Gays of Our Lives (Queers of La Vista #1)

Author: Kris Ripper

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Rating: 4 stars

Buy Links: Riptide & Amazon

Type: Novel in a Series

Received from Publisher

 

Blurb: Emerson Robinette only leaves his apartment to get laid and go to work. Having MS—and trying to pretend he doesn’t—makes everything more complicated, especially his fantasies of coming on strong and holding a guy down. Finding a partner who’ll explore that with him isn’t Emerson’s idea of a realistic goal.

Until a chance meeting with a hipster on a bus makes him reconsider. Obie is happy, open-hearted, and warm; what’s more, he gets his kicks being physically dominated, spanked, and teased until he’s begging. It would be perfect, except for one thing: Emerson isn’t made for happiness, and he doesn’t see how a guy like Obie would settle for a cynic like him.

But as far as Obie’s concerned, the only thing keeping them apart is Emerson. Can Emerson handle a boyfriend who’s more invested in his future than he is? Emerson’s barely convinced he has a future. But when Obie’s smiling at him, anything seems possible.

 

Review: Emerson Robinette wants to be a Dom. He’s got MS. MS doesn’t care what Emerson wants for his own life. MS is going to do what it’s going to do to Emerson’s body. Emerson wants to be in control of others at the same time he has no control over his own body. Unsurprisingly, Emerson isn’t particularly happy. Emerson meets Obie. Obie is everything Emerson isn’t. What could Obie possibly see in Emerson? Emerson is not only physically incapable of completing certain tasks, he’s depressed and grouchy. Seriously, what could Obie want from Emerson? Come to think of it, several of Emerson’s students from his adult ed class like him too. Obie still makes no sense, and he still comes back to Emerson even when Emerson is mean and grouchy.

I don’t particularly know what to say about my feelings toward this book. I liked the characters and the plot. I did not particularly like the storytelling itself. I enjoy first person perspectives, but I’ve been pretty dogged in my preference for past tense. A book that is a mix of past and present tense is quite possibly my least favorite option. There were moments when Emerson seemed to break the fourth wall and turn directly to the reader to tell us something deeply personal about himself, then he’d go back to showing us his story of finding love when he wasn’t looking for it. Typically, I like asides in visual media, particularly comedies. In a novel, however, I just found myself mostly annoyed with the sudden shift in pacing.

I just spent a whole paragraph of a review talking about a literary device, and that brings me to my biggest complaint: I will forever think of this book as the one where the main character broke the fourth wall, and this book does not deserve that. Emerson does not deserve that. I should think of this book as the one in which the main character realized he can still have an HEA in spite of his health and generally poor attitude. Emerson realized he’s still a valid and valuable person to society as a whole. That goes beyond even coming to the realization jerks get to have an HEA, too. Emerson found his place in a community in spite of the fact he deeply hates his own body for failing him.

Despite my complaints I feel this is actually a pretty good book. I liked Emerson and Obie. I wanted Emerson to like himself. I was rooting for them as a couple. Then I would feel as though I had to stop seeing what they were up to as Emerson would tell me something horrible about himself. For me, this was a really good book that got in its own way.

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