By Amy Lane
Editions: ebook, paperback
Published February 24th 2012 by Dreamspinner Press (first published February 23rd 2012)
Genre: MxM Adult Contemporary Romance
Chase Summers: Golden boy. Beautiful girlfriend, good friends, and a promising future.
Nobody knows the real Chase.
Chase Summers has a razor blade to his wrist and the smell of his lover’s goodbye clinging to his skin. He has a door in his heart so frightening he’d rather die than open it, and the lies he’s used to block it shut are thinning with every forbidden touch. Chase has spent his entire life unraveling, and his decision to set his sexuality free in secret has only torn his mind apart faster.
Chase has one chance for true love and salvation. He may have met Tommy Halloran in the world of gay-for-pay—where the number of lovers doesn’t matter as long as the come-shot’s good—but if he wants the healing that Tommy’s love has to offer, he’ll need the courage to leave the shadows for the sunlight. That may be too much to ask from a man who’s spent his entire life hiding his true self. Chase knows all too well that the only things thriving in a heart’s darkness are the bitter personal demons that love to watch us bleed.
~ Goodreads Blurb
This review was hard to write, I thought on it for days actually. It’s one of those cases when you really, really love parts and don’t really connect with others. In the end I weighed all the arguments and I came up with this 3 and something but not quite 4 rating.
What I really, really loved about this novel was for one thing the fact that it’s gutsy. The author took on a subject I personally haven’t read about in many if in any other book of the genre, the topic of the mature entertainment and the people staring in it looked at from a realistic point of view, with a sort of zoom in on their lives. As opposed to the only other Amy Lane title I have read, Truth in the Dark that was something of a fairy tale, this one was actually edgy and had a sort of shocking value to it. I loved that, let there be no shadow of a doubt. Beside that aspect, the personal history of Chase was deeply moving and had a lot of shock factor as well. I can’t say I enjoyed the torture he went through, but I enjoyed the very raw sort of vibe he had as a character. I can’t say I liked him as a character, though. He’s only human of course, and after getting used to reading about main characters that almost always end up being heroes, reading about one that is sort of the anti-hero for the most of the story was new and again gutsy, and I liked that as well.
Now, as a personal note, I don’t like people that go for both when it comes to these things. I’m sorry if it comes across as intolerant of me, but I don’t like the ones that stick their fingers in more then one pie. I’m not talking about the gender of their lovers, I’m talking about cheating on them whatever gender or etc they are. That’s the first and foremost reason I didn’t like Chase. Would his personal dilemma had been moral rather then physical as well, I would have admired him and metaphorically held his hand through it. But the way the character Chase did things came across as selfish and self-centered to me, and I really dislike that in people. I can love them regardless of it, but I could never ever agree with that sort of thing.
For all his traumas since childhood, and his inner turmoil and his hurt, I was holding Chase’s hand, so to speak. I wanted him to get better, to find his way out of the shadow, to be ok. I also wanted to slap his head 360 degrees around for how he hurt others while trying to sort his stuff out, and I won’t beat around the bush about it.
In all things there’s a self-centered way to do them, and a considerate way. I’ll never like or support the self-centered one.
Let it be clear here, I’m not saying which choice would have been better or worse, or that Chase should have in any hurt himself by doing what anyone else would have wanted him to. Not saying that at all. Each of us must make the choices that suit us, that allow us to fully express ourselves as we are, as we feel, as we desire. In this I admired Chase for finally getting the guts to be honest with himself and with those around him. I was proud of him when he did it, and I liked him a lot more for the last part of the read. He became more aware and caring of how his actions affected others, and that’s what I call growing up.
In the end I found myself having intense but mixed feelings about the main character, and that turned into the same feelings about the read by large. Would I recommend this? If you’re down with reading about intense emotional issues and dramatic situations, then I say yes, try it out. It might or might not turn out to be your cup of tea, you might love Chase, hate him or have mixed feelings about him like I did.