Gerry B's Book Reviews

Wings of Love, by Scotty Cade

A true M/M romance in Harlequin style

Story Blurb: Devastated after losing his partner of fifteen years to cancer, Dr. Bradford Mitchell tries to escape the emptiness and loss by leaving his life in Seattle behind. Traveling to the Alaskan mountains where he and Jeff often vacationed, Brad reconnects with Mac Cleary, the ruggedly handsome and very straight loatplane pilot who had flown them to Hyline Lake many times in the past. Brad and Mac form an unlikely friendship and buy an old log cabin together, and as he and Mac begin to bring the old cabin back to life, Mac watches Brad come back to life as well, stirring emotions in him he’s never felt for a man before. When fear, confusion, and a near tragedy threaten to force the two men apart, they’ll face some tough questions. Can Brad let go of Jeff and the guilt he feels about beginning to care for another man? And can Mac deal with his fears of being gay and accept the fact that he is in love with Brad? It will be a struggle for both men to keep their heads and hearts intact while exploring what life has to offer.

Available in eBook format, 655 KB.

SCOTTY CADE left Corporate America and twenty-five years of marketing and public relations behind to buy an inn & restaurant on the island of Martha’s Vineyard with his partner of fourteen years. He started writing stories as soon as he could read, but only recently for publication. When not at the inn, you can find him on the bow of his boat writing male/male romance novels with his Shetland sheepdog Mavis at his side. Being from the South and a lover of commitment and fidelity, most of his characters find their way to long, healthy relationships, however long it takes them to get there. He believes that in the end, the boy should always get the boy.

Scotty and his partner are avid boaters and live aboard their boat, spending the summers on Martha’s Vineyard and winters in Charleston, SC, and Savannah, GA.

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Review by Gerry Burnie

The above blurb fairly well covers the outline of Wings of Love by Scotty Cade [Dreamspinner Press, 2011], and so I can get right to my views.

I particularly enjoy wilderness settings, especially in and around Alaska and the Yukon Territory. There is something inherently masculine about them, as well as primitive, and so these make an ideal setting for an M/M story. In this regard the author did not disappoint with his choice of Brad and Mac, two fairly hunky guys equal to the wilderness—even if it is with hot water and a microwave. My point is, however, that these guys are definitely not out of place nailing nails and sawing wood, etc.

I also like how the author dealt with the topic of losing a loved one to cancer, which was both sensitive and realistic without being maudlin. Cancer is a tragic subject, and the effect of it has no doubt touched us all in one form or another, but SC wisely chose to have his characters move on with life. After all, we the living have very little choice, and there is life after death (not to be construed as a religious statement).

As well, I liked how he let the relationship between a gay man and straight man evolve at what seemed like a realistic pace. My most cherished love in life was with a straight guy, very much like Mac, and so I know it does happen, and how.

These are all good points, and recommend the story highly. However, what took the edge off it for me was the pace. Scotty Cade is a very thorough writer, and so he has attempted to answer any (and every) question the reader might have regarding this or that, and in so doing has burdened the flow in sometimes superfluous information. i.e.

He stepped up to the radio,  picked up the handset, and pressed the button. “November 4649 Delta, this is  Wing Mansion. Over.”

He waited for a few seconds and heard nothing.

“November 4649 Delta, this is Wing Mansion, do you copy?”

He waited again.

Just when he was about to repeat the call again, he heard, “Wing Mansion, this is November 4649 Delta, I hear you loud and clear. Wing Mansion, switch to channel one eight. Over,” he heard Mac’s voice say.

“Wing mansion switching to channel one eight,” Brad repeated.

Brad turned the dial up two notches to channel one eight and said, “Wing Mansion standing by on channel one eight.”

“Good morning sleepyhead. Over,” Mac said.

“Mac, are you okay? Over.” Brad asked.

“I’m fine. Did you get my note? Over.”

“Mac, thank you for taking the time to write it; it was very thoughtful. Over.”

“That’s me, thoughtful Mac. Over.”

Mac was sounding a little strange. Then Brad remembered Zander and Jake were with him, and he was sure they could hear everything Mac was saying.

“Mac, I know Zander and Jake can hear what you’re saying, but can they hear me? Over.”

“That’s a negative. Over,” Mac responded. WINGS OF LOVE 91

“Oh good, I’m not ready to start explaining all of this to them. Over.”

“That’s affirmative. Over,” Mac said.

“What’s your ETA? Over,” Brad asked.

“About zero eight hundred hours. Over,” Mac said.

Brad remembered military time, and he thought that meant eight am. “Okay, safe flight and give my best to Zander and Jake, and tell them to enjoy their vacation and not to worry about the lodge. I’ll check on it every couple of days. Over.”

“I’ll pass that along. Over,” Mac responded.

“Mac, will you make it back up before the storm? Over.”

“I’ll do my best, but if I don’t, you’ll be fine. I’ll be in touch. Over.”

“I’ll look forward to it. Oh, and Mac, please be careful. I don’t want to lose you. Over.”

“Will do. Over.”

Brad ended the conversation by saying, “You do that.” He added, “Wing Mansion over and out, switching back to channel one six.”

The last thing Brad heard Mac say was, “November 4649 Delta standing by on channel one six.”

Okay, I’ve operated a VHF radio, and I know how the lingo goes (channel changes and all), but this much attention to detail—however admirable—doesn’t advance the story. And that’s the point. If it doesn’t advance the story whittle it down, generalize it, or leave it out.

Otherwise, Wings of Love is a pleasant, feel good story with a romantic, happy ending.  Four stars.

News

Visitor count to Gerry B’s Book Reviews: 12, 323

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The eBook version of Two Irish Lads [Maple Creek Media] will be available at Kindle and Nook outlets this week.

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The final galley proofs have been approved, and so Nor All Thy Tears should be released in both hardcopy and eBook formats in a week or so.

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Progress on Coming of Age on the Trail: 163/180.

This is the story of a teenager’s unique coming of age on an epic, 1,500-mile cattle drive through the rugged wilderness of 19th-century British Columbia

Loosely based on an actual cattle drive to the Yukon during the Klondike gold rush of 1896-1898, this fictional tale pits 17-year-old Cory Twilingate
against an almost insurmountable wilderness in an effort to save his father’s cash-strapped ranch. Supporting him all the way is his father’s recently hired foreman, “Reb” Coltrane, a ruggedly handsome and trail-savvy cowboy from Texas, and as a result a bond is formed between them like two Spartan cohorts fighting shoulder-to-shoulder against the rigors of the trail.

This is a tale that explores the phenomenon of male bonding under extraordinary and sometimes perilous conditions. It is also a romance that includes those most American of institutions, i.e., cowboys and cattle, but as told from a gay perspective. Whether it is a rugged tale of adventure, or a coming of age romance you are seeking, “Coming of Age on the Trail” delivers on all counts.

July 31, 2011 - Posted by | Fiction, Gay fiction, Gay historical fiction, Gay romance

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