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Affairs of M/Men

M/M Romance Reviews by Maybedog

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Honesty and Artifice
S.H. Allan
S.H. Allan
G.S. Wiley, Rowan McAllister, Dawn Douglas, Stephen Osborne, Anna Martin, Elizabella Gold, K. Lynn, Eva Clancy, Rhidian Brenig Jones, Anna Butler, Caitlin Ricci, S.H. Allan, Rob Rosen, River Clair, Nico Jaye, A.C. Valentine
Loving Luki Vasquez - Lou Sylvre Sweet story. Good pacing and excellent suspense. Plot was interesting and characters not quite so cookie cutter. I think the title is a bit odd since it’s more Luki chasing after Sonny and it’s part of a series. That kind of title is more of a one-off sounding thing.


The best thing about this for me was that it took place in the Pacific Northwest by someone who knows and loves the PNW with all its quirks and its rain.

I liked how Luki couldn’t really smile and only people who knew him could tell.

There are lots of strong women in addition to the strong men, which is very cool.

“Northwest style [blackberry] brambles.” Hell yeah, the things are weeds. They’re everywhere and so hard to get rid of. I just read an article where a company rents out goats to get rid of them because nothing else works.

Luki was a victim and horribly traumatized but became strong, not weak. And I don’t mean just physically. He was very self-assured.

They get bad service at St. Joe’s on Squalicum Parkway. I used to work there. I went into ER three times while I was there and the services was ALWAYs bad. One time they opened up the wrong patient’s record and were recording info until the drug allergies didn’t match up. Another time, I had to have narcotics and they told me I couldn’t have more than one person in with me. I was there with my fiancé and young daughter. This is the only hospital in the area so it was a busy waiting room and not particularly safe. So I could have my fiancé with me who could figure out what the doctor was telling me (I was having a horrific migraine and I couldn’t concentrate for crap) and keep track once the narcotics hit, too, and leave my daughter in the waiting room or I could have her with me, who would make my headache much worse. Or I could have no one and be trying to deal with it myself. I was in enough pain that I was rude and said “So what you’re saying is…” She finally said that both could stay this one time. (The protagonists note that the hospital is good-sized for the size of the town. The reason is that it’s basically the only hospital in area that county. In area, it is not a small county. Seriously, I’m not kidding.)


There were parts that were confusing:

The morning after they’ve slept together, Luki gets some coffee and goes outside and sits on a log on the beach. Sonny is really hurt and follows. Why is he hurt? He sits next to Luki and asks him if this is what he usually does after he sleeps with someone and spends the night; does Luki wish Sonny would just disappear? At this point I had no idea why going outside is a bad thing.

Luki responds with, “I don’t wish you’d disappear,” he said. “And there is no usually.”

Okay, sounds good, but then Luki talks about he always has his gun within reach. And Sonny says, “Last night when I said the gun bothered me, you pushed it away.”

Sonny seems to know that this is negative immediately. I had no idea what the issue was even then. It wasn’t until Luki took off and didn’t come back that I figured Luki is scared of how much he feels about Sonny (although this is not said or even alluded to; it’s very much a one night stand feeling coming from Luki) but his commenting about not wanting him to disappear and then disappearing himself is odd. Obviously he regrets what he did but I felt like there was a paragraph missing somewhere.

I'm not explaining it well here because it's not that confusing. When I read it, though, I was saying, "What?" out loud.

Another confusing thing is about Luki’s vomiting which is never really explained. At one point someone is talking with him about his relationship with Sonny (rather his inability to acknowledge it) and says to him, “When was the last time you vomited?” He doesn’t reply and she says, “I thought so.” He had vomited several times in the story but there was no reference point to know if it were more or less frequent or whether that was good or bad? Was he vomiting less since he was with Sonny, or vomiting more because he wasn’t dealing with it?

Here’s yet another age difference (41 to 29) that serves no purpose whatsoever. Why? I truly believe that M/M romance grossly over represents the segment of the population that has significant age differences. I just don’t see the point in this story so why have it? Most gay couples I know are close in age just like most straight couples I know. Hell, even my circle of friends doesn’t vary more than a decade between the oldest and the youngest. I have one friend outside that set that is ten years younger than I am and our age difference comes up not infrequently in how we look at things and not in a good way.

Luki kept saying that children never saw his scar; they saw him instead. Bullshit. Kids are curious and notice everything. They will comment on things adult would consider rude. They will stare. They will ask about things that are weird. It is adults who either look away or pretend it isn’t there. I’ve found this out time and again.

They have sex when Sonny is on narcotic pain medication and he comes really easily. Have you ever tried to have sex after a large dose of narcotics?

How does Luki pull together all his resources for this one thing? Didn’t he have other contractual obligations to fulfill?

There’s a slur against Seattle cops. One character says sarcastically about some case the SPD worked on: It was “obvious after all that she was a random victim. Didn’t have anything to do with her being a lesbian.” Seattle cops in general have been fine with homosexuality, very support of the gay pride parade for a long time. Where they’ve gotten into a lot of trouble is with racial profiling which is awful but at least comes from statistics rather than personal biases (not that they aren’t probably racist, too). I don’t like it when people are inaccurately accused of something. When falsehoods are spread about a group, people will either dismiss them entirely, or know that it’s false and then not pay attention when they are accused of something for real. I am very upset with the racial profiling and I want the focus to be on that rather than blowing the whole department off as being bigoted.

No sense of style. Acid washed jeans? Muscle t-shirt?

A call comes into a cell phone that says it’s from “yes it’s me,” letters instead of numbers. I don’t think that’s possible the phone would have had to have been hacked but I’m not sure how exactly.

Overall, this was a good book. The Western Washington setting was done really well. I'm very eager to read the next book.