From the Get Go, by Sean Michael
First Edition published by Torquere Press, 2005
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: September 28, 2016
Rating: 1.5 out of 5 stars
When easygoing Texas artist Dakin McBride makes his way to Ottawa, Canada, for a showing, he meets Jeff Tamrin, the fastidious manager of the Sussex Gallery. Despite coming from different worlds and being opposites in almost every way, the attraction is immediate, and soon Dakin and Jeff negotiate their own brand of diplomatic relations, forgetting all about art or seeing the sights the city has to offer. They get wrapped up in the moment, each of them intrigued by what he feels for the other.
The more they get to know each other, the more they like what they see. Dakin has a life to go back to in Texas, though, and Jeff has his own in Canada. Is there any way for their budding romance to survive the thousands of miles separating them? The relationship seems doomed, but at the same time, it feels too right to give up without a fight.
Love at First Sight
The description for this novella caught my eye for two reasons: it features a guy from Texas, and a guy from Ottawa. As someone who grew up in Texas and lived several years in Ottawa, I was pretty damn excited to read a novel featuring both of these places that I called home.
I’m going to start by saying that the summary? Yeah, it implies that there’s a plot. There really is not a plot. There is, instead, a helluva lot of sex. There’s more sex. There are two men who literally could have been from anywhere on earth for all the good their backgrounds had on the plot. It was just two guys banging for the entire story.
Oh, wait, sorry. There’s a “plot” that I overlooked: one lives in Texas, and the other in Ottawa, and they have Love At First Sight, and so however shall they be together?!
I won’t spoil anything, but this as a HEA, so you can guess right away.
And I don’t mind over-done, lazy stories like this, except there was literally zero drama, angst, or even mild tension. Just more sex.
ENOUGH WITH THE FREAKING SEX.
This isn’t a romance. It’s an erotica short novella couched in a basic pretense of plot, like when you watch porn and the lady opens the door to find the hot plumber there to fix her leaking faucet.
And as someone from Texas and Ottawa, who sees the rich culture and brilliant possible characterizations and plot-lines that could come from these backgrounds, it was a shame that neither was used except in stereotyping.
Two additional things:
- Texas may be a stereotype, but if you’re in a suburban Walmart odds are you’re not going to have “pickup trucks as far as the eye could see”. SUVs, maybe.
- A white dude from an hour outside of Dallas ain’t gonna be doin’ a DAMN THING with Navajo culture and art. One, hello racism. Two, Navajo aren’t from Texas. If you want to be racist properly, try Comanche, Wichita, or maybe Caddo if you wanna stretch it.
Also, the sex was boring and repetitive.
Final verdict: I’m disappointed. I had high hopes for this, because it was a novella that seemed catered just for me. Instead what I got was a handful of Texas stereotypes, a bunch of lust, and a soggy plot that just couldn’t hold my attention.
A prolific author, Sean Michael takes notes dictated by the men who live in his head and shares their stories. Often referred to as “Space Cowboy” and “Gangsta of Love” while still striving for the moniker of “Maurice,” Sean Michael spends his days surfing, smutting, organizing his immense gourd collection and fantasizing about one day retiring on a small secluded island peopled entirely by horseshoe crabs. While collecting vast amounts of vintage gay pulp novels and mood rings, Sean whiles away the hours between dropping the f-bomb and pursuing the Kama Sutra by channeling the long-lost spirit of John Wayne and singing along with the soundtrack to Chicago. A long-time writer of complicated haiku, Sean is currently attempting to learn the advanced arts of plate-spinning and soap-carving sex toys. Barring any of that? He’ll stick with writing his stories, thanks, and rubbing pretty bodies together to see if they spark. To learn more about Sean, please visit: http://www.seanmichaelwrites.com.