Reenacting

kirklandwm_reenacting_coverinTitle: Reenacting
Author: W.M. Kirkland
Cover Artist: Ginny Glass
Publisher: Loose id
Buy Link: Amazon
Genre: Contemporary M/M
Length: Novella (90 pages)
Rating: 2 stars out of 5

A Guest Review by jeayci

Review Summary: If you can like Dixon, you might like this book, but I found him cardboard and clueless.

Blurb: Micah needs one thing to complete his thesis—a weekend at a civil war era reenactment event. Two days of writing and research will make him free from college and free to move away from Missouri and all the bad memories it holds.

Dix attends reenactment events for a good time and to carry on a family tradition. He has friends there and every once in a while gets lucky. This time, he discovers a too-serious and all-too-delectable Micah Coble in the tent next to his and the sensual man Micah hides beneath his buttoned-up exterior.

But Micah’s comfortably in the closet, while Dix loves his carefree life. He might have responsibilities, but he’s never once denied who he is, and he needs his lover to do the same. When Dix moves to Illinois to be with his ailing mother, Micah’s left with a single choice: follow his heart to the future or live in the past.

Review: I’ve enjoyed attending various historical reenactments, so I thought this book would be fun. It certainly made for an unusual and intriguing setting. I do think it will appeal to some people (probably those who can like Dixon), but it definitely wasn’t for me. The characters were mostly two-dimensional, though Micah had moments of being 3D. Despite being in his POV roughly half the time, I never understood – or liked – Dixon at all. That made it difficult to understand why Micah liked him, let alone supposedly loved him.

Dixon apparently had some former lover who’d been in the closet, and clearly that was a traumatic experience for him. Okay, I get that. Sort of. I’d have gotten it more with a few details. I definitely got that he didn’t want to repeat that. I can even understand how that would influence his feelings about Micah’s apparent closetedness. But what I didn’t get was how Dixon was so clueless about what being in the closet meant. Or how it worked. Or something.

He seemed to think being closeted meant having “lie back and think of England”-type sex, so when he and Micah had wild monkey sex, he’d perceive him as out of the closet. But then Micah would be busy working on his thesis, staying home all the time, and somehow that meant he was closeted again. At least in Dixon’s mind, which constantly flipped annoyingly between “yay, he’s out of the closet, this is good” and “oh no, we had such great sex yesterday but now he’s in the closet again, as he works on his thesis. And I can’t be with a closeted guy.” Dude, Dixon, get a freaking clue.

Even worse, Dixon forced Micah to come out to his dad, and I thought that was unforgivable. He pretended like he was doing Micah some sort of favor, but given his obsession with wanting Micah to be out of the closet, it was clearly self-serving. Micah maybe had some good reasons for staying closeted, and had explained them to Dixon. I wasn’t entirely convinced about how important staying in the closet was for Micah, perhaps because he was a bit ambivalent about it himself. But it was his decision to make, not Dixon’s, even if neither Dixon nor I entirely understood it.

I was proud of Micah for the way he responded in the moment to being outed, but then I wanted him to dump Dixon’s self-centered, clueless, obnoxious ass after; instead, he thanked him. I could see how Micah could appreciate it, given the way things played out. Though I thought there was surprisingly little angst or second-guessing on Micah’s part. But I still think Dixon doing it was unforgivable even if it turned out well.

Also, I thought they were both pretty stupid to have sex without condoms, and very little discussion, right after meeting. Then, back home, they use condoms, again with very little discussion. Condoms were apparently something like soft bedding – nice to have, but no big deal when you’re camping and it’s not available. Unfortunately, that was pretty typical. Most of what happened in this story did so with very little explanation or apparent motivation.

Dixon did more stupid things. Micah finished his thesis and got a job. In the process, I was surprised to discover that thesis was apparently for a PhD, not the Master’s I’d thought. Dixon did more stupid things. And then they lived Happily Ever After. The End.

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