Thursday, January 25, 2018

Book Review: 'Obsessed' by Peter Styles

Author Peter Styles is a young gay author with thirty books under his belt already. Though he gives little in the way of biographical data, if the photograph on his bio page is indeed the author he does indeed command our attention!

Peter writes love stories, romances that involve men, and his manner in bringing these stories to life is very polished. He has that gift for creating a brotherhood of characters who may or may not follow in appearance in subsequent books – background that gives an otherwise stand alone novel depth. For instance, in OBSESSED he refers to a character in LOVE FANATIC and while it is not necessary to have read the latter book, it enhances the joys of this novel. Peter knows how to grab our attention with a fine opening – Damien ‘I should make it clear that I love my job. As soon as I found out what a literary agent does, I knew that’s what I wanted to be. I always loved books, and I was always obsessed with the way all the little details of a story came together to make something far bigger than the sum of its parts. I never thought of myself as much of a writer, but I wanted to help make stories that were special and important. I wanted to be a part of the creation of worlds... and I was lucky to be able to do just that. After all, most people don’t even use their college degrees, much less reach their ultimate career goal. I was living my dream. But the great thing about dreams is that they end. Work doesn’t. At the end of the day, a job is still a job. Whoever said, “Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life,” was full of it, and it was on days like this one where that fact was painfully evident. My top five clients – the real money-makers, the ones who combined actual talent with commercially viable ideas – were not bad people. Lance Epstein, the first writer I ever worked with and the most successful, had been my best friend for nearly as long as he’d been my client. It
wasn’t that any of them were terrible or immoral or anything even close to that. The problem was that they were still writers, and that meant that they all required near-constant reassurance, feedback, and coddling. And that day, they all apparently needed it at the same time.‘

To keep the characters grounded as real people Peter introduces the widespread problem of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (Damien suffers from this) and how that complicates relationships. In his synopsis he makes that clear: ‘Some things are worth becoming obsessed over… especially when it’s a hot new guy. Workaholic literary agent Damien figures that romance just isn’t in the cards for him - until he meets Eli, a gorgeous convention planner who dreams of being a writer. Before he knows it, the two are sharing a room… and a bed. Unfortunately, Eli’s work fails to live up to Damien’s expectations (his writing work, that is…. the sex is GREAT), and he discovers his OCD medication has been left at home, all the way across the country. As Damien slips into withdrawal, he needs to convince his hot new lover that he’s not losing his mind.’

Open the book and enjoy a well-written, erotic novel with a lot of twists that keep the tension rising. A fine evening’s read. Grady Harp, January 18

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.