Title: Talker’s Graduation (Talker #3)
Author: Amy Lane
Cover Art: Reese Dante
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Buy Link: Amazon.com
Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance
Length: 66 pages
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 rating stars
A Guest Review by Raine
Summary Review: After the storms, rainbow’s end for Brian and Talker.
Blurb: Book Three of the Talker series — Sequel to Talker’s Redemption
When you get past the basics of survival, what next? Brian Cooper recovered from the attack that almost killed him, and Tate Walker faced down his own demons. Now all that’s left is… each other. Growing up together and growing into their love is everything but easy.
Talker’s eternal optimism and Brian’s quiet faith just might be able to conquer the obstacles, big and small, in their way—as well as overcome the complications of having all their dreams come true.
Readers who haven’t bravely suffered….. I mean enjoyed…… the previous two books, Talker and Talker’s Redemption, reviewed by Wave here and here…….. should not try this one first. This is recompense for those of us who have shared the guys’ truly painful lives up till now. The earlier books were a display of incredible hurt but also intimate redemptive love. For me, Talker’s Graduation felt like a celebratory epilogue—being only two thirds the length of the previous novellas. The story is roughly split between “Looking to the Past” and “Living in the Present”.
Talker and Brian’s lives are so intertwined they practically breathe in unison. This closeness is beautifully developed here, when Talker helps Brian find an easier way to cope with his post injury exercises. This simple caring action sets off long reaching consequences that benefit them both. I really enjoyed all the details of Brian’s new career. Talker’s opinions of Mark, Brian’s boss, and his later eavesdropping was all good stuff, adding a touch of tension to a predominantly contented tone. Brian’s first show and his empathic sculpture is the highlight of the book for me. Their simple pleasure in the new home and location is also a rich reward for the reader, though the casual acquisition of their complicated livestock could have had more detail.
There is a looser feel both to the writing and content in this third book. Using a knitting metaphor—because I’m learning to knit and it’s on my mind—I did feel that the holes between the yarn were getting larger. While this was a good character insight,
But Talker knew the truth — he probably could reach the sky — but first he’d have to decide which end was up.
I felt that his eventual new interests could have been explored further with more page time.
However I thought the title’s subtle irony was delightfully reinforced by the developments in Talker’s life. Given all he has gone through, it felt particularly sweet that it is the real growth in emotional confidence which represents his personal graduation.
Recommended to all Talker and Brian supporters.