Title: Equilibrium (Superpowered Love #1)
Author: Katey Hawthorne
Cover Art: P. L. Nunn
Publisher: Loose Id
Buy Link: n/a
Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance, Paranormal
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 rating stars
A Guest Review by Raine
Summary Review: Sharply written, fresh and very enjoyable OFY romance between two guys with unexpected powers set neatly in the real world.
The Superpowered Love Series
Blurb: Econ student Hansen Marks has been hot for Sam MacLeod since they first bonded over their secret superpowers–literally hot, since Hansen can produce fire from thin air. But soccer star Sam was always covered in girls, so Hansen kept his attraction in the closet and convinced himself that “best friends” was better than nothing.
When Sam’s electrical powers freak out in public, Hansen has a sinking feeling they’ve been spotted by unfriendly eyes. While dealing with the fallout, Sam’s emotional dependency on Hansen forces their mutual attraction to the surface. Even after they give in, Hansen is afraid to admit he’s in love. Sam doesn’t really like guys, he’s just feeling vulnerable…right?
Just as their nights are heating up, it becomes clear Sam’s electrical explosion was seen, and now someone has it in for both of them. They’ll have to save each other, both from the haters and from their own fears, if they want to maintain equilibrium.
This book was a refreshing read, a well balanced romance between two extraordinary guys set very nicely within an ordinary, graduate, post-college circle of friends. The paranormal side of the story is calmly written so it is accepted in a matter of fact way. There are no long paragraphs of explanation and complicated descriptions of social evolution.
Hansen Marks’ first person narrative has a bright, distinctive and contemporary voice; he is clever, funny, self-deprecating and kind, with a great turn of phrase. The conversations between him and his best friend and house mate, Sam are particularly good. As when he uses Nash Equilibrium to explain his lack of a social life. Although he has been in lust and love with Sam for four years, Hansen doesn’t whine as he watches him with his girlfriend Nessa, but rather comments with a rueful wistfulness.
I liked the way Sam’s personality evolved from being the big jock object of Hansen’s fantasy affections into a real, vulnerable and attractive man.
…how I thought he’d taste like strawberries. He didn’t—it was alcohol and spit, and it was fucking great.
Sam’s concern’s about his powers were very well integrated into the story without being melodramatic or over emotional. Indeed both their relationship and Sam’s control over himself evolve in a thoughtful and pensive way. Not to say that the sex is not appropriately red hot, check out when Hansen gets splinters in his ass…
The tension in the book is provided partly by their tentative relationship; there is Hansen hiding his sexuality from Sam and Sam’s OFY thing going on. However the edge that lifts the story quite effectively is the quietly accepted but nonetheless real fear of discovery. The awakened live normal lives among the rest of the population, but there are those ominously named witchhunters who know about them. The fate of Hansen’s Uncle Neil, whose powers Sam equals, forms an effective underlying current of worry.
The secondary characters are also enjoyable; Sam’s girlfriend is allowed to be a real person and not a vindictive bitch. Both guys’ families are nicely drawn. The week away with Hansen’s family at the lake when Sam works on his power surges and their relationship deepens worked particularly well, a calm before the storm.
I found this book had an original and lively charm all of it’s own. I had a good time with Hansen and Mark.