Sunday, October 24, 2010

Review: Sleeping Stone

Sleeping StoneSleeping Stone by Alexa Snow

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Jazz Stone is playful, chaotic, relentless, open, funny, impulsive and endlessly interested in anything that goes on around him. In other words he's everything that Chris Turner isn't. When they meet, it's like opposites attract quite from the beginning, and what starts out as a funny pastime grows into something more over the weeks. But when Chris finally is ready to throw his misgivings overboard and moves in with Jazz, there's suddenly another man with them in the picture: Richard, Jazz's ex. Richard is obviously still in love with Jazz, and what's worse, Jazz still loves Richard. But the biggest surprise, even to Chris himself, is that he feels attracted to Richard too, and in a big way, a feeling Richard wholeheartedly returns. It takes all three men quite a bit of time to acknowledge that maybe three people can be as good together as two, but finally they manage. Now they're a still slightly awkward, but for the time being, stable threesome, this could get perfect. Hadn't Jazz gotten a liking to driving a motorbike he can't master. Hadn't he had a terrible accident which throws him in a coma.
And now Chris and Richard, left alone are hanging in a terrible lurch of time, nearly speechless without Jazz's inexhaustible energy, waiting for the man they both love to wake up. But will he ever?

The story started kind of slow; it took two or three chapters getting used to the alternation between the present tense parts which tell about Chris spending time with Jazz in the hospital and the past tense parts which tell about the story of the three men getting together. (Both parts are mostly not connected as regards content; luckily the present tense parts are printed in italics and easily discernible. )
But it rapidly took up speed, and when it did, it became an unable-to-put-down read.
Since the story is told entirely from Chris's point of view, Jazz is pictured the most colorful and thorough of the three. We see him through Chris's eyes and therefore presumably mostly through pink-hued glasses, but still he's a very likeable character. His carelessness borders on daredevilry, his self-confidence on egoism, but he is so considerate and so very much aware of Chris that there is no doubt why Chris simply has to fall for him as hard as he does. Chris, on the other hand, is easily manipulated by Jazz, but mostly for his own good; he is someone who has to be dragged to his own luck kicking and screaming, but he is also protective and caring AND manages to give Jazz space. Richard is least drawn out, but still the characterization is well enough to understand why both Jazz and Chris are drawn to him.

There were some minor issues, too, first and foremost with the threesome in on itself. From Chris's former characterization I simply couldn't see him accepting Richard into their relationship as easy as he does - unless Jazz pushes him towards it, and that takes sympathy points from Jazz. Still, the relationship, after it is established, is nicely done and in fact is one of the strongest pros for this story.
There's also a lot of sex scenes. And while some of those are integral to the plot and the development of the characters, there are also some superfluous scenes (albeit greatly done ones, so I won't complain too much)

Overall, a great book about the power of love overcoming even the biggest obstacles. Very gripping and a wonderful story. Definitely recommended.

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