Title: Super Sock Man
Author: Amy Lane
Cover Artist: DWS Photography
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Amazon: Buy Link Super Sock Man (Knitting)
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Coming of Age
Length: Novella (118pages)
Rating: 5+ stars out of 5
A Guest Review by Sammy
Review Summary: A funny, sweet and sexy coming of age story that leaves a lasting impression!
Blurb: Donnie’s crush on his sister’s roommate, Alejandro, has gone beyond childhood dreams—and it’s driving Donnie insane! So when Donnie gets a chance to house-sit for his sister and Yandro, Donnie doesn’t feel alone. He’s got all his vivid fantasies to keep him company! Can a little dumb luck—and a little help from a magical homemade gift—help Donnie’s fantasies come true?
Review: The first time Donnie laid eyes on Alejandro, or “Yandro” as both Donnie and his sister Chelle call the studly Latin dancer, he instantly fell “in lust.” His reaction left him with a bewildering sense that this crush was bound to lead far beyond the current “checking out other guys’ dicks in the locker room shower” phase he considers himself to be in! The first time Yandro laid eyes on Donnie, he thinks he is rather cute in that “adoring puppy dog, hero worship” kind of way. But then Yandro is not really known for his compassion or his relationship longevity–as a matter of fact he is the Lothario of the dance world–known for his “one night only” stance on quick and easy sexual encounters.
Over the next three years, in this alternating point of view story, we watch as their relationship develops in fleeting snippets that often had me laughing out loud until tears were rolling down my face! Through these almost “diary-like” entries, we watch as Donnie comes of age, beats off his best friend on a fairly regular basis, fails to recognize that same friend is deeply closeted and misses the chance to help him come out. We learn just a bit about his family and his sister Chelle, also a dancer, who, while a no-nonsense bit of a hard-ass, really loves her little brother. And we find out that all this time Donny is falling harder and harder for Yandro with what has now admittedly moved beyond the “crush” faze to outright need–even, dare I say, burgeoning love!
Meanwhile, we discover that Yandro is from a wealthy South American family who do not want to know about his lifestyle. More importantly we are privy to Yandro’s deep desire to have what he calls the “colors” that he sees in the life of his roommate Chelle and her brother, Donnie. Sadly, we watch as Yandro discovers that he is not a hero, but rather the “bad guy” who once cheated on a lover and has used meaningless sex to cover his terrible loneliness. He lives now in an almost austere world of white and black, and yearns for the subtle shades of color he sees in his friend’s lives, yet, feels he is almost undeserving of the richness of life that palette will provide.
With stunning simplicity and tongue-in-cheek humor, author Amy Lane uses the hand knitted socks that Yandro’s grandmother periodically sends him to crack open Yandro’s carefully guarded life and show us the incredible beauty of Donnie’s heart! The socks that tell Yandro that his grandmother might just be okay with him being gay, and that allow Donnie to see the super hero–the super sock man–in himself–and his soon to be lover, Yandro. We watch as Yandro reveals to Donnie that he is not the hero Donnie believes him to be, but rather someone who is weak and who fails to love as he should. With remarkable tenderness, we are allowed to glimpse how Donnie uses his love for Yandro to cover the multitude of past mistakes and that Donnie’s belief, that inside each of us lurks a hero just waiting to come out, soothes Yandro and gives him such hope. The genuine love these two have for each other bounds off the page directly into our hearts.
I loved this story. I almost wept as I read the way in which Amy Lane had Yandro describe the beauty of colors and how they speak of our lives, how they spoke of a love and life he secretly desired.
“And Donnie was bright, saturated color…He wore deep blues, grass-greens, stop-light red, and he wore them unselfconsciously, in the same way he seemed to wear his sexuality and his joy in just about anything.”
In less than 120 pages, Amy Lane manages to unwrap the insecurities, desires, and dreams of two young men. She draws you into her world, where something as simple as a handmade gift comes to mean so much more: comfort, remembrance, sweet love and kindness, and the truth that, though we are deeply flawed creatures, despite that, we can be someone’s hero…someone’s reason for living…someone’s vibrant splash of color in an otherwise dull and drab existence.
I highly recommend this delightful novella to you!