Title: What There Is
Author: Kate McMurray
Length: 15,318 words
Genre: m/m Contemporary Romance
Heat: 3 – Sexy & Mild
Sex Frequency: 2 – Few and Far Between
Keywords/Tags: Short Story, Sports, Athletes, Baseball, Brooklyn, NYC, Roommates, Jock/Nerd, Food, Coach, Past Injury
Rating: Pretty Good
Former professional baseball player Justin Piersol needs a new life after a career-ending injury, and his job as a high school baseball coach isn’t exactly fulfilling. Still, things are looking up: he finds the perfect room in an apartment in Brooklyn with Mark, who writes a popular column on sports statistics.
Mark is nerdy and socially awkward and intensely shy, and he immediately develops a terrible crush on Justin, who barely seems to notice him. As they get to know each other, Justin admits he misses playing baseball, that coaching doesn’t scratch the itch. Mark confesses he thought he’d be married by now, that he wants a serious relationship. So they make a pact: Justin will help Mark find a man, and Mark will help Justin find something he loves more than baseball.
They put their plan into action… and then life gets complicated. Mark meets a nice guy named Dave, and Justin is suddenly crazy with jealousy. Justin realizes he wants to let go of the past and focus on the present, but as Mark and Dave become an item, Justin fears he’s too late.
I’ve been excited about this new story from Kate McMurray ever since she visited the blog in June for Kate McMurray Week. It’s another baseball story and though I first thought that it might be a spinoff/sequel, or in some way related to Out in the Field because the main character Mark works at Sports Net, it seems to have no connection.
The premise is a roommates-to-lovers story, when Justin visits Mark about a listing looking for a roommate to share his Brooklyn apartment. They find that though they’re different in a lot of ways — Mark is painfully shy in front of an outgoing and hunky Justin — they also have some things in common. Justin was once a baseball player, a pitcher for the Brooklyn Cyclones, before an injury forced him off of the field and into a coaching job. Mark works for Sports Net, writing about baseball statistics, but he’s never been an athlete himself no matter how much he enjoys the game. But most of all, Mark is just glad that a normal and sane person came in reply to his listing and actually wants to rent the room, no matter the fact that Justin is so hot it might be impossible for Mark to actually have a conversation with him.
After a little while, when the awkwardness of sharing a home with a stranger starts to abate and the two start to get to know one another, they both start to see that they’re unhappy in their lives. Justin is having a hard time coaching those who he knows will go on to have the career that he always wanted and coaching isn’t giving him the same thrill that playing did. Mark really wants to have a relationship and he confesses to Justin that he doesn’t know if he could ever meet someone because he’s so shy. So, the two decide to help the other out — Justin tells Mark that he’ll help him find a guy and Mark tells Justin that he’ll help him find something he’s passionate about, just as he was playing baseball.
Even though this had less baseball in it than I expected, I really quite enjoyed this story. It probably isn’t going to get rave reviews because it’s a short story and I have a feeling that a lot of readers are going to want more from this couple and feel like this story is too short. I don’t really think that’s true. We aren’t presented with a couple here that has issues they have to work through, together and individually, that will take them a long time to process in order to get their HEA. They’re more of a simple couple that takes a small amount of time and a little nudge to see that they could be good together. And that was fine with me, I finished the story enjoying it for what it was and feeling satisfied.
Fans of Kate McMurray will definitely want to read this story. All of the things that I like about her writing were presented here, like her love of Brooklyn and baseball, and I really liked how the food and cooking classes brought them together (food can definitely do that!). It was a nice story, sweet and light, and enough to tide me over for more of her work to come.
Posted by Cole in 4 Pretty Good, Authors M-O, Contemporary, Heat 3 - Sexy & Mild, Romance, Sex Freq 2 - Few and Far Between, up to 15k Tags: Athletes, Baseball, Brooklyn, Coach, Dreamspinner Press, Food, Jocks/Nerds, Kate McMurray, NYC, Past Injury, Roommates, Short Story, Sports
Hello everyone! If you have even seen one of my posts this week then it will not have escaped your noticed that this week is Kate McMurray Week! I’ve been devoting the whole week to the author who charmed me with Out in the Field, by reviewing her backlist. Today, I’ll share with you my interview with Kate, where we talk about her new release, Save the Date, living in New York City, her love of baseball, and of course, her writing process.
In addition, Kate has offered one commenter a copy of Save the Date, so look below for details and don’t forget to comment, ask questions and share your opinions, please!
Bold – Me
Purple – Kate
Hi Kate! First off, thanks for visiting today. Since I’ve been reading all your books over the last few weeks I’ve got a lot of questions for you!
Thank you very much for doing this, Cole. I am happy to be here.
Save the Date is a romantic comedy novella styled somewhat after every Julia Roberts movie you’ve ever seen, about a guy who needs a date for his ex’s wedding. Lots of funny things happen on his way to the wedding.
I found it to be a really perfect book for summer. Maybe it’s the whole June Wedding thing, which is now the Gay June Wedding thing 😉 How did the idea for the book come about?
The seed started when, no joke, I got an invitation to my ex-boyfriend’s wedding. I joked on Twitter that if my life were a romance novel, I’d go to the wedding and meet the love of my life. A few of my friends were like, “So you’re totally going to write that story, right?” So I ran with that.
I wanted to ask you something specific about Save the Date, that’s really just for my own curiosity. I finished the book feeling like I didn’t quite know Darren that well, or even as much as Stuart, and that I would have liked to have seen how their relationship progresses into their life together after the story ends. Did you specifically write the book as a more personal journey for Tris? Or did the story just organically progress the way it did because of the whole setup of the story, which has Tris in such an awkward place?
The story is really Tris’s journey. He thinks he’s fine until he gets that wedding invitation, which both brings up a lot of what he calls “emotional sludge” that he hadn’t dealt with when he and Stuart broke up, but also it sort of highlights how not fine he has been all along. I also didn’t want Darren to cure him, but instead for Tris to do the work to heal himself on his own. That’s really important I think, or else Tris could just keep repeating the same patterns. So the crucial part of the story is really when Tris arrives in Boston and has to confront his past head-on. Only then can he prepare for his future.
In the book, Tris is quite a funny character and the book has rather a lot of humor. It got me thinking about types of characters that authors tend to write and I realized that I haven’t really found a “type” that you write. Like your books, you seem to have a rather diverse group of them. Looking back over what you’ve written, have you found that you tend to be a character-driven author or a plot-based one? Does one come before the other in your writing process?
It varies. I usually come up with a premise first and build the story out from there. The premise is usually pretty basic, a vague idea or a trope I want to play around with. Out in the Field, for example, happened primarily because I read an old baseball romance (with a het couple) that kind of offended me as a fan of the sport and I thought, “I want to write a gay baseball romance” and then I was off to the races. Plot and character go so hand-in-hand that they sort of develop at the same time. I think character informs plot significantly, especially in stories with a lot of internal conflict, because a character’s personality can affect the decisions he makes, which can change the whole arc of a story. Matt in Out in the Field is cautious and doesn’t like change, he doesn’t want to rock the boat or bring attention to himself, so he wouldn’t be the guy who would choose to come out while still an active player. His behavior in that regard affects the trajectory of his relationship with Iggy. And so on.
I know that you live in New York City, and I’ve wondered before if that’s why I always found your books to be really firmly rooted in setting, like in Across the East River Bridge where Brooklyn is like a third character in Finn and Troy’s relationship, or in Kindling Fire with Snow where Prospect Park comes across so perfectly in the snow. Is pride in your city just part of being a New Yorker and that’s why the city always seems to come across so strong in your books? Or is it something that you don’t think about at all and just seems to come through naturally?
I really love books that are firmly rooted in setting. I love lots of nitty gritty details. I love Faulkner and Toni Morrison, and both of those writers set many of their stories in fictional regions based on real places, and those settings are so vivid they become another character. So writing vivid settings is a conscious choice. And New York is easy, since I live in the middle of it, and it’s such a robust setting. That was one of the fun things about writing Across the East River Bridge, which really is a love letter to Brooklyn. I’ve lived in Brooklyn for seven years now and it’s so interesting and beautiful that I’m surprised more stories aren’t set here. I also wanted to write New York in the way I’ve experienced it, which I don’t see represented in books or TV or movies that often.
But even when I’m not writing about New York, I like having a strong setting. Four Corners is set mostly in Chicago, for example. I have a lot of family in Chicago, so I’ve been there many times, but I don’t have a native’s sense of the city, so I found a couple of beta readers in Chicago and ran the book by them first, just so I didn’t get anything egregiously wrong. I hate to say it, but I have often gotten yanked right out of a story set in New York when an author gets some little detail absolutely wrong. So I research like a crazy person—I even research New York—because I want the story to be accurate.
What was your first published book? What made you decide to write, or write m/m romance? Why did you decide to publish?
I’ve been writing since forever. I honestly can’t even say what the first thing I wrote was. But it took a while to figure out my voice. I spent a lot of my twenties writing literary fiction that didn’t really go anywhere and probably wasn’t very good, and then, maybe six years ago, I heard this story on NPR about the Romance Writers of America convention and it kind of rekindled my interest in reading romance. (I read a lot of romance as a teenager, but then I went off to college and got an English lit degree and was kind of a pretentious literary snob for a while. I got over that, thank goodness!) After that, I devoured romance novels like I was starving. I can’t remember how I found m/m, exactly—probably Suzanne Brockmann and Adrien English figured prominently in that discovery—but once I found it, I wanted to read more stories like that. When I couldn’t really find any, I wrote my own, a romantic suspense novel about a closeted gay cop. A friend read it and thought it was pretty good, so I submitted it to Loose Id because they were publishing most of the gay romance I was reading. That book became In Hot Pursuit.
We were speaking of NYC before… Will you list both 3 things you love about the city and three things you hate about it?
Three things I love: There is always something to do or see; it’s nearly impossible to ever be bored. I love walking around the city and that I don’t need a car; everything I need is available via foot or subway. And I love the weird history hidden in New York; NYC is a very forward-looking city that is forever tearing down beautiful old buildings to build ugly monolithic skyscrapers, but there are lots of hidden corners of the city that are like walking into the past.
Three things I hate: I could definitely do without the crowds, particularly when people line up for things. The subway in the summertime is the worst—hot and smelly and terrible. And everything is so expensive, in a way you never quite adjust to.
How about reading? What are you reading at the moment?
I’m reading a couple of books on the history of England for no real reason beyond that I’m interested in the subject. Well, I read a bunch of Regency romances in a row in May and now I kind of want to write one, but we’ll see about that. Maybe sometime in the future. (Regency romances are my candy. Even when they’re all kind of the same, I still love them.) I have picked up a staggering number of books in the last month, at RT and then BEA last week, and I kind of want to read all of them right now. It’s an odd mix of romance and nonfiction, which is most of what I read these days.
I’ve been listening to the newish Tegan & Sara album Hearthrob on repeat a lot lately. I love them. I love Florence + the Machine. And I just bought the new Natalie Maines solo album; the Dixie Chicks are basically the one country band I ever liked. (I like strong female vocalists and singer/songwriters, basically, although I listen to pretty much everything. Opera and jazz have figured highly into the soundtracks for several of my writing projects recently, for example.)
Food? Oh yeah, food is an important one 🙂 Do you have a favorite restaurant in the city?
I do enjoy food. 🙂 Asian food in particular; that’s another thing I love about New York is that I can get pad thai delivered pretty much whenever I want it. Choosing a favorite restaurant is hard. The two places in my neighborhood I eat at most often are probably this sushi place called Geido—I actually brought Damon Suede there once; it’s got one wall covered completely in graffiti left by customers, but also the food is affordable and super tasty—and a Mexican place called Chavela’s that has the best mole I’ve ever had.
Are you a sports person? You better tell me all about your love of baseball! If you don’t it will completely ruin my love of Out in the Field 😉 Have you always been a baseball person or is there a specific reason? And do you like any other sports?
Fear not; I am a life-long Yankees fan. My dad is a huge sports fan, and he brought me and my brothers to Yankees games every summer starting when I was about 12, so that’s where the baseball fanaticism started. I try to make it to Yankee Stadium at least once a summer and I yell at my TV a lot during the playoffs. I really love the sport—it’s not aggressive in the way football and hockey are, and baseball has a fascinating, rich history. I’d probably watch more sports if I had the time; I’ll get into college basketball if my alma mater is having a good season, for example, and some winters I follow football. Sports are just fun; I like getting caught up in a good nail-biter of a game.
I know you have several works planned for the rest of the year. Will you tell us what you have coming up?
Well, speaking of baseball, I’m contributing a novella to a baseball anthology due out from Dreamspinner this fall, hopefully in time for GayRomLit. I collaborated with Shae Connor, Marguerite Labbe, and Kerry Freeman to put the whole anthology together. The story is my first foray into historical romance; it takes place in New York in 1927 during the height of the Jazz Age, and it’s a romance between a flamboyant sports reporter and a reticent rookie player for the New York Giants. It’s called “One Man to Remember.” The working title for the anthology is Playing Ball.
But first, I have a story coming out this summer (July, I think) called “What There Is” that is a simple romance about a former pro baseball player—and I swear, all this baseball in 2013 is a coincidence—who moves into a new apartment with a statistics nerd for a roommate. Now that he can’t play baseball anymore due to injury, he wants to find something to fill that void in his life.
And then I have a novel coming out this fall—again, hopefully in time for GRL—called The Stars that Tremble that is an opposites-attract romance between a man who used to be one of the greatest living male opera singers until a vocal injury ended his career and a humble construction worker who has had a lot of tragedy in his life. The novel is about love and music and recovering from loss. I am so, so excited for this book to be published.
Tell us where we can find you online?
Thank you so much Kate! It’s been wonderful having you and you don’t know how much I enjoyed reading all your books and putting together the reviews for all of them. Rarely have I enjoyed reading so many of one authors books back to back and not found it a chore.
Save the Date, Kate’s new book is available now from Loose Id!
Tomorrow is the last novel review of Kate’s backlist, with The Boy Next Door. Then, Saturday ends Kate McMurray Week with a review of Kate’s four available shorts: Lead Us Not, from the 2012 M/M Romance Goodreads Group’s “Love is Always Write” event; “On the Stoop”, a free Halloween story previously published by Dreamspinner in 2012 for their Halloween Howl event (and no longer available there); A Walk in the Dark, published by Dreamspinner in the 2011 Advent Calendar; and last, a free short from Kate’s website called “In December My Heart’s Full of Spring”.
Please leave a comment below to win an ebook copy of Save the Date by Kate McMurray. The giveaway will last until Midnight CDT on Tuesday, June 11. I will choose the winner using Random.org and email the winner who will then have 48 hours from the time of the drawing to reply to my email. I will then forward the winner’s information to Kate so the winner can receive their ebook!
Please enter the email you’d wish me to contact you at in the comment form, or if you prefer, leave it in the message.
Thank you and good luck! And thanks for visiting today and this week for Kate McMurray Week!
Title: Out in the Field
Author: Kate McMurray
Publisher: Loose Id
Length: 71,257 words
Genre: m/m Contemporary Romance
Heat: 4 – Spicy & Smutty
Sex Frequency: 4 – Very Often
Keywords/Tags: Kate McMurray Week!, Sports, Baseball, Closeted, Coming Out, Famous, Diverse Couple, NYC, Brooklyn, May/December, Injuries, On Vacation, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Dominican Rep.
Rating: LOVE IT!!
Matt Blanco has had a Hall-of-Fame-worthy career as the first baseman for the legendary Brooklyn Eagles, but age and a knee injury are threatening to end it. That’s when rookie Ignacio Rodriguez walks into his life. Matt has a policy of not getting involved with anyone for fear that they might share his secret with the world: that he’s a gay professional athlete. But this new rookie has him wanting to throw that policy out the window.
Iggy Rodriguez just got everything he ever wanted: a position in the starting lineup of the Brooklyn Eagles, his favorite team since he was a kid. Even better, he’s playing alongside his idol Matt Blanco. A locker room encounter one day reveals that he and Matt have even more in common than he would have guessed.
When Matt and Iggy fall for each other, they have a hard road ahead, their path to happiness blocked by injuries, trades, and the New York media hungry for a scandal. Fate has pitched them a game-winning run, but will the choice between love and baseball make them with a no-hitter instead?
I can’t help it — this is still my favorite book from Kate McMurray!
Matt Blanco is a Brooklyn boy, born into a crazy Italian family and famous as a top professional baseball player, nearing the end of his long career with the Brooklyn Eagles. He is also gay. There’s never even been a rumor of his sexuality, though he’s a perennial bachelor, because of his complete dedication towards discretion. If baseball wasn’t the true first love of his life, then he might be miserable. But things start to change when a rookie joins the Eagles out of the farm system.
Iggy Rodriguez is a magnificent player, the kind of player who will probably eclipse Matt’s own fame and talent. And he’s incredibly beautiful. Matt, normally the welcoming unofficial captain, is nervous around him because of his attraction to Iggy, no matter that he’s thirteen years younger than him and his presence on the team shows that the Eagles are most likely slowly pushing out the older guys to make way for new, young talent.
Iggy has his own problems concerning Matt. The Great Matt Blanco is his all-time idol and crush — a man who he fantasized about as a teenager as he looked down from the walls of Iggy’s bedroom. Meeting his idol is one thing, but to find out that he’s also gay and in the closet and that they have a mutual attraction? That blows his mind.
The two find a way to make it work, always putting discretion above all else. They manage to go years in love and playing together until the magic just can’t last. Matt’s having problems with his knee and it looks like it won’t hold out much longer. Looking at retirement is like the end of his life. Navigating the world of professional baseball with such a secret is hard, but as their lives change around them and pressure mounts, both Matt and Iggy have to find a way to put their relationship above the sport they both love.
First, Kate’s love of baseball really comes through in this book. I mean, the sport is shown from both positive and negative angles, but the love of the game is central in the book. It’s what initially bring both Matt and Iggy together, and it is at times what keep them together as their common language. Second, Iggy and Matt are amazing characters. It is only in the first few pages of the book that we’re shown the dichotomy between the young and old on the team, pitting both Matt and Iggy at different ends of their career. But it is a central theme. It’s a bit obstacle, mostly to Matt who has a problem facing the end of his baseball career, but also in the sense that Matt, who already has a problem with change, doesn’t want to rock the boat to sacrifice Iggy’s career. But the dichotomy between the old and new as they’re presented also works well for their relationship. Even though it means that they often clash, they’re two sides of a coin also. Where Matt represents a more classic vision of the sport and the culture, Iggy is the idealist who breaks through his stagnancy, to show him that there is hope that there could be a real active out gay athlete.
And third is the main reason that I think this book is so successful. We already have a great setup story and background of professional sports. And we have two really wonderful characters with a great shifting dynamic. What makes them come together to work so well in this book is the pace of the story. The whole story covers roughly three to four years. We’re given several major sections of the story in real time with transitions of quick narration to bring us forward. It moves at a quick pace which keeps the story in momentum, but which also allows the characters to grow farther than you might expect. I remember when I first read this, I kept feeling like I was probably getting toward the end, only to realize that I still had half the book left to read. The forward momentum brings the story into new times and into new shifting dynamics between Iggy and Matt, showing how they work around them, how they adapt to new times and how they, eventually, use that time to grow closer and carve a life for themselves.
The story really is beautiful. There’s no needless angst, only what is appropriate for the situation and isn’t long-lasting. And, after all that, the story ends beautifully. Every time, every damn time I cry when I read the last 7 to 8% of the book, from the 12 year old fan that comes up to Matt in the stands to the purple hats to Iggy playing in the game. The story ends on a high, very optimistically but not unrealistically, and with Iggy and Matt in a really good place. I couldn’t be happier.
I think I appreciated this book more the second time around. And I know that I appreciated it more after reading all of Kate’s books back to back. I can see where there are some sylistic differences between this book and some of the others. None of the others are formulaic, but something about this book just really works for me. It will always be a book that I’ll come back to and read over again. And it’s one that you should read as well!
Make sure to read my interview with Kate McMurray today!
Posted by Cole in 41-75k, 6 LOVE IT!, Authors M-O, Contemporary, Heat 4 - Spicy & Smutty, Romance, Sex Freq 4 - Very Often Tags: Baseball, Brazil, Brooklyn, Closeted, Coming Out, Diverse Pairing, Dominican Rep., Famous, Injured Character, Kate McMurray, Kate McMurray Week!, Loose Id, May/December, NYC, On Vacation, Rio de Janeiro, Sports
Title: Across the East River Bridge
Author: Kate McMurray
Publisher: Loose Id
Length: 77,013 words
Genre: m/m Contemporary & Historical Paranormal Mystery Romance
Heat: 4 – Spicy & Smutty
Sex Frequency: 3 – Average Sex to Story
Keywords/Tags: Kate McMurray Week!, Author Backlist Project, Ghosts/Spirits, NYC, Brooklyn, Cold Case, 1870s, 1880s, Enemies to Lovers, Academia (NYC History), Hot/Cold (mostly Finn), Second Chances, History
Rating: Really Liked It
When Finn’s boss sends him to a museum in Brooklyn, the last person he expects to see is his old rival, Troy. Although Finn and Troy have undeniable sexual chemistry, Finn still blames Troy for sending his career off the rails but Troy has research Finn needs. Troy also has an intriguing story; the museum he curates is haunted by the ghosts of two men who died under mysterious circumstances in 1878. Troy strikes a deal: he’ll help Finn if Finn helps him find out what happened to the men who died.
From diaries, police reports, and newspaper articles, Finn and Troy piece together the lives of the two dead men–and the romance that bloomed between them. As it becomes clear that the men were murdered, it also becomes clear that the ghosts are real and are capable of manipulating the dreams, thoughts, and actions of the living. When Finn and Troy start falling for each other, Finn worries that it’s all an illusion concocted by the ghosts to keep them working together to solve the mystery, but Troy is convinced the love between them is real. But how can he get rid of a couple of ghosts and prove it?
This is such a great book to kick off Kate McMurray Week! To be honest, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect of this story. I mostly read it on faith because I like the author. All I really knew was that it was about NYC and ghosts. So, I was pleasantly surprised when I did read it to find that it was something that I could really sink into. Part of my enjoyment of the story really comes from a love of history. Not that I’m particularly knowledgable, especially about NYC history, but there’s so much detail in this story that must have taken quite a bit of research and I found it all refreshing and compelling.
Finn and Troy have a turbulent history. Both pursuing advanced history degrees at NYU at the same time, they quickly found themselves to be rivals, with a love/hate relationship — mostly hate. But, every few years they succumb to temptation and fall into bed with one another, promptly returning to hate each other the next day. Finn isn’t where he expected to be when he envisioned his life all those years ago at NYU. He blames Troy for his failure to get his PhD that fuels his continued hatred. Troy was always the golden boy, one step ahead of him and outshining all of his successes. Now, years of regrets have become an ugly and miserable piece of Finn that he carries around with himself. And Troy is easy to hate… except when they’re in bed together.
Now working as a research assistant for a famous biographer (who is a bit of a bosshole), Finn is sent to research a small museum in Brooklyn, only to find that the curator is none other than Troy. He looks good and is, as usual, a consummate flirt. And again like all the other times their NYC circles merge, Finn is at the same time frustrated and spiteful and yet reluctant to admit how well they work together and understand one another. They have incredibly similar interests in the history of the city and between them, share a wealth of knowledge. Finn isn’t really passionate about the research for his boss, but Troy convinces Finn to help him research a mystery of his own. He’s currently going through the journals of the man who once lived in the building and the mysterious circumstances around his death. Troy, though thorough as any historian, is more apt to believe in the strange occurrences in the building — the cold spots, the dreams and as he delves deeper into the man’s story, the physical manifestations he sees with his own eyes. As the two start to uncover the secrets of the dead and piece together a picture of life in Brooklyn in the 1870’s, they start to fall in love. The problem, for Finn, is his reluctance to believe in what could ultimately be the manipulation of a couple of ghosts whose main interests aren’t finally getting the two of them together, but to solve their murder.
I mentioned at the start of the review that the reason I really liked this book was the research and the history presented of Brooklyn, New York in a different era. I think, though, that this might be a sticking point for some readers. Make no mistake, this book takes history and makes it real and solid, but it’s told from the view of two men who sift through obscure details every day and take them as deep as they go. So, much of this novel is really the journey into history, piece by piece as the two put it together. And there is a wealth of detail that Kate McMurray offers. I could see where some readers, who might not find those details as interesting as I, might find this book a tedious read.
What I really enjoyed was the journey to finding those answers, because the story and the picture of Brooklyn at that time takes shape slowly, and some of the best scenes in the novel were Finn and Troy connecting on the level of historians. It’s their common language, when they have a hard time getting close in other areas (except sex, that one is easy for them!). Those scenes are the best because both will go from sniping at one another and confusion about their feelings to connecting through the project and offering details back and forth, sussing out answers between them. Their relationship really takes the enemies to lovers trope to a realistic level. Most of the raw and angry feelings come from Finn. But he’s the character that we really get to know first and the one who we see this world through. When he actually lets down his guard enough to try to let some of that stagnate anger go, I think he finds that Troy really isn’t the man that he thought he was and that he doesn’t think of Finn in the way Finn thought he did. The dynamic between the two of them was done really well, and another reason that this story really worked for me, because the story starts with a shared history and routine between the two men and in their interactions. The research project is the catalyst to change that behavior. And discovering what life is like for a gay man in 1870’s America not only gives Finn perspective but gives him more ways to connect and understand Troy.
Though I’m partial to this author’s Out in the Field (which I’m going to be re-reading and reviewing later this week), this just might be my second favorite of hers. It’s definitely a book I recommend to you, if you think you’ll like it, of course 😉
Check back tomorrow for my reviews of Show and Tell and In Hot Pursuit!
Posted by Cole in 5 Really Like It, 76-100k, Authors M-O, Contemporary, Heat 4 - Spicy & Smutty, Historical, Mystery, Paranormal, Romance, Sex Freq 3 - Average Story to Sex Tags: 1870s, 1880s, Academia, Brooklyn, Cold Case, Enemies to Lovers, Ghosts/Spirits, History, Hot & Cold, Kate McMurray, Kate McMurray Week!, Loose Id, NYC, Second Chances