Monday, September 25, 2017

Book Review: 'The Carpenter's Dilemma' by Noah Harris

New York author Noah Harris is dedicated to giving something back to the universe, sharing generously in his successes and inspiring and motivating others through his writing and in any other way he can. He believes in living a natural, healthy lifestyle and has embraced meditation as a way of clearing the ‘noise’ in his head and allowing his dark creativity to shine through in his books. Though somewhat shy he is a humanitarian who sees the world in which we live as a community bonded in a natural approach to our feelings and ourselves and our interaction with others. His bisexual nature allows him to create well rounded characters – most all of his novels are M/M romances but they are much more than the usual erotica we encounter in film, television, and social media. John explores the boundaries of types and wields a strong brush as he paints his fascinating people. This is Book 2 of his series he calls FAMILY SECRETS.

In this short book John again explores the interstices of M/M relationships, offering more psychological insight into relationships in general than most other authors no matter their genre. His prose and character development grow with each book and he understands that valuable asset of introducing the reader in a comfortable manner to the personalities of his characters.

Noah sets an atmosphere as his book opens that reveals more than we first read – ‘How did he get here? Trees pressed in from every direction, bearing down on him with an ominous air. The woods at night had always felt strangely foreboding to him, even as a child. During the day they were quiet, relaxing, and at times, even a little wondrous. At night however, the woods felt more quietly menacing, as if deep in the shadows the trees themselves were telling him that he wasn’t welcome there. But these woods— these woods were even worse. Everything here was extra dark, enveloped in deeper shadows than he knew there should be. Night in these woods was windless, yet even with no wind, but he could still hear the branches and leaves shifting around him. Faint light leaked down through the canopy above, providing just enough illumination for him to get around. As his bare feet pressed into the ground the scent of rich earth filled his nose. He wasn’t alone in these woods, he knew that much. Something else was out there, and it was watching him intently. He’d been wandering around for a while now, but he hadn’t found anything more than the constant press of the wild woods on all sides. Whatever was out there had been following him for ages, and it was finally letting him know that it was close. That fact alone had his heart beating at an accelerated rate, well beyond what the hike and darkened forest warranted. Not knowing where or what it was, he made a move in a seemingly random direction, hoping he could escape it. His senses easily picked up the movements behind him, as if it was purposely making noise as it followed. It wasn’t far away, so why wasn’t it attacking?’

The summary holds the tale together: ‘: ‘Family secrets can be buried but never erased. Eventually, the unspoken shadows of the past will threaten even the strongest promise of love. Dean Matthews should be enjoying the steady and fulfilling life he’s built for himself. He’s triumphed over the land, making a real go of a new life working and rebuilding his late grandfather’s farm. He found love and laughter with his intensely passionate boyfriend, Mikael. And, if the man he loves occasionally shapeshifts into a werewolf? Oh well, we all have our quirks, right? It had taken some time, but Dean eventually came to accept that at least some of the animalistic ardor his new boyfriend exhibited was due to the fact that he sometimes was... an animal. Dean wants to settle into a comfortable honeymoon period now that he has everything he’s ever wanted, but finds he’s dealing with a whole new set of complications. The meddling and overbearing ways of his new boyfriend’s family for starters, plus the dark secrets of this isolated community Mikael is from. Just how much will Dean be able to compromise? Will there be any love left once they’ve traversed these new battlegrounds?’

Noah’s writing continues to mature and this short novel is revelatory in the manner in which he involves suspense with attraction. Another fine novel from Noah Harris – and we know there are more on the way! Grady Harp, July 17
This book is free on Kindle Unlimited

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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