Monday, May 14, 2012
Review: Selling It
Selling It by Sara York
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
This was more of a 1.5 stars; rounded up for the sheer ridiculousness of it.
Police detective Blaine has only recently transferred to DC, and he’s glad that no one here knows about his homosexuality, or his past as a prostitute. On top of that, he has to deal with a serious case of loneliness, which he attempts to drown with frequent anonymous fucks at a gay club, and his meddling female partner, who thinks him morose and keeps trying to remedy that by setting him up with her friends.
Once Blaine realizes his attacker of so long ago ago might actually be the very perp he’s looking for here and now, he realizes he can’t very well keep hiding much longer – which causes an understandable conflict of interests in him. This is why Blaine, at first, buries his head in the sand and says nothing. But then two things happen that force him to reveal his secrets. Nate, a young prostitute Blaine formed a connection with, is attacked and barely makes it out alive, and Blaine meets Andy, a dancer and actor, a man he deems worthy to come out of the closet for.
Once he’s made his decision, Blaine pulls it through, and soon things look golden. He and Andy practically live together with the blessings of Andy’s protective friends, and the murder case starts moving. But then a series of strange coincidences puts Andy’s friends on the killer’s hit list, and suddenly it’s Andy’s life that is at stakes, and Blaine is Andy’s only hope for survival.
Sounds good, doesn’t it? Perhaps a bit far fetched, but who cares, it’s fiction after all, isn’t it? And the mystery wasn’t all that bad, actually, even though it required some suspension of disbelief, especially with the series of hunches and coincidences that had Blaine show up just in time to save his lover’s life.
The taut writing style didn’t appeal to me overly much, but that’s mostly a matter of taste. The same may apply to the multiple POV’s; aside from Blaine and Andy, several other character have their say, including Nate, and Blaine’s partner Lucy, and even the killer, who was a bigoted, megalomaniac nutcase who behaved so erratic I couldn’t help wondering how he remained undetected as long as he supposedly did. Some parts were really well wrought out, particularly the harrowing misery of living on the streets and the day-to-day ordeal of turning tricks for a living. I also found it remarkable that the rent boys were always referred to as prostitutes, never some more derogatory term.
But, the romance – omigod...
Andy’s and Blaine’s first meeting in Blaine’s favorite hookup joint (their second meeting, actually, since Andy had already caught a glimpse at Blaine driving by him on the street) had me scratching my head due to the instant connection they formed. It wasn’t the insta-lust that puzzled me, given the location – two attractive strangers in a gay bar, serious flirtation, what’s to expect? Certainly not what actually happened, which would be commitment-shy Blaine talking about their future relationship by the second sentence they exchanged, and adventurous Andy virtuously calling it an early night because of his early start the next day. Each went home into his own bed. Then again, perhaps they were just being mature adults, they’re both over thirty after all, I thought.
However, it went on in the same vein. Andy almost weeped into his pillow from longing for Blaine the same night. Meeting on the street on the next day by chance, Blaine kissed Andy in front of his partner Lucy, effectively blasting the doors of his closet wide open (after having talked to Andy once for less than half an hour, mind!). But the real kicker came once they FINALLY had a closed door between them and the world for the first time (three days after said first meeting). Now you want to picture two sexy and horny and insta-enamored guys, hot kisses, condom on, lube applied where it’s supposed to go, and then the following scene happens:
..."Blaine grabbed Andy and turned him around, then pulled him into a crushing kiss. They were panting in seconds; sweat beaded on Blaine’s chest and the lube from the condom was cold against his belly. Andy was driving him crazy, but he wouldn’t mess up this relationship with a quick fuck.
He pushed Andy away. “No. I’m not doing this right now. I want you in my life for a long time. I want to get to know you.” What the hell was he doing? He could be inside this wonderful man right now. His entire body hurt with desire.
Andy’s face grew serious. “I want us to last, too.”
“We can’t do this right now.”....
Sweet and considerate, aren’t they? Epitomes of reason. I couldn’t take anything serious that went on between them after that. It didn’t help that, once they’d established that it was twu wuv for both of them (they all but started picking china patterns shortly after the scene above, after all), Blaine kept agonizing over how Andy was too good for him, how cop’s relationships never lasted, how Andy was surely to be disgusted with Blaine’s past, his scars, his work (all this after Andy had reassured him to the contrary).
And the ending was just over the top, from Blaine’s riding in to Andy’s rescue, literally guns blazing, to the “he-loves-me-he-loves-me-not” going on during their hospital reunion scene. It almost didn’t matter that things smoothly fell into place for both of them, professionally as well as privately, and Blaine’s past trauma was miraculously healed by Andy’s unerring love, and that Nate just dropped from the story somehow after playing such a crucial role for the most part.
This book would’ve made a halfway decent mystery without the romance part, and a real nice parody on the m/m romance genre without the serious and sensibly written parts about teenage prostitution. As it was, it went both ways and arrived nowhere, unfortunately.
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