and love and look after him forever;
You know, Brian, when we first met, I used to go to sleep every night praying you were gay. I thought, ‘Please let him be gay, and then he’ll be my Prince Charming,’ because man, I’ve never loved another human being on the planet the way I love you.
Sadly, after this speech, which nearly has Brian admitting something to Tate (Talker), Talker says he is glad Brian isn’t gay because this way he can never be rejected by Brian for being so messed up, and Brian can keep him safe. Amy Lane just killed me with Brian’s response even though he lies by omission…
Tate Walker, if I was gay, I’d…I’d be mesmerized by you. I’d listen to every word that fell out of your mouth like it was diamonds made of sounds waves. I’d memorize the pattern of freckles on your back and spend months taking cooking classes just to find something you’d eat. You are kind, and you are funny, and you are brave, and any man who has you needs to see all that or he isn’t worth the laces in your combat boots, you hear me?…
…The biggest speech of his life, the one time…that he spoke with passion and power and love, and he’d prefaced it with one little deal- breaking motherfucker of a word. He’d said ‘if’
These impassioned speeches came after Tate’s ‘Worst. Date. Ever.’ After this Tate decides he needs friendship and safety over love. Brian knows he needs a counsellor and the next half of the book is Brain giving Tate what he needs and helping him to come to terms with ‘The. Worst. Date. Ever.’ I don’t want to go into spoiler territory.
Amy Lane continues Brian and Talker’s relationship in Talker’s Redemption.
This takes up where the last book ends but has a different structure. Here we visit Talker’s sessions with Dr Sutherland. Talker is always accompanied by Brian, his rock and protector. Talker’s fragile mental health and denial about ‘The. Worst. Date. Ever.’ are still the uppermost thoughts in Brain and Tate’s minds. Brian and Tate live together in total poverty but are so wonderful as a couple. However, the incidents in the first book come back to haunt them in a terrible act of violence against one of them. This book concerns the injuries and outcomes from this violent act, and although this seems a harsh incident to have at the centre of a novella, Amy Lane manages to make it full of love. There are unpleasant issues to be dealt with, but the young men have a growing support network to look out for them and bring their story nearer to a happy conclusion. I cried over a rat – honestly I may never live that down.
Talker’s Graduation has yet another structure to its narrative. It switches between the present, and how they got there – from when we left them in the last book. This concluding instalment is quite lovely, and gave me the closure I needed for this couple. Although, when we finish this novella, Talker is only twenty two. Brian is the one not in a very good place when we start Talker’s Graduation, but there is comfort in knowing we have peeked into their present and know it will be all right. Amy Lane can write the slushy stuff so well – I’m leaving my review with one of the best from this concluding chapter in the lives of Brian and Talker:
‘You know,’ Tate whispered, ‘I’m not sure if there’s even a word for what’s in my chest right now when I look at you.’
‘Sure there is,’ Brian murmured. ‘But you use it when you’re talking about Pearl Jam, too – it gets muddled.’…
…he knew that not even a muddled word would let him ever confuse the way he felt about Brian with the way he felt about Pearl Jam.
As I have mentioned the characters Talker and Brian are only very early twenties at the end of the third novella , and Amy Lane gives them a lovely ending however, if she were ever to write more about their lives I would be pre-ordering the book, the minute I heard.
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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