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Friday, March 25, 2011

Red Light by Thom Lane

Red Light by Thom Lane
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (130 pgs)
Other: M/M, anal sex
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Cactus

Jeff is a deliberate loner: he’s had his heart broken once, and he won’t let it happen again. Ready to rebuild his life, he goes on holiday. Alone. Until he meets Benet -- and finds that the human heart is not so easily controlled.

Unable to resist the siren call of Benet's sweet, beautiful nature, Jeff decides a fling can't hurt, but all he wants is sex and company; anything more just leads inevitably to disappointment and betrayal. But Benet slithers under his guards and breaks all Jeff’s new-set rules. Will he obey his brain and stop for the Red Light or will he give in to the heart’s impulse and run it?

A vacation fling always stays easy, or so Jeff thought. Reeling from a broken heart, Jeff decides to go on vacation alone. When a chance encounter brings the sexy Benet into Jeff’s life, the two decide to have an easy, light fling. Jeff is determined not to get his heart broken again and thinks that love is just too much hassle. No matter that his feelings for Benet seem to grow each day until the point that Jeff can either run or face his fears.

Red Light is a lovely, charming contemporary romance. The story involves some secondary characters from White Flag but there’s no need to read the previous book to understand this one. The story focuses on the opposites attract theme of two men that meet on vacation and enjoy their time together. Predictably, their feelings grow more serious and meaningful, but Jeff is terrified of being hurt again. This is the main conflict and there is a genuine question of if or how Jeff will overcome past rejection.

Jeff is a sympathetic, if slightly frustrating character. He rationalizes everything and seems determined to stick to his earlier decisions regardless of anyone or anything that happens. Benet is less well understood as the story is told from Jeff’s first person perspective and very little is offered about Benet. Their relationship mostly develops within the sex scenes, but there isn’t a clear understanding of why and how they fall in love. This is overshadowed by the totally adorable and delightful cast of secondary characters, Benet’s employers and new family. The various men and women really steal the story in vibrant and eye catching ways. If nothing else, you don’t want to miss the story for their contribution.

The writing is very ethereal and has a lovely, rambling quality. It feels almost fey and rarely makes direct statements. The prose tends to talk around the setting and characters in abstract terms, which makes for a charming read but won’t be for every reader. Those fans who liked White Flag are likely to adore this story – in fact it’s extremely similar. The story is an entertaining and easy romance, perfect for a light day.

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