Review: Two Spirits by Jory StrongMonday, January 14, 2008 22:00
I’m probably going to show my ignorance here. Having read only a couple of other gay romance books, I’m not sure what to really expect when reading them. I start reading like I would any other romance, I want to like the characters, I want emotion with the romance, and, of course, I want a good storyline. The characters and the storyline in this book were not too much of a problem. It was the emotion that didn’t go quite far enough for me.
I really liked Trey, a man who has spent his life denying his true orientation, and now his life is further shattered because he’s still pretending to want women and he got caught up with the wrong woman who’s an evil human being through and through, but he’s a good guy and it’s that goodness that gets him in trouble. I felt for him and cheered at his triumph in at least part of his dilemma. Tenino was likeable. He knew he wanted Trey right of the bat and he’s dominant, which made him a little too hard for me. But I felt for him at moments also because he does want someone to love, someone to be his for the rest of his life. The two characters did together did work. Trey finally came out of his self-denial thanks to Tenino; Tenino finally had what he’d always envied his brother for. The relationship happened a little fast, though.
The storyline was okay. Trey is now in protective custody, hence his introduction to Tenino. I realize this is a short story, but I just felt that this storyline was used only to get Trey and Tenino together, like any old story could have done that so let’s just use this one. There was nothing different about it, a plot used a lot over the years. What I did like about the storyline, however, was the end where the paranormal element came into play with the Thunderbird legend of Tenino’s tribe.
What I didn’t get enough of was emotion. There were certain scenes between the two men where I found myself thinking there should have been a touch here, a loving word there, one of them getting more choked up, anything along those lines. There were some spots where those things were included, but considering these two men had just found the love of their lives, I just expected more feeling, more tenderness at times. We’re talking love here. I wanted to feel it.
Maybe I shouldn’t expect the same things I do with regular romances in a gay romance. I know men talk about different things than women, look at the world differently, but I think love is more universal, and men or women, we’re going to experience some of the same feelings, want a caress, an I love you once in a while. If I’m off my rocker, let me know.
Trey’s worked hard at denying he’s gay. He’s suppressed it by never allowing himself to act on a same-sex attraction. He’s avoided it by becoming involved in relationships with women. But when he helps the Feds take down his girlfriend’s family, he ends up in protective custody – and in the arms of Tenino, a sheriff’s deputy who wants a permanent lover, one he can share the full truth about his Thunderbird spirit with.
The attraction is immediate, intense, undeniable. But their future together is uncertain. Trey’s ex-girlfriend is looking for him. And she wants revenge – of the fatal kind.
Read an excerpt.