Torque by Charley Descoteaux ~ Book Review by Kim

Torque_DescoteauxTitle: Torque

Author: Charley Descoteaux

Publisher: Samhain

Cover Artist: Kanaxa

Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars

Publication Date: 02/23/2016

Length: Novella (~ 15K-50K)

Genre: Bisexual, Contemporary, Menage/Poly, Trans*

Blurb:

Sometimes letting things get complicated is the best way to figure it all out.

Mick Randall is on the run, from the biker culture he grew up in and his impossible vision of love. Alaska should be far enough to escape his old life—until he rolls into a wrecking yard and gets lost in a pair of pale, bottle-green eyes.

Scotty Bell has spent years learning to channel his fiery temper into the heat of a welding torch. His sexual heat has always been slower to ignite, but one look at Mick rouses confusion alongside desire. In all his life, he’s only been attracted to one other person—his best friend, Mercy Taylor.

Mick lands a temporary job at the yard, and finds an uneasy crash pad at Scotty’s place…where the ragged ends of his emotions get tangled up in Scotty and Mercy’s relationship.

But when Mick hears a Harley engine from his past bearing down on him, his first instinct is to go back to the half-life he’d been living. Lest his secrets destroy the only two people who’ve ever made him feel whole.

Warning: Contains references to abuse, subversive ideas about sexual identity and gender expression, and a free-range bisexual on a mission.

My View:

This book, overall, had a nice storyline and some intriguing characters. It definitely picked up toward the end, though the beginning was a little rough for me.
My main beef with the book is that the main character, Mick, has weird knowledge gaps. A lot of the tension in his character arc centers on his fear of being discovered to be not-straight, and on his lack of M/M experience. He’s 20-something and has never watched gay porn and seems to literally believe he’s going to be beaten to death if he drops his straight façade for even a moment (due to his rough upbringing), yet he knows proper etiquette and terminology for transgender issues. The rest of his tension is about his past and his perceived failures. That part was harder for me to take because I’m not big on angst, and I like self-awareness. The more Mick worked out his demons and corrected his self-concept, the more I liked him, which made the book easy to read.

 

What I liked most about the book were the supporting characters and their interactions with Mick. They were sketched out well enough to be credible but left with some of their own mystery and secrets. They also provided the lenses Mick needs to change the way he sees himself, and the supportive framework within which to do it. I loved how perceptive Scotty and Mercy were, and Walt’s tough-tender dichotomy. Mercy was also smart, analytical, and willing to say what needed to be said. When things get complicated, she has a way of laying it all out so it doesn’t turn into a problem. Scotty is doggedly loyal and has an endearing self-awareness.

The book packs a lot into a short word count, and does a fine job wrapping up plot threads to give the book a satisfying conclusion.

Links

Torque on Goodreads
Samhain
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
All Romance eBooks

I would like to thank the publisher 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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