A Guest Review by Feliz
Summary Review: Wonderfully drawn characters, an intriguing plot and a heartbreakingly beautiful lovestory made this book a keeper and a comfort read for me.
The Blurb: Jazz Stone is full of life and energy, the kind of person that others gravitate to, and when Chris meets Jazz, he’s instantly smitten. But the course of true love never runs smoothly. Just as they seem to find solid ground to stand on, Jazz’s former lover Richard shows up, strewing an already rocky road with gravel. When Jazz has a serious motorcycle accident that threatens to end his life, Chris and Richard try to carry on without him. Can they find common ground of their own?
The Review: This book was published in 2007; it was one of the first m/m romances I ever read and my very first threesome. It hasn’t lost any of its charm with the years, though; every time I re-read it I’m fascinated, enthralled and captivated again.
Jazz Stone is playful, chaotic, relentless, open, funny, impulsive and endlessly interested in anything that goes on around him. In other words he’s everything that Chris Turner isn’t. When they meet, it’s like opposites attract quite from the beginning, and what starts out as a nice pastime grows into something far more over the weeks. But when Chris finally is ready to throw his misgivings overboard and moves in with Jazz, there’s suddenly another man in the picture: Richard, Jazz’s ex. Richard is obviously still in love with Jazz, and what’s worse, Jazz still loves Richard. The biggest surprise, even to Chris himself, is that he feels attracted to Richard too, and in a big way, a feeling Richard wholeheartedly returns. It takes all three men quite a bit of time to acknowledge that maybe three people can be as good together as two, but finally they manage.
Now they’re a still slightly awkward, but for the time being, stable threesome, life could be perfect. Hadn’t Jazz gotten a liking to driving a motorbike he can’t master. Hadn’t he had a terrible accident which throws him in a coma. And now Chris and Richard are left hanging in a terrible lurch of time, nearly speechless without Jazz’s inexhaustible energy, waiting for the man they both love to wake up. But will he ever?
The story started kind of slow; it took two or three chapters getting used to the alternation between the present tense parts which tell about Chris spending time with Jazz in the hospital and the past tense parts which tell about Jazz and Chris getting together. (Both parts are mostly unconnected as regards content; luckily the present tense parts are printed in italics and easily discernible. ) But it rapidly took up speed, and once it did, it became an unable-to-put-down read.
Since the story is told entirely from Chris’s point of view, Jazz is pictured the most colorful and thorough of the three. We see him through Chris’s eyes and therefore presumably mostly through pink-hued glasses, but still he’s a very likeable character. His carelessness borders on daredevilry, his self-confidence on arrogance, but he is so considerate and so very much aware of Chris that there is no doubt why Chris simply has to fall for him as hard as he does. Chris, on the other hand, is easily manipulated by Jazz, but mostly for his own good; he is someone who has to be dragged to his own luck kicking and screaming, but he is also protective and caring AND manages to give Jazz space. Richard is least drawn out, but still the characterization is well enough to understand why both Jazz and Chris are drawn to him. In fact, all characters in the book were well- drawn, even the secondary ones; especially Judy, Jazz’s mother, who I immediately fell in love with.
The threesome clearly revolves around Jazz, at least in the beginning. Over time, particularly after Jazz’s accident, the love both Chris and Richard feel for Jazz gradually leads to them truely loving each other so they can support each other and be each other’s solace over the months which Jazz spends in his coma. This was beautifully done and really gripping. Those three didn’t just jump in bed together, they had to work hard for their relationship. Chris in particular had to overcome a lot of issues and deeply ingrained fears until he was able to accept Richard. He got to this point without bending backwards, going through a marvelous character growth instead.
This story had some of the most tender and meaningful sex scenes I’ve ever come across, so I won’t complain that one or the other of them were not forwarding the plot. If I had one small niggle with this book it was the fact that neither Judy nor Chris’s mother or anybody else seemed to have an opinion about three men living together; it was apparently not even a problem for the hospital staff that there were two partners who worried for Jazz.
Sleeping Stone was a wonderful read, a great book about the power of love overcoming even the biggest obstacles. It’s a book that deserves better than disappearing under the flood of new books which are released every day. Very gripping and a beautiful story. Highly recommended.