Two Hearts, by David Connor & E.F. Mulder
Published By: Less Than Three Press
Release Date: November 30, 2016
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars
(but only because I have to rate this; I actually can’t put a real number rating on it)
Following a lightning strike that causes his nervous system to go haywire, Frank is left unable to touch another living thing. Though resigned to being a lonely freak, he ever hopes that someone, somewhere, might love him.
But his life goes from bad to worse when someone does…
Historical (Early 1960’s)
I have to admit that I was intrigued by this book based solely on the very brief summary. And other than those few lines, I had no idea what to expect from these new-to-me authors. Having spent the last few days digesting what I read, I can honestly say it was the oddest book I read this year. Whether or not that’s a compliment, has yet to be determined.
On the surface, Two Hearts is the story of a man who gets hit by lightning and ends up with a very unusual curse. Frank Stone, mortician’s assistant and resident outcast, is already living a solitary life due to physical damages incurred after a childhood accident, when he finds out that the lightning strike has suddenly made it impossible for him to touch any living being without electrocuting them. In addition to that, storms seem to enhance his new ability to the point of rendering electrical appliances useless.
To compound Frank’s loneliness, he is gay in a time when homosexuality is misunderstood, rejected, illegal and dangerous. He spends his days pining over his former best friend, Rennie, who turned on Frank during their early teen years, and has spent every year since verbally tormenting him.
Mortuary owner, Vaughan Hellier, has been looking out for Frank ever since he was a young boy. Vaughan manages to see in Frank what no one else in town can see – a gentle, sweet man who is incredibly lonely. Vaughan also sees something else: Frank’s curse is actually a rare gift, one that will be the catalyst for not only saving the life of Vaughn’s son, Liam, but possibly rescuing Frank from a lifetime of solitude.
If I had to put my finger on why I had trouble rating this book, it would be because of the relationship that develops between Liam and Frank. Or maybe, how quickly it develops. I can’t say too much because there is a very big reveal in this book that gets to the heart of this story, but I can say that Liam is…damaged when Frank meets him. He is having to re-learn how to walk and talk and basically function as an adult. So, he comes across as very childlike in the beginning. But Liam is also very sexual and it kinda squicked me out there for a while. Frank isn’t predatory but somehow it didn’t sit quite right with me. Having said that, things happen that do explain Liam’s behavior but it still didn’t erase how I originally felt.
I will say that the premise of this book, although not unusual in literature, was quite good and aside from my aforementioned issues (which may not be issues to anyone else), it’s an interesting read. This one will not be to everybody’s taste, but if you are looking for something a little bit different, you may find this one fits the bill.
One more thing; apparently this book was described as being in the paranormal genre, but it feels more of a light sci-fi/fantasy book to me. Therefore, I have described it as such. Just something to consider.
David Connor lives in a small town in New York with his dog, Max and a cat named Mrs. Fat Pants. His grade school English teacher, after reading one of David’s stories, suggested David write for As the World Turns someday. Books, magazine articles (including the soap mags), the stage, and even radio, he has done just about everything except write for daytime TV. He is still hopeful –as long as there are still some left.
David’s vivid imagination refuses to shut down even when he sleeps. His dream life is far more interesting than his real life, and is often the genesis of plot lines for his stories. If you’d like to contact him, look him up on Facebook. He will update his status after his nap.
E.F. Mulder has been an avid reader and storyteller since childhood. Whenever a book was assigned for class, E.F. would be thrilled, even as other students grumbled. Soon, that love of a good story expanded to creating them herself. E.F.’s mother received a ton of catalogs in the mail and E.F would spend many a lazy summer afternoon or quiet evening envisioning the goings on of men and women – or men and men – in pretty clothes or decorating their Christmas trees when the holiday books showed up in late fall. This creativity also came in handy when playing Barbie with her sister and sometimes her brother. Since E.F.’s mother was a soap opera fan, sitting down for half of Another World and General Hospital daily after work. E.F came to appreciate that sort of storytelling as well, where love could be a struggle, but also a miracle that conquered all. This sort of yarn spinning led to E.F.’s Barbie and her beaus going through some very interesting plotlines and later came in handy writing romance novels where the road to happiness has plenty of bumps. To this day. E.F. and her writing partner, David, love to throw romantic soapy twists in to their tales.
David Connor and E.F. Mulder can be reached at: Facebook
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I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.