The Assignment by Evangeline Anderson

How do I start this... I guess the picture does an awesome job of hinting at it. But for the obvious challenged, I'll elaborate:

I read a gay book. Not just any gay book either. It was my very first gay book, and boy was it HOT! And by "gay" I don't mean it in the sense that it sucked [pun half way intended]. I'm talking about a for realz man-LOVES-man gay book. And I lOvEd it! I've been curious to read one for a while now, I've just been nervous to purchase it at stores. But with this awesome technological time, I didn't even have to talk to anyone to buy it and read it that same day. I was partially prepared since I love reading the raunchiest of raunchy romance novels sometimes, so it wasn't too much of a stretch for my brain.

The best part about the whole book?? I think there was only one woman throughout the whole thing. And she said maybe two sentences in her brief appearance. Even in books, women can be so obnoxious, it's annoying. Especially the "extras".
What's a gay book like, you ask? Well, this one was just like a romance novel, but with less baggage.... [wow, everything I say can have a double meaning. I feel like every sentence should be followed up with "that's what she said" or in this case, "that's what he said"]. I guess a better way to say that is that there was no emotional baggage. Yeah, the characters had their pasts and they overcame it, but it didn't haunt them the way it usually does for women.

The difference? When confronted with a problem in their childhood, women [typically--please, I understand all women are different and there are exceptions] tend to become jaded because of it. Men however, use that to grow character. Be stronger, and better than what they had.
I think that's enough of the furious rant I'll do on women, back to the book!

The Assignment Synopsis provided by BarnesandNoble[dot]com.
Detective Nicholas Valenti, tall, dark and stoic, has been best friends with his partner, Sean O'Brian for six years. The two men have seen each other through divorce, disaster, and danger, and saved each other's asses more times than Valenti can count. Exactly when he started seeing his blond, intense partner in another light, Valenti isn't really sure. He only knows that he wants O'Brian in a way that had nothing to do with friendship and everything to do with possession. It is a desire he will have to hide forever because O'Brian is undeniably straight.
Just as Valenti is coming to grips with his new, unacceptable feelings for his partner their police captain puts them on a new case that could blow Valenti's cover once and for all. He and O'Brian are going undercover at the country's largest and most infamous gay resort to bust a notorious drug lord and stop the shipments of poison cocaine that are flooding the gay bars all over the city.
Now Valenti will have to make a choice between friendship and desire. He and O'Brian will play the roles of gay men that will push the limits of their relationship to the breaking point. Will their time at the RamJack forge a new bond between them or destroy their partnership forever?

That synopsis [and the cover of two really ripped guys] had me intrigued initially [naturally of course]. Then the price of $1.87 on BarnesandNoble[dot]com for the e-book made me forget objections.

Now, in case you didn't know, I hardly ever go after the "meaning of" or the "message" that books/movies have. I could care less. My criteria of an awesome book is much more platonic than figuring out whether the message helped along the meaning of the book/film. For example? I buy books based on cover [i.e. the two really hot bod's on the cover of this book ;)>]. But this book blew my mind [haha, so many puns, so little time].

One thing at a time might be easier I think, especially with it being such a delicate topic for lots to handle.

The relationship: These guys have been partners for longer than I've been with my #1. They're detectives, which means they have to be able to work together for longer than the normal 40 hours. They need to be compatible and care deeply for the other and their well being. That in itself is always a hard thing for a guy to express openly [which is one reason why they get the opportunity for this assignment]. They trust each other, and love each other completely. They already have the tracks laid and linked together.

The assignment: They have to go to this flamboyantly gay resort to find out the murder of a young kid that overdosed on deadly laced drugs. Now, I don't know how real this is, but the resort seems like a stereotypical dominance (sponsor)/ submissive (twinkie) gay... country club... or something like that. They're open and are free to express themselves sexually, which I understand, since they don't really get the chance anywhere else. But the assignment changes everything for these partners. They have to do things they probably wouldn't have done outside the resort, and it's obviously a crucial component of the story.

Their love: Since this is in the mind and voice of Detective Nick Velenti, you don't get the prospective of Detective Sean O'Brien. You get caught up in the way that Nick feels, and the frustrating way Sean says stuff, then takes it back. Ugh! But, that makes it so great. The love they share is sooooooo genuine. And in at least Nick's point of view, he isn't attracted to any other guy. Just his partner. The same partner that's been there for him through everything, that he almost lost forever. And not in the cheesy "heroine runs away from hero because she feels sorry for the koala bears"... or whatever.

Tactful writing: It was written so tactfully that it expressed the fear of "coming out". I mean, they're straight guys. They double date... with girls. They're not attracted to other men. They're neither gay nor straight. In fact, that line doesn't exist here. At all. Sure, if you're one of those people that absolutely HAVE to place a label on them or your head my blow up with any other concept, you may think they're bisexual. But no! You couldn't be more wrong. If they just need a booty call, they'd just go find a girl. But they wanted the love they deserved. And for whatever's sake! They don't need to find a woman to get that.They found it from each other.

Character understanding: I was scared that it would be too wordy since it was written by a female [i.e.... look at how much I've written already] I mean, guys [whether gay or straight] don't talk much. They think more than they speak, but even then, it's not always this deep thought process women wish it was. So I was afraid that it wouldn't be believable because of the woman's nonstop talking quality it may have. But it was totally opposite!! It was great. short and sweet sentences, even those that were stuttered. The thoughts were direct, and there was no extreme speculation. So none of that "well, if he touches me this way and the stars are lined up with the sun on the 3rd Tuesday in November, then that means he likes cockroaches, and I'll be lighting candles to woo him. But that could also mean..."... etc. I wish i was joking. Even in the moments of uncertainty, there was no endless thoughts on "he loves me, he loves me not"

Message/Meaning: It's poetic how it develops their relationship. I think it's brilliant how they just love each other so much. They trust each other so much, that they do what they have to in order to get the job done.

Ratings: I give this book the well deserved 9.5 out of 10.

1.Cover: +1
2. Hooked: +1
3. Finished the book: +1
4. Overall Feeling: Pos +2
5. Re-Readability: +1
6. Suggest to others: +2
7. Lost time: Nope +1
8. Grammar: .5

Sure, on my e-file some of the grammar wasn't awesome, but I couldn't let that harm the score. It was such a great book.

Obviously!!!! If you're uncomfortable with homosexual.. well, sexuality, do not even dare pick up this book. It will offend you. It is a homosexual erotica!!! Buuut, if you're curious like I was, this is the best book to start with :D At least that I know of right now.. haha, since it is the only one I tried so far.

If you have a book you'd like me to read/review, please post it in the comments. Obviously you don't have to worry about offending me. All I ask is no cookbooks, health freak, history, memoirs/biographies, etc. I'm not all that in to boring books. Sorry. Most Non fiction is a no-go. Some just normal fiction is a no-go too. You can always ask though. I'll be honest.

Just in case you're keeping track. That's 1/30 on my 2010 book goal (started in April, that's why only 30) What a way to kick it off, eh? Nothing like a fantastic homosexual erotica/romance book to start the goal! haha.


Ariel Tachna said...

If you're still in the figuring out stage of what you like about gay romance, I have a book to suggest (and I can get you a copy - just let me know). It's called Curious? A Woman's Introduction to Gay Romance. It's an anthology published by Dreamspinner Press intended to do exactly what the title says: give an overview of the varieties of gay romance out there so a reader new to the genre has an idea of what her choices are. You can read more about it here. http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=1788

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