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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

'I'll Be Home For Christmas' by Adrianna DANE

From the BLURB:

Destrie Two Rivers and Benedict Webster--an orphaned half-Indian and a wealthy rancher’s son. Men who were boyhood best friends, turned secret lovers when they were eighteen. And then one nightmarish night they were discovered and Destrie almost died as a result.

Now, eight years later, just before Christmas, Destrie, an Army sniper, returns to Wyoming on leave to attend the funeral of his foster father. Both men have changed and the distance between them seems wider than the Continental Divide with no way to breach the chasm. But just as the creek where they first made love runs powerful and constant, Destrie and Benedict’s passion for each other still burns undeniably deep and everlasting.

Re-igniting their unquenchable desire could prove fatal. Until the heavy guilt and shocking secrets of the past are revealed, neither of these two men can truly come home for Christmas.

‘I’ll be Home for Christmas’ is a short M/M e-book novella from Adrianna Dane.

Destrie ‘Two Rivers’ has returned home to Wyoming after an eight-year absence... and his reason for leaving is sitting at the bar he walks into on his first night back. Benedict Webster – he was once Destrie’s best friend, then lover, until Benedict's elder brother viciously attacked Destrie and sent him packing for the United States Army.

Destrie is back in town for his foster father’s funeral. But seeing Benedict ignites an old flame, even if both men know that they’ll never have anything more than a carnal fling. Because Benedict won’t leave Wyoming, and Wyoming won’t ever accept what Destrie and Benedict mean to each other. . . but maybe all that will change when Christmas is in the air.

I liked the first half of this book, but felt that the second half ran away from the author.

The premise starts out bitter-sweetly wonderful and wrought with tension. Destrie left Wyoming after a gay-bashing, and he returns after eight years to unchanged hostility and the knowledge that what he is will never be accepted by the small town’s small-minds. Not even serving for his nation’s army will change these people’s opinions. But Destrie likewise can’t change the way he feels about Benedict – his high school sweetheart and only man he has ever loved. These two are combustible and I was not surprised when, in the opening chapter, they’re getting hot n’ heavy against an alley wall.

Maybe the Wyoming setting and rancher characters are reminiscent of ‘Brokeback Mountain’ – but the resemblances are only superficial. The Wyoming setting is actually really beautifully written and utilized by Dane, who casts the dusty landscape according to her character’s moods and the tension of the scene;
Destrie watched him go. A lump formed in his throat, his eyes stung, and he blinked rapidly.
Benedict stopped at the top of the ridge for just one moment. He was silhouetted against the wide gray Wyoming sky. He was alone, a solitary figure. A stark image that Destrie knew would stay with him until the day he died. That was how he would remember the strong man that he loved. In his own way hard as the earth, willing to sacrifice for his people and for the ranch he loved. Proud and so damned beautiful, it hurt to look at him.
And then he was gone, and Destrie stared at the empty gray landscape, feeling as though all the warmth had been sucked from inside him.
The book started to get away from me half-way through. . . when Adrianna Dane seems to remember that she’s writing a Christmas-themed M/M and throws in a ghost (of Christmas past?) for good measure, to steer Benedict on the right path. Then Destrie learns a few unsettling things about the interim eight years and what Benedict has been doing with his time. . . and then Dane throws in a sordid past for Benedict and Destrie’s parents to really tie the plot into a knot.

I didn’t think all these extra bits and pieces were really necessary to the storyline. There was enough tension and drama simply in Destrie coming home, and facing rampant homophobia, I didn’t need all those other curveballs.

The sex scenes are hot and sensual, Destrie and Benedict have chemistry that ignites the page. . . but I wish Adrianna Dane had kept to the adage ‘less is more’ and not made her plot so soap-opera complicated.

3/5

1 comment:

  1. I see what you mean... the simple initial plot alone sounds great... then she adds in a ghost and shady pasts? Oy vey =/ LOL

    Great review! the mention of a Hot Alley encounter got me fanning myself hehe

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