Author: M. King
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Brooke Albrecht
Rating: 3.50 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 08/29/2016
Length: Long Novel (~ 100K+)
Genre: Contemporary, Gay Romance
Freelance photographer Dan Wright isn’t looking for romance in Venice. Still smarting from a bad breakup, Dan just wants a vacation and some self-indulgent fun to help him clear his mind. But amid the mystique of the city, he meets quiet schoolteacher Cesare Eveschi, and he decides there’s nothing wrong with a holiday fling. After all, it’s not like there’s a chance for anything serious when Dan is out and proud and Cesare is still hiding in the closet.
But as the two men engage in a whirlwind affair, Dan sees more than he expected in Cesare—behind the shyness and traditional values is a passionate and idealistic man yearning for love. Dan isn’t sure he wants another relationship, but he can’t deny the feelings forming between them may last beyond the suntan. Before Dan lets the possibility for happiness slip through his fingers, he must take a step back and acknowledge how his time in La Serenissima—his time with Cesare—has changed him.
Disclaimer: I love long books. Generally speaking, for me? The more words the better.
That said…there are just…a lot of words in Light and Water. Pretty ones, thoughtful ones, English ones, Italian ones – 117 thousand of them, altogether, and unfortunately that’s way too many for such a simple plot. The prose is beautiful, no doubt, but does anybody really need literally fourteen descriptions of old church interiors? Two full pages to account for some masks in a store window? If that level of detail was used for occasional emphasis it would probably be fine. Here, however, the sheer volume of it overwhelmed me and made the story feel like it was crawling past.
As far as characters go, Dan was a moderately good main. I actually liked him more when he was by himself than with either love interest (which hardly ever happens in my reads). Alone, he seemed happier and more ambitious, and I don’t think the book would have suffered much if he had been single at the end. Paul – the ex – didn’t add anything to the narrative, and while Cesare had a better portrayal, I personally never fully felt his connection with Dan.
In closing, this is a great title for history enthusiasts and fans of very nuanced settings, but those interested in lot of energy or action should look elsewhere.
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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