Starfish and Coffee Kele Moon
ARC provided for review.
Well, I’m fast becoming a devotee of Kele’s writing. She manages to write erotica that’s not twee or stomach churning, no silly names and acronyms for sexual parts, but simply romantic and tasteful, spicy and sensual, and that’s such a treat after the endless pages upon pages of mindless drivel posing as erotic in some of the novels I’ve read recently. Its not quantity but quality of sex scenes that make a book into one worth reading, and there has to be a really good supporting story for me to enjoy it. In all the books of Kele’s I’ve read so far she delivers that – great work Kele 🙂
This novel starts with a brief scene of an older Alex, then goes back in time to when he first met Matt. As in most of Kele’s books the story centres around a select few people, there are others as a sort of supporting cast but this time its Alex and Matt as the main two, and Alex friend Holly and his brother Will as secondary but quite closely connected.
Alex is gay, works in a local café with Holly and doesn’t let his sexuality be known. Everyone including his brother Will assume he and Holly are a couple, in a sort of friends with benefits way. Matt takes on a job for a few weeks for a bet with his friends. Alex sees him as a shallow, rich-boy individual with everything handed to him on a plate. In reality Matt resents the way his life has been mapped out by his family, and is using the summer as a way to escape some of the pressure. For Alex everyday is fun but a struggle for money and he sees Matt as being privileged. Slowly they grow to respect and find passion with each other. But as with all paradise there’s a spider waiting to spoil things. Matt’s mother is the classic over privileged, rich bitch and she isn’t having a gay son if she can stop it.
Alex and Matt part on bad terms – if only they spoke to each other instead of making assumptions. That’s true for many of the characters here, they assume they know what’s going on and act accordingly causing heartbreak and loss. When they meet up again after six years can they get past the bitter breakup? Do they even want to, or are they still caught up in the web of deceit and misunderstandings?
What I love about this book is the way Kele weaves a tale of passion showing how prejudiced people are, and how difficult it can be to be open about sexuality. Its not as easy as simply coming out – the ripples of prejudice turn into tsunami waves and bitter opinions, threatening employment and even lives. Its a real tough way of testing love and yet Kele brings her characters through, steering a course over the water to a HEA. We see how easily opinions and misunderstood words and thoughts can overshadow events turning molehills into huge mountains and changing the course of what could have happened. I guess all too often this happens in real life and because they felt like real people I shared their emotions. I love a good “bitch” in a story and Matt’s mum was a classic, shame we didn’t see even more of her. I always feel the evil spread by those like her and the tears they bring act as a good counterpart and make the happier emotions even more poignant. Angst v happiness = a good romance for me I guess?
As always its well written and edited and at 302 pages for £3.05 its an excellent price. One for my keepers shelf .
Stars: four and a half.
Publisher’s Note: This book contains explicit sexual situations, graphic language, and material that some readers may find objectionable: male/male sexual practices.