Author: Christiane France
Genre: Contemporary GLBT (M/M)
Length: Extended Amber Kiss (16K words)
Rating: 2.75 stars out of 5
Adam Carstairs and Domenic Morton are both trapped in the closet. Adam because he’s never found the courage to do more than wonder whether or not he’s gay, and Domenic because he fears being disowned by his family.
The pair meet at the local hospice where Adam is a volunteer, and Domenic is visiting his older brother who has been badly injured in an auto accident. The day Domenic learns his brother is not likely to recover, he and Adam go for a walk on the Niagara Escarpment. The weather closes in, and when they’re caught in a freak snowstorm, they shelter in an abandoned cottage where they take the opportunity to explore their feelings for one another. When Adam awakens the following morning to find Domenic gone, however, and a note saying he needed to return to the hospice, Adam figures Domenic used his brother’s condition as an excuse to disappear. Adam feels used and abused and hopes never to see Domenic again.
But when Domenic turns up at Adam’s bookstore and explains what happened, can the men pick up where they left off?
Adam and Dominic met in the cafeteria a few times at the hospice and they developed a casual friendship until the day Adam sees Dom outside the hospice as he’s preparing to go for a walk along the Niagara Escarpment, and Dom joins him after telling him some bad news about his brother. The weather changes during their walk and eventually they have to seek shelter from a snowstorm.
So far the story is interesting and Adam and Dom share confidences – Dom is gay and Adam is ambivalent but bi-curious. However, Dom at 32 is afraid to tell his parents for fear of being kicked out of the family, even though he had left his home and had been living in L.A for several years and was a successful writer. The men eventually have sex in the cabin while awaiting the end of the storm but the next morning when Adam awakes Dom is gone, after leaving a note about a family emergency. Adam is devastated.
Bottom line: This book didn’t light any fires for me. The writing was fine but I didn’t feel that there was any real spark between the characters until the end of the book and therefore I couldn’t connect with them. Even the sex was mundane, as if the author threw in a couple of sex scenes because she knew they were expected in an erotic book. The characterizations also didn’t thrill me. I couldn’t relate to Adam who was still a virgin in his late twenties and while this is not unheard of after the teen years, it certainly strains credibility that a healthy young man would not pursue his natural sexual urges until he is almost 30, in this day and age with the advent of the Internet, online dating and bars that cater to every sexual and gender orientation. We are expected to believe that in the 21st century Adam had never had a sexual experience, not even oral sex, with either male or female partners other than a disastrous escapade in high school that was not consummated, and until he met Dom the only sex he had was with his own hands.
In the end the story is wrapped up tight as a drum and everyone is happy except me because I don’t think this tale delivered on its potential of what could have been a much better book. There were too many holes in the story. Adam’s parents were dead and had been for sometime and he could have explored his sexuality if he really wanted to know whether or not he was gay. Dom at 32 was afraid of his parents finding out about his sexual orientation even though he lived in another city. I had other problems with the plot and the characterizations but I think you get the drift. As I remind readers from time to time, reviews are only one person’s opinion and others may not agree with my assessment of this story.
Some Place only We Know would be of interest to readers of the genre.