Author: Sarah Black
Cover artist: Anne Cane
Publisher: Dreamspinner press
Genre: Contemporary M/M romance
Length: 53 pages
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
A guest review by Sirius
Summary: This short story captured the events in both characters’ lives which have the power to change them for the better and completely satisfied me.
When Bobby Kincaid is walking the slackline – a narrow, flat webbed rope stretched between two anchor points – he offers a silent gift of beauty to the air and sky. Making peace with the world is one reason he’s drawn to the seastacks off Scotland’s Orkney Islands. Colin Rose, the Olympic skier who pushed Bobby away after a horrific accident two years earlier, is another. But Bobby and Colin will each need to heal before they can return to that space between earth and heaven where they both can fly.
I do realize that I am beginning to sound like a parrot when I am reviewing Sarah Black’s works, but I cannot help myself. I do love them so and this story is no exception. I do suggest that to make an informed decision you should seek out more critical reviews, because I have not read a story by her that I did not like yet. Yes, I have said this very thing in the past, but again I cannot help myself—I am amazed at how much she can show us within so few pages.
Bobby and Colin are such likeable pair and this story captures the moment in their lives which in the longer work would be a prelude to happy ending I guess. Something happens and that something makes them eventually realize what they really want from life. Bobby is at his most vulnerable during the events in this story and I could not help but sympathize and relate to him all the way through. I also thought that she captured Bobby’s love and connection to nature in such a beautiful way. Oh and I learned about new sport, which I never heard about prior to reading this story. 🙂 I enjoyed Colin as well, somebody who went through similar circumstances that Bobby is going through during the story. I liked that he managed to survive and start a new life and I really liked how much he cared for Bobby. I also really liked them together even though an emotional connection — not sex — plays central role in the story. There is definitely an intimacy there, just not very explicit one, and it will be a spoiler to explain why they do not do much during the story 🙂
And I cannot help but share some of the beauty which is what her writing is for me:
“Slacklining, he explained to the birds, should be a silent gift of beauty. It should be offered up to the air and the sky, with no witnesses, no sponsors, no sounds other than a quiet thank you for the day and the bounce in the line, and the ability of his body to move through the yoga routine called Salute to the Sun. He suspected that gifts of beauty such as his, offered up with a clean heart would somehow alter the karmic load of pain that was dragging civilization to its knees”
And how can I not love a story which has a Harry Potter reference in it? 🙂 It was so unexpected and so very funny to me.
You may ask why 4.5 stars then and not 5? I wanted to hear more about Colin’s reasons for what happened between them prior to the events of the story taking place. Do not get me wrong, there is an explanation and it did not feel fake or contrived to me by all means, but it did feel just a little bit weak. It was not a huge issue for me by all means of course, but I was wondering about it.