Illumination. Rowan Speedwell.
Illumination. Rowan Speedwell.
ARC provided via Netgalley.
Well, I loved this book, really, really loved it. Its a proper romance, not just a true love story but a great read on how the two men get there.
Adam, well, who couldn’t love him. He’s Gay but had to pretend to be just Bi, as the bands popularity would plummet if the truth were known. Even then he can only actually be seen out with ladies, not men. Adam hates the pretence, he’s not even truly devoted to the music, it’s acting that’s his true love, and the only way he deals with being the face of the band and being on stage is by acting a role he invents. Then he meets Miles after a show one night, when in a drink and drug filled stupor he decided to go somewhere, sees the signs for the lake, recalls being there as a child, and stops there. Miles finds him next morning asleep on his patio….
Miles, he’s a man with secrets too, reclusive and shy, he keeps himself shuttered away, working on his brilliant Illuminated paintings. I just loved the descriptions of these, and could mentally envisage them. The way he makes them, from scraping the animal hides to constructing the paint as it would have been made centuries ago, was really fascinating. I’m an artist too – and I was really riveted by this part of the book. It must have taken a lot of research, and the same care has been taken with all of the book. Its not written in dumbed down, simple sentences but is composed in a way that appeals to real readers, not those who just want to be spoon fed a few sex scenes. There are sex scenes here of course, but they’re done in a way that fits the story, and not as too often we see, the story written to fit the sex. Rowan’s scenes are sensual and sultry, erotic and intimate, and fit just perfectly in the novel. Anyway, back to Miles. I so felt for him, he was a lost person, and I was desperate to find out what had happened to make him like that. He truly was the brilliant artist with a shattered mind. His sister Lisa was great too – she was the glue holding him together, aided by long time friends Bobby and Doug. Of course I can’t miss out Grace, what an amazing character, vociferous, humorous, and stunningly beautiful…she’s Miles CAG parrot…and a real scene stealer at times!
So how will there two work things out? How can stay at home Miles and never at home Adam have a real relationship? Well, there’s lots of drama here, tender love scenes and crippling angst from when the media pick up stories quoting Adam’s public face girlfriend of convenience Evie. The media love to create a romance where there’s just friendship – its the story that sells, not the truth. Miles isn’t the most self confident person, and he’s easily knocked back by what he reads.
Its an incredible novel, a true love story, which needs to be savoured. I’ve read it once and I’ll definitely be re reading it – its one of those quality book Riptide excel at, which can bear multiple readings. That makes them excellent value for money. On that subject – Price: I’ve not exact figure but its $7.99 US so about £5.03 UK for a good long book of 308 pages/80,000 words. I just love longer novels, they really let readers get “into” the story, understand the characters, and feel all the angst and emotion, and that’s just what happened here.
Stars: well, five of course 🙂 fabulous read.