Saturday, February 3, 2018
Book Review: 'The Arrangement' by Felice Stevens
New York City author/lawyer Felice Stevens writes stories of men falling in love. She has written ten successful novels of the M/M theme and her energy in writing is not waning. THE ARRANGEMENT is her latest novel and deals with difficult issues while it unveils a romance as sensitive and touching and steamy as any fine novel.
It takes a brave writer to create characters with impairments and place them in situations where a bonding occurs that seems to understand the disability. Felice tackles ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and incorporates it into one of her leading men and that ‘impairment’ makes her story work even better.
Felice provides a synopsis that allows us to enjoy her novel more: ‘Carter Haywood lives for the weekends—specifically the one weekend every month when he escapes real life, with all the pressures of work and caring for his special needs 10 year old half brother, to do whatever he wants, with whomever he wants. Sex is only a release; he's not looking for love, a relationship or even a second night with the same man, until he walks into a bar and finds someone who makes leaving it all behind impossible. After one incredibly passionate encounter, he breaks his rule and goes back. He needs to see this man again. And again. Damaged goods. That's all Reed Kincaide sees and hears when he looks in the mirror. Anxiety and ADHD define his life and he’s learned to keep people at a distance, never letting them get close enough to know who he really is. When Carter proposes a monthly weekend of sex without strings, it's the ideal arrangement for him. Or so he thinks. Every month, leaving Carter proves to be more and more difficult. It’s not only the intensely hot sex they have in their hotel suite; Reed wonders about the secret life Carter refuses to share. As months pass and they grow closer Reed finds himself falling for Carter, but he needs more than hurried hugs and farewell kisses. He wants it all. Letting Reed into his carefully constructed family life could upset Carter’s whole world, but it might be the risk he’s finally willing to take, if it means keeping Reed. Once bodies are engaged, the heart is sure to follow, and Carter and Reed discover that holding on to each other is the first step in letting go of the past.’
Yes, Felice writes erotica very well indeed, but the reason it works is the manner in which she brings disparate injured characters together and provide them with the release each needs to survive. This is a credible love story, very well told, and marks the status of his fine author among the top. Grady Harp, August 16
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