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Friday, November 12, 2010

Back to Normal by Wren Boudreau

Back to Normal by Wren Boudreau
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (180 pgs)
Other: M/M, anal sex
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Cactus

Is it normal for a romance to blossom between a man who’s in the closet and a man who’s never wanted more than a hook-up? How about when a clairvoyant grandmother and the ghost of a dead aunt are thrown into the mix, along with a stiletto-wearing twin sister, an Irish pub, a detective brother, and a mother who thinks her son just needs a good woman?

Greg Capello thought that he’d feel normal if he pretended he wasn’t gay, and now it’s making him crazy that he can’t stop thinking about his new boss Finn Sparks: Finn’s amber eyes, brilliant smile, and strong hands, among other things. Finn thinks it’s not normal that instead of wanting to hop into bed with Greg, he’d like to know more about the man, like what’s under that starchy exterior, and who he’s talking to when it appears no one’s there.

They can’t fight the attraction between them; every time they touch it’s electric. So Finn finds himself taking it slow and going on dates, for crying out loud. And Greg has to accept himself, or accept the consequences of staying hidden.

So...what's normal anyway?

If "normal" is sex with six feet of gorgeous male, sign me up. Greg is not so sure though as he struggles with coming to grips with his reality. After a recent divorce and on the verge of losing both his jobs, Greg can’t keep hiding. It’s now affecting his health. And since his dead Aunt Coco’s spirit has hitched a ride with his, that’s one more person who depends on Greg alive and well. When his new boss Finn sees right through all the smokescreens and walls Greg has up, Greg realizes Finn may just be the catalyst he needs.

Back to Normal is a very sweet romance about a man coming out of the closet and accepting who he really is. This book is part of Loose Id’s coming out series and fits in very well. The story is told from Greg’s point of view as he struggles with his life and his goals. He is a teacher but in this economy he’s finding it hard to find another job after being laid off. This stress combines with his overwhelming feelings for Finn and sends Greg almost in a mental breakdown. The story follows as Greg instead comes to terms with his wants and needs, and finding a way to finally be happy.

The great writing allows Greg and Finn’s relationship to build piece by piece, bit by bit. Instead of being slow, this feels honest. Both men change quite a bit from the beginning of the novel to the end so watching that change happen and why is absorbing. Finn and Greg take their relationship slow, first dating, then kissing, sometimes touching. Nothing too much too soon and this can sometimes be a little slow. Mostly this is due to the break neck pace that most romance relationships happen in fiction so the change of pace may throw some readers off. But those that can appreciate the build up with good tension won’t be disappointed.

Back to Normal is a well written romance. There are good characters, wonderful chemistry, and a host of family members that make you wish your family was that eccentric and adorable. Even Aunt Coco is a great addition and who knew an older woman in the head of a young, handsome gay man could be so entertaining. Anyone looking for a satisfying romance and doesn’t mind a slower pace to happiness should definitely pick this up.

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