Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Re-Ignition by A.R. Moler

TITLE: Re-Ignition
AUTHOR: A.R. Moler
LENGTH: Short story (roughly 12k)
GENRE: Gay contemporary erotic romance
COST: $2.49

When Griff Rieckert wakes up in a stranger’s bed, hung over as hell and no memory of the night before, the last thing he expects is the calm aid of the gorgeous blond who slept next to him. But Sean Avery is more than he appears, a calm force in the chaos of Griff’s life. Griff is having a hard time coming to grips with the disability that ended his illustrious FBI career, but with Sean’s help, he might finally see a light at the end of the tunnel…

The opening is a familiar one – a protagonist wakes in an unknown bed with no memory of the night before. It’s been a set-up for thrillers, romances, science fiction stories and more, and most often works as a mechanism of providing backstory for the reader while trying to make it organic to the plot. Sometimes, it works. Sometimes, it doesn’t. In the case of this short story, it’s the former.

Griff’s confusion is clear and realistic, the set-up helping to demonstrate the anguish he is going through as a result of his debilitating accident. It helps considerably that Sean is a warm and wonderful presence. I loved the calming effect he had on Griff’s mindset, and especially liked that nothing happened right away. There was a real chance to see these two interact and get to know each other before it turned sexual. Not too long, considering it’s a short story, but long enough for me to be comfortable with the fact that yes, these two could actually have some sort of real thing starting here. Dialogue was realistic, and Griff’s growth, combined with his reticence due to his disability, helped the fledgling romance just as much.

The tense climax works within the context of the story, but it ends up drawing attention to the story’s biggest flaw. These are complex characters, with complex motivations, and it ultimately feels like there is more story than what is being told here. The ending feels a little too pat and convenient, rushed to fall within a word count, rather than a real emotional destination the beginning promised and the characters deserve. It has a measure of satisfaction, but not the depth that it felt like it should have. So while it’s a pleasant romance, it’s not the truly rewarding read it could have been. It does, however, make me curious if this author has longer work. I think there’s some real potential here, and I’m excited about finding it.


8/10 – Simple, engaging with realistic dialogue

Hero #1

7/10 – Competent and appreciably bitter about his accident

Hero #2

7/10 – Solid and reassuring

Entertainment value

7/10 – I liked the guys enough to want them to have their romance, I just wished it was longer

World building

6/10 – There’s not a lot of room for it in the short story format when the focus is on the characters, though the one tense climactic scene is very well done



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