Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Shining Victory by KC Kendricks

TITLE: Shining Victory
AUTHOR: KC Kendricks
PUBLISHER: Amber Allure
LENGTH: Novella (roughly 21k)
GENRE: Gay contemporary erotic romance
COST: $5.00

At 40, Stacy James is ready for something more than a one-night stand, though he has to wonder what kind of future he would have with a man fifteen years his junior. Not even 25, Levi Wright knows what he wants, and he doesn’t care about the age difference when the man is as hot as Stacy. But scars and secrets have a way of holding them back, even when both men only want to go forward…

While I mostly enjoyed this short novella as I was reading it, when it came time to sit down and write the review later, I realized I didn’t remember all that much from it. The characters that had carried the story along – I did read it all in one sitting, after all – now seemed to fade into the background, as did the plot. I had to refresh my memory on details in order to draw any kind of general conclusions, which in all honesty, doesn’t bode well for me remembering this story in the long term. It was nice, but nothing stood out as particularly unique or powerful enough to have this leave any lasting impressions.

The age difference is played nicely and realistically. Each man is at a different stage in his life, and those disparities aren’t ignored as the romance attempts to work them through. I won’t elaborate on the secrets that are eventually revealed, except to say that while I appreciate the effort of them being included in order to create drama, I was never struck by the emotional impact of any of them. I had problems reconciling how much Stacy kept saying he was scarred by what had happened, and then not really putting up that much of a fuss at getting involved with another young man. That’s not even taking into consideration the fact that Stacy thought he was likely in love with Levi the first night they spent together. For the depths of what had happened, I would’ve expected more time to be necessary, and the entire effect was a bit too romance cliché for me.

If I had to pick one word to characterize the entire story, it would be sweet. The feelings are sweet, the sentiment is sweet, even the sex is sweet. It’s graphic, but never lasts for more than a few paragraphs which lessens the effect of any hotness for me. In the end, I’m not convinced of the steam between these two, though I do believe the emotional need. That was enough to carry me through to the end with a smile on my face.


8/10 – Simple and unassuming

Hero #1

7/10 – Strong and believable

Hero #2

6/10 – Realistically young, though he didn’t engage me as much as I expected

Entertainment value

7/10 – Sweet, but not something I’m likely to remember for long

World building

5/10 – Nothing was definitive, with the focus on the characters rather than the world they live in



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