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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Love Means…No Boundaries by Andrew Grey

Love Means…No Boundaries by Andrew Grey
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full length (218 pgs)
Other: M/M, anal sex
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Phlox

Joey Sutherland has found a home with Geoff Laughton and his partner, Eli, living and working at the farm that has become a refuge after a motorcycle accident left him with a scarred face and a lot of insecurities. When Geoff’s aunt Mari convinces them to take in a musician from the National Youth Symphony, Joey is reluctantly roped into picking him up, already anticipating the disgust he’ll see on the man’s face.

But Robert Edward Jameson surprises him: he’s outgoing and friendly, he’s willing to try just about anything around the farm, and he’s blind, which goes a long way toward easing Joey’s nerves.

Joey and Robbie become inseparable and discover the beginnings of love. But summer is coming to an end, and Robbie will return to his home in Mississippi, where his family and servants see to everything he could want or need. Joey can only hope Robbie will take a chance on love and escape the boundaries that have shaped his sightless life.

This is one of the most satisfying romances I’ve read all year. To understand the impact of that statement, you have to understand that Contemporary romance is not what I gravitate towards, and that the ones I do read need to have some high drama to hold my interest. Danger, suspicion, gunfire, hospitals – that’s what I’m normally looking for. No Boundaries has none of that, with the only hints of violence the motorcycle accident at the very beginning, and yet, it held my attention with ease. The trauma is all internal, bumping against the emotional barriers built by these two young men, Robbie due to his loss of sight and Joey because of what he feels are disfiguring scars from his accident.

So what is it that drives the story so successfully? This is a tightly woven plot with few distractions, the scenes all leading towards that one question: will they or won’t they find a way to be together?

We know, almost immediately, that Robbie and Joey need each other. Each shores up the other’s confidence, provides the nonjudgmental encouragement the other needs, and drives the other to distraction. It’s not their physical differences that cause an issue for them; it’s the vast difference in their backgrounds and budding careers. They have their flaws, of course, or they would be deadly boring as characters, but they’re both so caring and good-hearted, you can’t help but fall in love with them. Their sex scenes are heated explorations of mutual fulfillment rather than the battleground one so often gets in romance.

I noticed some editing issues with this story, and this, for me, was really the only fly in the ointment. There are spots, especially where punctuation is misplaced, that I had to go back and carefully reconstruct what should have been there to understand what was said or done, causing unnecessary distraction in an otherwise completely engaging story.

There’s a sweetness in No Boundaries without being cloying, an innocence in matters of the heart that has nothing to do with being too young. This is a story I will return to simply because the heroes tugged at my heart so insistently. As a side note: this is the third in Mr. Grey’s Love Means… stories, but it stands quite well on its own.

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