My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Wally is an aspiring writer with writers block, tending bar to make ends meet. One night he tends bar at a gallery event and meets the flamboyant and arrogant painter Kenon.
Kenon wants Wally and a game of cat and mouse ensues when Kenon hires Wally to plan a party (?) at his artist guild G3.
This wasn’t for me. I disliked more or less everything in the story: The main characters, the side cast, the setting of the artists guild… But I seem to be very alone in this opinion, so please do not let my review stand on it’s own if you are considering picking up this book.
We are introduced to both main characters in chapter 1 and the characterization done here rings true all the way through the book. Wally – really, what grown man calls himself that? – is of the TSTL variety. He falls instantly in lust and awe with Kenon, but believes him to be straight??? huh???
Here’s a tip for you Wally: Straight men rarely wear eyeliner, they also rarely touch another mans hand whilst talking to them, and they almost never bite another mans earlobe whilst asking said man to meet them after the show!
Kenon is off the arrogant asshat variety – remnant of Harlequin heroes of 90ies MF romance. He feels entitled, is sure that the whole world revolves around him, paranoid that everyone is out to get him and a bit of a jerk to everyone, including people he calls friends. His career makes NO sense what so ever, apparently he is more or less a living Michelangelo, yet when his portraits are described it sounds like his paints Pirelli calender style pictures??? Very odd.
Kenon lives and works in and for G3, an artist guild cum secret gentlemans club he started with his arty friends. He explains to Wally that every important artist in New York works here. Apparently there are no important female artists or straight male artists in all of New York – everyone we meet inside G3 are male and gay.
I guess the cat and mouse hunt pleased many readers, to me it was annoying. Hot then cold for no apparent reason and with no regard to how Wally responded to any advance. And Wally kept being dense: he kissed me and ground his hard cock up against me, but surely he couldn’t possibly want me? I mean, I see where Wally could be confused with the bi-polar routine Kenon puts on, but i don’t see how it’s sexy? and I didn’t really feel the chemistry between them.
Being in lust and awe with Kenon loosens Wallys’ writers block and he writes erotic fanfiction about the painter. And somehow along the lines, he falls in love with him.
Simultaneously Kenon falls in love with Wally, but as these two have sworn an oath of never communicating about anything they obviously do not show or tell each other. Everything comes to a head in the last chapter, when Kenon finds out about Wallys writings and automatically believes that Wally was just using him because of his fame…
There is a lot of alluding to Kenons back story – how an ex hurt him and exploited him, which I guess is supposed to be an excuse for the way he behaves? But it wasn’t enough for me to understand his character.
There was a silly plot with a wealthy russian, who was there to maybe fund the guild and create conflict between Kenon and his friend as well as between Kenon and Wally. It felt forced and stupid. And I hate conflict which could have been resolved in 2,5 minutes if the characters had just had a quick chat…
The author can write though. The prose was fluent and easy to read, there were no major editing errors and the story flowed nicely. It just wasn’t a story for me.