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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tease by Mina Kelly

Tease by Mina Kelly
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Paranormal, Contemp
Length: Short Story (90 pgs)
Other: M/M, anal sex
Rating: 3 cherries
Reviewed by Cactus

When Barnabas rescues a stranger from a storm, he knows he's in for a tempestuous time. Lust wars with more altruistic feelings to paralyze Barnabas until the stranger makes the first move for him -- and then there's no stopping either of them.

Inside, outside, against the wall, and even occasionally on the bed. But Barnabas starts to wonder if the sex is a distraction from something more important, something his English language challenged new lover isn't saying. When the truth is finally revealed, the betrayal cuts deep, and for Barnabas, it may be too little, too late.

Silence never felt so sweet. When local artist and somewhat reclusive Barnabas finds a stranger washed up on the shore during a terrible storm, he doesn’t think of anything but saving the man. Later he realizes his mysterious find can’t speak at all, but that doesn’t stop the two from finding a common language in touch. Sparks fly and Barnabas realizes he has entire conversations with the stranger through touch, sight, and emotion. But Barnabas’ lover is not simply human and the discovery throws Barnabas into a whirlwind of emotion and questions what is the right thing to do.

Tease is an interesting story in that one of the characters, later nicknamed Tease, can’t speak so there is no dialogue between the two. Thus the story is told entirely from Barnabas’ third person perspective. Barnabas believes he can understand what Tease is trying to tell him through his eyes and his touch. This is pretty questionable since Barnabas is quite often ignorant of what Tease is trying to say and just makes up what he wants to believe.

The emotion between the two is certainly there and they have quite a lot of sex. The story is a novella but there are considerable amounts of sex scenes involved. The connection is initially through sex but later Barnabas struggles with what to do about his lover’s true nature. Barnabas is not always a nice guy and he fears being alone so much he considers forcing Tease to stay with him. This isn’t just a passing whim either as Barnabas goes through periods of extreme selfishness, petulance, sulking, and petty revenge. As I said, he’s not always a likable character in many ways. The final resolution is not exactly what I thought would happen either so it’s nice that the tension is kept until the end.

Overall this succeeds, in that it’s a very different story when one of the main characters doesn’t speak at all. This forces the other to speak for him and often in error. Also this makes the story very internal with Barnabas frequently musing, and a lot of sex. In a wealth of paranormal stories, this certainly stands out as something entirely different and unique and thus worth reading. It’s got a few bumps but the story takes chances and has some really good ideas.

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