Review of The Ideal Side of Love by Blak Rayne

The Ideal Side of LoveThe Ideal Side of Love by Blak Rayne

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3 stars

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I am having some difficulty rating this book. It started out very strong. I am not a big fan of 1st person narration, but I enjoyed Stephens voice and his re-telling of the ups and downs of his love life in the eighties and nineties and it pulled me in right away, even if Stephen as a person moved waaaaay to fast for my liking in every relationship.

The first half of the book was a solid 4 stars and I enjoyed the ups and downs of Stephen and Myron’s life and also the bittersweet end, even if there were a few things that bothered me and a few loose ends that were never tied up sufficiently for my liking. There were big jumps in time, but it made sense not to describe the entire 12 years of the relationship.

After Myrons death, Stephen was obviously devastated and I could relate to his struggles and his “survivors guilt”. Enter Carson and the story unfortunately took a downward turn. I am not sure Carson ever really endeared himself enough to me, for me to start rooting for them enough. Also the big jumps in time were suddenly odd. As if big chunks of the book had been edited out? At the end of one chapter, they are having a conversation, which never concludes and suddenly the start of the next chapter is an entirely different conversation, in another setting and quite a while later… I had to check page numbers, as I was certain there was an error in the file, but no….

There is quite a lot of emphasis on domestic violence in same sex relationships and violence towards gay men (by other gay men) in general, and there are a few violent attacks described in the story. Although the issue is an important one, I felt they were dealt with too superficially, especially the abuse Myron suffered in his earlier relationship, to make a lot of impact on me as a reader.

All in all I am going to rate this 3 stars. I enjoyed the first half of the book and I loved the idea of a second chance at love after the death of a dearly beloved, but I didn’t really like the second half of the book and the new romance.

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