It’s Not Shakespeare by Amy Lane
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: Full Length (174 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Sex
Rating: 3.5 stars
Review by: Cactus
College professor James Richards is in a rut and feeling his age. He moved to northern California to escape heartbreak and humiliation, but so far the only good thing to happen to him has been his Boston terrier, Marlowe.
Then James’s toughest student sets him up with her best friend. Rafael Ochoa is worlds apart from James—chronologically, culturally, and philosophically—but he’s also beautiful, kind, and a shot of adrenaline to James’s not-quite-middle-aged heart. Together, the two of them forge a bridge between James’s East Coast sensibilities and Rafael’s West Coast casualness, but can their meeting of the hearts survive James’s lack of faith in happy-ever-after?
Opposites attract and sparks fly when bad boy Rafi meets older man James. James is in a rut every since his last boyfriend dumped him for a hotter, richer man. So he doesn’t quite believe that sexy young Rafi could or would be interested in him. It takes some work but James realizes what a great guy Rafi is. The only problem is James may have figured this out too late and his past betrayal may stop his future with Rafi.
It’s Not Shakespeare is a fun and light story about two very opposite men that meet and mesh their lives together. Rafi and James are both well developed, three-dimensional characters with a lot of interest. Rafi comes from a very religious family with conservative views. James is from a wealthy, much more liberal background. The two men blend their differences pretty well with a minimum of angst and problems. Despite the fact they are from two different cultures and have very different experiences, the men spark immediately and fit together pretty effortlessly.
The story glides along without many problems, although there are a few side trips into unnecessary details and side issues, and tries to inject some tension with James’ inability to completely commit and the racial differences. For the most part I didn’t really buy into either of these problems as they feel too superficial and weakly presented to hold the tension and conflict the story is aiming for. The couple is basically drama free up until the near end when an argument appears nearly out of the blue and Rafi reacts in a very immature way. Other than this, the couple meet, fall in love, and live happily ever after. It’s a very easy, breezy story with not much angst.
Due to the fact that I couldn’t quite believe the made up tension, this story didn’t win me over entirely. It is, however, fun and very easy to read with the pages flying by. There is a lot of good detail about Rafi’s culture and some well crafted family scenes that really stand out. It’s a nice enough book to read and fans of the author should especially like this one.