Monday, January 24, 2011

Bound Together by Jane Davitt

TITLE: Bound Together
AUTHOR: Jane Davitt
PUBLISHER: Total-e-bound
LENGTH: Novella (roughly 18k)
GENRE: Gay contemporary erotic romance
COST: $4.36

Book lover Simon Weatherly is always on the lookout for special editions, but the book Chris Ross shows up trying to sell him is all too familiar. Recognizing it as belonging to his ex, Simon purchases the book from the enigmatic man and later learns Chris has spent his own time in the ex's bed. A transaction like that has consequences, however, results that extend beyond the cash trading hands, and the unexpected attraction between Simon and Chris gets put to the test…

Though you won’t find a Jane Davitt title reviewed on this blog, I’ve read her before and enjoyed her intelligent eroticism to the point where I always check out her new titles when they come out. I don’t buy them all. I still need to read the blurb and excerpt and determine if it’s a book that interests me. But I know that I generally really like her voice, and this was no exception.

The story starts with Simon receiving a visitor. Chris Ross doesn’t seem like your usual book person. His hair is dyed, his ear has multiple piercings, and his leather jacket doesn’t exactly scream bookworm. The book Chris offers to sell him, however, is not Simon’s usual fare. He recognizes it as once belonging to his ex-boyfriend, so after much negotiation—and intriguing attitude—a deal is struck. Simon calls his ex to sell it back, and discovers that Chris is more than what he seems. He’d been sleeping with the ex as well, while doing some carpentry work for him, and when the job was done, the ex kicked him to the curb without payment. This complicated scenario starts a swell of events that drive Simon to striking yet another deal with Chris, one that benefits the both of them in other ways.

The thing I like best about this author’s work is her voice. There’s a subtle intelligence to her work that consistently shines through. It comes through in details, like discussing the foxing on a book, or in carefully orchestrated erotic scenes. What I enjoy so much is that it never feels obvious. Not only is her prose some of the cleanest I come across, but it often seems effortless, too. It’s helped that her particular brand of eroticism manages to hit a lot of my buttons. Even with a simple kiss, I find myself engaged on multiple levels. That’s not true of a lot of authors.

These aspects are where this short novella shines for me. The chemistry, once Chris and Simon kiss, is electric, and the promise of it is delivered as the story progresses. I leapt through the latter portion of the book, as breathless and anxious as Simon. I came to a grinding halt, however, when a misunderstanding arose that came out of nowhere and stalled the story dead. Simon’s motivations prior to that were a little muddled, partially because he’s still in the process of figuring them out himself, and frankly, when he jumped to this particular misunderstanding, I had no idea how he got there or what he was saying. I was as confused as Chris was. Even after it’s cleared up, I didn’t get it, and it diminished my overall enjoyment of the story.

While this story isn’t quite a keeper, there’s enough chemistry and hot eroticism between the characters to make it worth the investment. One of these days, she’s going to absolutely blow my mind. I know it.


8/10 – I love that there’s an intelligence behind the prose without being obvious about it

Hero #1

7/10 – I quite liked him until he went off with the misunderstanding two-thirds of the way through the story, that felt like it came out of the blue

Hero #2

6/10 – Slightly enigmatic, I never felt like I could get a bead on him

Entertainment value

7/10 – For my reaction to her eroticism, not for believing in the flow of the romance

World building

7/10 – Details about the book world were fantastic, and while I believed it was the UK, the rest kind of blended into the background




Karalynn Lee said...

The premise sounded awesome and I was getting ready to buy this book until I hit the word "misunderstanding." Yargh. I don't suppose there's another Davitt you'd recommend off-the-cuff, or are you maybe planning to review more on the blog?

Book Utopia Mom said...

I have more on my TBR pile that I'll review at some point. Another title of hers off the top of my head (and it's actually written with someone else) that I read and enjoyed was "Bound and Determined" but it has much stronger BDSM elements, specifically sadomasochism, and isn't for some readers.

Karalynn Lee said...

Thanks! I enjoyed the strong writing and...thought? put into the relationship. An English major and professor as the couple strike me as appropriate, because there was a lot of character analysis going on, and yet, as you said of Davitt's style, with wonderful flow. Quite refreshing and oddly wholesome-feeling (on a literary level) for erotic romance.