Monday, February 9, 2009

Graphic Intentions by Patricia Oshier Bruening

TITLE: Graphic Intentions
AUTHOR: Patricia Oshier Bruening
PUBLISHER: loveyoudivine
LENGTH: Novella (roughly 20k)
GENRE: Gay contemporary erotic romance
COST: $3.50

Scott Delaney has writer’s block on his latest adult graphic novel…or at least, he did until he saw the gorgeous and scarred Derek in his favorite coffee shop. Inspiration hits, but when he discovers the man who has captured his imagination is also gay, all bets are off…

While the blurb on the publisher’s website promises drama and scarred characters, the reality of what the story offers is slightly different. Both men are scarred, yes, physically as well as emotionally. But the facts of their problems and tortured histories are never clearly delineated until it’s too late to care. We get bare bones of what Scott went through earlyish, but Derek’s issues don’t get elaborated on until the end. The end result of that, then, is a pair of lead characters I know little about before they’re swearing undying lust for each other. I have a few details, but nothing that makes me invested in them to care enough about the fact that all of a sudden, they’ve met a man who has them in a state of constant arousal.

And I do mean constant. I haven’t read about this many straining zippers in such a short word span in a long time. Both men obsess over their arousals long before they realize the other one is gay. Oh, there’s another overused phrase. “To his crotch.” As in, blood rushed to his crotch, and sparks shot clear to his crotch, and sending sparks of pleasure straight to his crotch, and sending hot sparks clear to his crotch, and sparks rocketing down his spine to his crotch, and…there’s more. At least three more instances of things shooting to somebody’s crotch. So can you really blame me for being bored to tears by the one thing that tries to hold the story together for the first sixty pages?

The few attempts at drama are silly and contrived. For instance, their amazing first date gets cut short when Derek walks out of the bedroom to find Scott hard at work, and Scott snaps at him that he’s standing in his light. Derek takes it hugely personal and promptly leaves. There is more at the end with their histories, but again, the execution is clumsy, and it’s really a matter of too little too late.

Perhaps my expectations are too high with recent excellent reads, but in the end, this short novella is simply too repetitive and unsophisticated to hold my attention.


6/10 – So many straining zippers in such a short space had me losing interest very quickly.


4/10 – Promise of depth gets shortchanged for focus on sexual needs


4/10 – So much like the other hero that they might as well be interchangeable

Entertainment value

3/10 – Without knowing either man well, and with the leap into “I must have you” almost immediately, I’m left bored more than anything else.

World building

5/10 – Certain aspects strain credibility and the information dumps about the men’s history at the end make this clumsy



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