Friday, July 17, 2009

The Bones of Summer

Title: The Bones of Summer
Author: Anne Brooke
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL:
ISBN: 978-1-61581-011-6
Genre: Contemporary {M/M} Suspense
Nymphs Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Growing up with a religious zealot for a father wasn’t easy, which explained why Craig Robertson left home after the discovery of his underage gay affair. He moved to London, changed his name and got on with his life, becoming a small-time actor and model. His life changes for the second time, when an old neighbor notifies him that his estranged father has disappeared. Lucky for Craig, his new lover, Paul Maloney, is a private detective and he agrees to accompany him to his hometown to help in the search.

Going home is difficult, dredging up painful memories of an abusive childhood after the sudden disappearance of his mother when he was six. As the search progresses, they learn that his long-ago lover, Michael, has been missing since the day they were discovered. It’s clear there are gaps in Craig’s memory, leading him to suspect that there’s something in his past he doesn’t want to remember.

When Craig confesses to Paul his fear that Michael is dead and that he’s responsible, Paul refuses to believe his lover is a murderer. As Craig’s hunt for the truth turns to obsession, the lovers new and fragile relationship begins to fall apart, leaving him to search on his own. Alone and being stalked, Craig must face the terrors of his past, and hope he can survive to have a future.

The Bones of Summer by Anne Brooke is a complicated and intriguing tale of a man struggling to cope with his life in the aftermath of a painful and difficult childhood, lived with a cold, hard and uncaring religiously fanatical father. On first impression, this complex story might appear to be overwhelmed with fear, pain and angst and while that’s partly true, it’s not the whole truth. It’s also the story of Craig and Paul, finding each other, and the passion, love, desire and friendship that builds between them, despite their individual painful pasts, hidden secrets and lies.

Emotions run high throughout the story and both men break down in tears on more than one occasion or verbally clash, saying hateful, vicious things to each other. Other times the sex is hot and passionate. In truth, they are often at odds, despite how they feel for one another and the search for Craig’s father and his fear of what might have happened only strain an already fragile relationship. So, while at heart The Bones of Summer is a story of Craig and Paul, the fuel that propels the story forward, and causes most of their problems, is Craig’s father, his missing ex-lover and his fear of what he might have done that summer, seven years ago.

The father in this tale is a true ‘bay guy’. A fanatic so certain that what he thinks justifies his actions. I have to admit that Ms. Brooke caught me off guard when his disappearance turned into a stalking of his estranged son. Take it from me. This man is crazy, but makes a great villain, perfect for hating.

It’s not all doom and gloom though. Craig has periods where a wicked sense of humor pokes through, and he says something that makes me chuckle. This is particularly true when he spouts his self-created Gay Rules. He’s also, deep down, an optimist man who hopes for a happy and successful future.

1 comment:

Anne Brooke said...

Thank you so much for this - I'm so glad you enjoyed the read, and your review has really made my day!


Many thanks again

Anne B