I really like Bonnie Dee’s writing. I’ve only read a couple of her books so far, but I love that she tackles a variety of genres, and her characters have a lot of warmth and seem like people it would be fun to get to know. In Undeniable Magnetism, a recent release from Loose ID, Ms. Dee continues in that vein and provides a nice character study with two protagonists who are both the kind of guys one might actually run into at some point in real life.
Essentially, the plot here is simple. Simon Chase goes to a bar to de-stress, a bar owned by Jay Moran. After a heated encounter, Jay never expects to see Simon again, but on a whim, Simon calls him and the two begin a relationship. The conflict here is that like in the real world, not everybody in Simon and Jay’s world really embraces the men’s sexuality, and the two of them have to come to a place where they can accept that.
The thing that really works here are the characters. Jay and Simon are both guys. Sometimes when I read plot descriptions of gay romance, I feel like the author could just give one of the guys a set of breasts instead of a penis, do the occasional find and replace, and you’d have a het romance. This frustrates me as a reader, because if I wanted to read a het romance, I would, well, read a het romance. But both men do very masculine things and they talk like men. Their issues were very realistic, and because of that, I was rooting for them the entire time I was reading.
I also liked the fact that Ms. Dee subverts a few stereotypes. Simon is the upper-crust one who attended the best schools and parties. Simon is black. Jay grew up in a poor, ethnically mixed neighborhood and owns a bar. He’s white. The race thing does come up occasionally for both of them, and I felt it was addressed in a sensitive way.
Overall, I think this is a great example of M/M romance. I didn’t even mind the relatively short page count, because Ms. Dee manages to pack a lot into those pages. I definitely recommend this one.
When Simon walks into Jay’s bar for a drink, he never expects to find himself having an afternoon quickie in the back room. Although he’s very attracted to the blond, blue-eyed bartender, he’s never experienced a real relationship with another man and isn’t ready for the commitment that entails.
Jay is ready for Mr. Right, and when he meets hot, hunky Simon, he believes he’s found his match. But convincing the reserved man that their brief encounter could evolve into something more will take all his considerable persuasive skills.
Jay is blue collar, Irish. Simon is an African American from a society family. Can two men from such different backgrounds find common ground? Undeniable magnetism draws them to one another, but only love can keep them together.
You can read an excerpt here