Author: Kris Ripper
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 07/11/2016
Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)
Genre: Contemporary, Gay Romance
Emerson Robinette only leaves his apartment to get laid and go to work. Having MS—and trying to pretend he doesn’t—makes everything more complicated, especially his fantasies of coming on strong and holding a guy down. Finding a partner who’ll explore that with him isn’t Emerson’s idea of a realistic goal.
Until a chance meeting with a hipster on a bus makes him reconsider. Obie is happy, open-hearted, and warm; what’s more, he gets his kicks being physically dominated, spanked, and teased until he’s begging. It would be perfect, except for one thing: Emerson isn’t made for happiness, and he doesn’t see how a guy like Obie would settle for a cynic like him.
But as far as Obie’s concerned, the only thing keeping them apart is Emerson. Can Emerson handle a boyfriend who’s more invested in his future than he is? Emerson’s barely convinced he has a future. But when Obie’s smiling at him, anything seems possible.
This is one of those stories I have a hard time reviewing because there was sooo much going on that I want to mention, but I know I will never remember everything I wanted to say. I also struggle to explain exactly why I enjoyed this story so much, but I will try to form some sort of cohesive write-up. My apologies for when I fail.
Gays of Our Lives was not what I was expecting. First, I want to admit that I did not read the blurb. I based my initial thoughts on the title and expected a really soap opera-like story with tons of over the top and unexplained moments. While there was some of that, this story was a lot more serious and touched on a much darker topic that I would not have expected from the title.
With that said, I loved the storyline and I loved Emerson’s journey. What I loved most about it, was that it was realistic and not this transformation from utterly broken to perfectly happy. This was more of a journey from HOT-MESS, to hot-mess with a support system. Emerson’s transformation did not happen instantly because “love conquers all.” It was slow and was in no way finished just because this story is over. His journey will take his entire life and will most certainly never be perfect. I loved that the author acknowledged his right to mess up and be cynical while also acknowledging that he also has the right to be happy, but only if he wants to be happy.
Emerson’s personality was evident in every facet of this story. From his actions to his word choices to the writing style and overall tone of the story. This book was Emerson from start to finish and the author really did a great job being consistent and maintaining quality the entire tale. I knew from word one exactly the type of person Emerson would be and never once needed the author to casually slip a description of him into any side conversations. This whole book was crafted perfectly to show, not tell, Emerson to the reader.
My only real issue with this book was that it was 100% from Emerson’s POV and that left things lacking for me. I personally needed Obie’s POV for this one to be truly complete and understandable. While I loved Emerson’s side of things, I needed Obie’s to truly understand his motivations and actions. Being in a relationship with someone with a lifelong illness is not something to take lightly, yet it almost felt like Obie did just that. I never knew why he so easily accepted Emerson and all his baggage. Maybe it was not an easy choice, but based on what was on page, it seemed that way to me. And I needed to see that struggle or lack thereof to really connect with the romance as written. I never really got Obie’s personality and motivation and so I never really connected with him as a person. Yes, I LOVED what he did for Emerson’s self esteem and I LOVED his attitude in life, but it was not enough for me to stop questioning everything he did throughout this story. And for me, it took away from my enjoyment because I spent too much time wondering the whys of things.
Other people may not share my opinion and may read this one differently. But for me, I could not give that final star because I was left with too many unanswered questions. However, I do recommend this story to anyone looking for something well written and full of perfectly timed snarky humor. This story was respectful in its subject matter and yet blunt enough to not feel like a political statement. It was well balanced and a good way to spend a few hours of your time.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
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