Equilibrium (Superpowered Love #1)

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
Length: Novella
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.

Review:

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.

Recommended.

25 comments

  • Hi Raine! Just dropping by to thank you for giving Equilibrium a shot and taking the time to write such a thoughtful review. I’m really glad it worked for you, dorkiness and all.

    (Got really excited that you mentioned Nessa, too. I get excited when I see that she translated, you know, just as I thought of her. Yay for cool chicks!)

    Cheers,
    Katey

    Reply
    • Hello Katey

      Thank you. I have to say I really enjoyed writing this review, the words came nice and easy for a change. Both your guys were a joy to get to know. I’m really looking forward to Riot Boy. 🙂

      Reply
  • Great review, Raine! I loved this one, too. And I’m looking forward to the next one.

    Gaycrow, OFY = Out for You (there have been some interesting posts on the topic, if you haven’t read them I highly recommend them. Pretty sure one of them was right here, too) 🙂

    Reply
    • Thanks! I’ve think I’ve heard of GFY (Gay for You) but not the phrase OFY. And yes, I’ve read the discussions and found them very interesting. 🙂

      Reply
      • Gaycrow yeah, I much prefer OFY to GFY in a sense that I do not like sudden “Oh boom he is gay now”. I like when there is some indication that the guy repressed feelings that he may have had in the past, etc.

        Reply
        • I can see where you’re coming from, but I have a soft spot for stories where a guy just falls in love with another guy out of the blue … pretty unrealistic, but it’s a “fantasy” that presses the right buttons for me. 😀 (Of course, it has to be written very well, otherwise it won’t work.)

          Reply
          • Hi Gaycrow

            I have the same soft spot, and this book really worked for me. I read the discussions and decided OFY was the term to go with, but actually for Sam who gives no carefully calibrated mention of any previous male attraction GFY is probably – just for you and me Gaycrow- more romantic!

            Reply
      • Heee, I am usually pretty generous when classifying the book in the OFY category in my mind, it does not even have to be an encounter in the past. Some feelings, *some* thoughts about possibly being attracted to guys will be enough for me. Even realising when he meets that one special guy that he is attracted to guys will be enough for me. If he is attracted to women and he is realising that he is attracted to guys too, the way I see it he is bisexual. What I do not like reading about is that he is attracted to women, and only attracted to this guy now, you know? Like he would not look at other guys at all (just to look, I am not saying that he should not be faithful to the guy), but only that he developed the attraction to one particular guy in a twinkle of an eye. Hope I am making sense, will let you know what I thought 🙂

        Reply
      • Hi Raine, sorry for squeezing myself into the conversation, but I’m definitely sure she’s doing another book set in the same universe. It’s called Riot Boy, and she has a page for it with character stats on her website, and it’s already on Loose Id’s Coming Soon page. 🙂

        Reply
        • Whoopity whoop…….that sounds great. I didn’t want a sequel with Hansen and Sam cos I think they are done. but something in the same world is something to really look forward to. Thanks Beatrice, when you mentioned Riot Boy before for some reason I thought it was a game you were waiting for :doh: ……..not a world I know anything about. 🙂

          Am going to check website out now.

          Reply
  • Great review, Raine! I am totally in love with this book (in fact, I plan to read it while I wait for Riot Boy) and Hansen was just so adorable and his narrative voice was wonderful. LOL, I’ll refrain myself from gushing inappropriately.

    Reply
    • Hey Beatrice

      wow thanks for the agreed love for Hansen, it can get a bit scary when recommending a book whole heartedly and you don’t know what other readers think. I appreciate the comment. 😀

      Reply
  • I’m glad you reviewed this one because I’m not sure I would have bought it based on the back descript alone.
    I agree with Sirius that it sounds like a fun and enjoyable read.

    Reply
    • I thought it was just a bit different. I love first person narration and Hansen’s voice is particularly enjoyable. I will be looking out for more books by the writer for sure. Hope you enjoy it too.

      Reply

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