Title: Letting in the Light
Author: Fae Sutherland
Publisher: Amber Allure
Length: Novel (130 pages)
Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5
A Guest Review by Aunt Lynn
When Rowan Lee arrived in the small, liberal Provincetown, he heard tales of the eccentric, brilliant, possibly insane Finnegan Clark. A world-famous mystery writer, Finnegan’s been to the top of the bestseller list more times than anyone can count. It’s about the only place he goes, sequestered away in his mansion by the sea.
Enter Rowan. The free-spirited lovechild of aging hippies, Rowan believes all anyone needs is love, and when he makes a delivery to Finn’s mansion and meets the man himself, it’s infatuation at first sight. Not to mention lust. Never mind that Finn’s twice his age and snarls at him more than he speaks to him.
All Rowan wants is to make the world a better place, one person at a time, but all Finn wants is to be left alone. Sparks fly, and if Rowan can’t break Finn’s walls down, he’ll burn them down…one sizzling encounter at a time…
Letting in the Light, book one of a new series Castles In The Air, is the first book that I’ve read by this author and, though not without some issues, I found it to be well-written and -paced with likeable, three-dimensional characters. As someone who has a partner fifteen years my senior, I have a soft spot for May/December romances, so there was a big plus for that.
The story opens with Rowan making a delivery one morning from the bakery where he works to the mansion of reclusive, best-selling mystery author Finnegan. Of course he’s heard the gossip about the man — he’s crazy, he’s horribly scarred, he’s really old — and is curious to see for himself. He is unprepared, however, to be hit with insta-lust, and he can’t believe how attractive this tall, fit “silver fox” is. Undeterred by the man’s rudeness, Rowan makes a point of pushing himself into Finn’s life, positive that he can make a difference and bring this man out of his shell. Finn, on the other hand, can’t understand what this kid wants with him and why he isn’t running from his gruff mannerisms and pointed rejection, but he does know that there is an attraction there that he can’t explain. As they explore a possible relationship, issues arise — some expected, some not — and the question is can they survive them?
What worked for me: The protags, who I felt were believable and sympathetic, especially Finn, who I really liked. Like Rowan, I didn’t let the gruffness bother me as I found it to be born from what seemed to be a combination of something traumatic that happened to him in the past, loneliness and a way of preventing people from getting too close.
I like protags who are opposites, and here their differences were great — physically, their personalities, their outlooks on life and age — but I felt they worked well together as a couple. They each have problems — Rowan, too — and throughout the story they help each other. Likewise, their May/December romance felt realistic to me.
I thought it was very humorous at times, especially Finn’s conversations with his “mouthy muse,” his main series character Jacob Wilde, in his head. I loved how he threatened to kill him off if he didn’t leave him alone. I also thought it was funny how Rowan always seemed to be climbing Finn like his own “personal Mount Everest” (and luckily Finn thought so, too…).
I liked that the author could have easily jumped into angst-landia with this story, but didn’t. Our heroes have issues, don’t get me wrong, but this is not a heavy story.
They had great chemistry and the dialog between them, both in bed and out, was great. Rowan isn’t afraid to ask the hard questions and Finn was generally open to answering them once he realized that Rowan had genuine interest.
What didn’t: The secondary character of Jake, Rowan’s roommate, friend, and co-worker, and the whole dramatic scene around him. I felt it was totally out of place with the rest of the story and unnecessary as a plot hitch.
One thing I did think as I was reading was that Finn came around to the idea of Rowan very quickly, perhaps quicker than I would have anticipated based on what we know about him. He has spent decades being what he is now, yet in a few days he has let Rowan into his life. It seemed a teensy bit unrealistic to me.
Something small? Rowan is described as five-foot-seven in the early part of the story, then five-four later on, which threw me a bit.
Despite the few issues I had, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Letting in the Light to those who like May/December romances and/or those who like opposites attract stories.