Reading: Inertia by Amelia Gormley

Before I get into the review of the book I just finished reading, I’d like to say that we’re thrilled to report that Top2Bottom Reviews gives Earthly Desires 4.5 out of 5!

“Earthly Desires is a sexy story between two unique and interesting heroes. I loved the way the story was told and enjoyed the fairytale-ish theme of the book itself. It’s full of adventure, romance and it highly entertained this reader throughout the entire book.” 

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Inertia by Amelia C. Gormley is the story of Derrick, a man in his early thirties, who has cut himself off from risk, adventure, and relationships after an unfortunate series of circumstances that led him to losing everyone he loved by the time he was twenty-one. Unwilling to experience the crushing pain of loss again, he’s drifted through a pleasant if boring decade of the same old, same old. Until he meets Gavin and suddenly the possibility for something more appears on his radar. Will he be brave enough to accept the inherent risk that goes along with daring to feel something new?

I worry that what I will say next will somehow come across as a backhanded compliment, when it is definitely not intended as such. It’s just a straight up compliment. So, please keep that in mind. Amelia writes Derrick with an attention to detail that in another person’s hands could become tedious. Instead, however, this detail shows us a fully fleshed out picture of a man who takes his time in everything, who tries to mitigate even the smallest loss, or unexpected outcome, by concentrating entirely on the steps of each part of his day and job. Every time I’d start to think something like, “Did we really need to know about how Derrick took his time sanding that bit of shelving?” I’d realize that, yes, we did need to know that–because Derrick’s inability to deal with unexpected outcomes, and his extreme caution in the face of everything is the crux and crisis of this book.

Derrick is a kind man, and given how slow and thorough he is, I never found myself annoyed with him for that trait. I did find his reaction to one of Gavin’s revelations sufficiently appalling (and thus incredibly realistic and human) that I had a hard time forgiving him for a little while, and frankly had a harder time forgiving him than Gavin did. In addition to Derrick’s initial reaction to Gavin’s story, I also had a hard time with the fact that Derrick, knowing what he ends up knowing about Gavin, keeps the specifics of his own issues to himself and doesn’t share them with Gavin. He uses a somewhat believable excuse that he doesn’t want to make Gavin’s problems all about him. But the way Gavin’s problems intersect with his own are the crisis of the book and the relationship, and I felt that remained unresolved because Derrick never actually shared the most damaged part of himself with Gavin.

That bothered me because Gavin laid it bare, made himself vulnerable in a really intense way, Derrick reacted horribly to it, and then, in my opinion, didn’t make up for it by providing Gavin with an equal vulnerability. That left a bit of sour taste in my mouth, because it gave Derrick a power position over Gavin, whether he intends to use it or not.

But here’s the thing–I was glad for these problems with the character. This is a very psychological book. There’s not a lot of external adventure. It’s not got a lot of vibrant world building, or evil villains, or anything outside of two people’s very realistic hang-ups about sex, love, and life as the problem that needs to be resolved to reach a HFN or HEA ending. Had Derrick handled things beautifully, there would have been no book, because it would’ve been boring as hell, and completely unrealistic. So, while I did find myself annoyed with Derrick at times, I was also incredibly happy to feel that way, because it meant I was emotionally invested and I cared about both men.

The book ends in a place without any cliff-hangers, but it’s a good thing there is another book (two, actually) coming, because I felt like if this was all that had been offered, I would have been somewhat annoyed. In fact, looking at the reviews of Amelia’s book, I’ve wondered if she would not have been possibly better off combining books one and two, because I think she would’ve gotten higher ratings had people been able to see what happens next. For the record, I know a little of what happens next because I’ve communicated with Amelia about it, and I’m very curious to see how Derrick and Gavin go from this relationship to that relationship.

If I had stars ratings, I’d give this a solid 4.5/5 stars because I was turning the pages like crazy and felt really invested in the outcome of these characters. I wanted more from them, and kind of wished the book had another 20 pages in it so that I could just revel in how cute they could be together a bit longer. I’m not sure the 20 pages I wanted would’ve added to the story in any way, though, so I am not saying this is a flaw of the book, but am saying that the book and characters left me wishing for more, more, more.

The sex in the book was very hot (yay!), but ended up being secondary for me. I was much more interested in how Gavin got to where he is now, and in how Derrick was going to open up. Was he really going to dare and risk and make himself vulnerable? Was he going to step up to the same level as Gavin in terms of putting himself out there? I wanted to know!

I thought this was a wonderful fall read. It definitely lent itself to curling up in my comfy covers while the autumn light drifted in. I can’t wait for the second book and I highly recommend this one to all who enjoy a slow burn romance with the promise for more!

By the way, if you’ve read the book, I’d love to discuss it in comments! Especially if you disagree with anything I’ve said above.

1. Inertia by Amelia Gormley

2. Writer Wednesday interview with Amelia Gormley

Listening: Night of Hunters and Gold Dust

First, I’d like to point you over to Joyfully Jay’s Review Blog where she gave Earthly Desires 4.25 our of 5 stars! I’m very pleased and proud that the first book in my series with Keira Andrews has received some very nice reviews. Pleased as punch, as my grandmother would’ve said!

 I found this an enjoyable and fun story. It was an unusual tale and I was drawn into the book immediately and it kept my attention throughout.  The characters are entertaining and endearing, especially Efrosin, and I got a few giggles along the way.  If you are looking for a light and fun read, and especially if you like unique fairy tales, I’d give this one a try.

 

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Next, I’d like to talk about how I have strange (and admittedly controlling) rules about music. There are certain albums and songs which are only allowed to be played at certain times in my household. For example, the Mum album, Finally We Are No One must only be played in winter time, or else I will be displeased. (Which, for what it’s worth, just consists of me saying, “Are you really playing this in summer? Really? Can’t you tell that this is a winter-only album?”)

Last year, there was a new release that became an Autumn Only album in my mind, and my poor kiddo has suffered the last month of me saying, “No, honey, we can’t listen to that one because it isn’t fall yet.” Um, okay, I really do understand that is weird and I’m probably scaring the child for life, but, seriously, it is an Autumn Only album, okay? Ahem. And that album is awesome. It’s Night of Hunters and you can listen to two songs from it below.

Star Whisperer Short Film

Carry

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Buy Night of Hunters

Now, I’m very excited because, as it turns out, Night of Hunters was such a fantastic album that Deutsche Grammophon has chosen to support the new album Gold Dust, which will be out in October, and, I feel quite sure, is going to be an Autumn/Winter Only album, too. I’m practically vibrating with excitement over it.

Here are two videos where you can hear some music from the upcoming Gold Dust. If you only watch one of these videos, make it the first one here, Flavor, because it is just a great video, with gorgeous NYC footage, and we all know how much I adore NYC, right? So much. It owns part of my heart.

Wait, wait, wait…guys, guys, this is terrible. I just went to find the link to the video and it’s been removed by the user that uploaded it. I’m so bummed. It was seriously just an amazingly gorgeous video and I fully intended to watch it twenty more times. Dang it. Oh, well, parts of it are featured in this video below:

Gold Dust Trailer

And you can read a review of the now erased, vanished, poofed, gone Flavor video HERE, because that will totally make up for not being able to see it, right? Boo.

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Buy Gold Dust

Regardless, Gold Dust is sure to be something I’ll have to buy on vinyl to play on the good stereo, because it will, no doubt, be divine. Be sure to pre-order it and be ready to roll around in some Autumn Only joyful sounds as soon as it hits your doorstep.

Watching: Vividcon (Only Not) – You by lolachrome

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First, before we get started with today’s blog post, I’m very happy with THIS REVIEW of Earthly Desires from jeayci at Reviews by Jessewave! 4.5 out of 5 stars!

“Once upon a time, there was an m/m romance that with its first paragraph transported me to that magical realm of fairy tales. This story is beautifully written, almost lyrical in its flow, like the fairy tales of yore. This was a light (ha!), fun, engaging story. Great for a beach read, a comfort read; one of those moments you want something you know will make you laugh, smile, and feel good.”

Read the rest of the review and, if you haven’t already done so, I won’t stop you if you wanted to buy the book. 😉  Now on to a beautiful vid!

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I’m not linking to Lola’s Vividcon video (yet) because the vid that she released just before she left for the con is breathtaking. For the record, I don’t watch Glee (anymore) but I still thought this vid was not only gorgeous but also spoke volumes about the character of Kurt. However, what really got to me was the way it spoke on a meta-level to the difficulty still attached to achieving one’s dreams when a person doesn’t perfectly fit the gender stereotypes. Yet, Kurt is resilient…his love may be too big for us yet, but he doesn’t quit. There he goes again.

Title: You
Summary: My love’s too big for you my love. A Kurt character study, with help from Judy Garland, Gene Kelly, and Lady Gaga, to name just a few.
Warning: Spoilers through Season 3

Links of interest about this vid:
1) This vid was dedicated to the life of Alex Doty who passed away. Lola links to his work of analyzing Glee.
2) Annotations and credits as well as other information on the making and inspiration of the video.
3) The video on Archive of Our Own
4) Kurt and the Casting Couch— To quote this amazing analysis:

The central contradiction at work here was the assertion that Kurt could not be an object of erotic attraction for women and girls, when in fact, beyond Glee’s textual confines, the opposite is true. Female (and many gay-identifying) fans eroticize Kurt/Chris Colfer constantly — more than any other character on Glee – at his concerts and in countless online fan sites. Kurt/Chris is a nexus of identification and desire for fans worldwide, and it is precisely his unique blend of feminine and masculine characteristics – his genderqueerness– that audiences find erotic about him. It is also what cultural authorities find discomfiting. Colfer is both feminine and an out gay man, and his popularity proves that his femininity and gayness do not preclude his eroticization; fan reactions to Colfer are notably not those of mere “tolerance” or “acceptance” but rather of passionate love and unbridled enthusiasm for the new queer erotics that he embodies.

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My favorite parts:

1. The opening. Because, really, how delicately she prepares our brain for the introduction of additional/older source material.
2. The Hepburn moments, the James Dean red jacket, the Gene Kelley and Fred Astaire all mixed up with Kurt and Blaine, and, gosh, okay, just the whole thing. There’s not a bum note in this video.

If you watched, I’d love to hear your thoughts, or for you to share your favorite parts in the comments below. 🙂