Title: Love Lessons
Author: Kelly Rand
Cover artist: Adrian Nicholas
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Amazon: Buy Link Love Lessons
Genre: contemporary romance
Length: 74 pages
Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5
A guest review by Sirius
Summary: A disappointment
Blurb: College student Danny Davis has dedicated his life to singing and dancing. That commitment lands him a spot in a boy band heading to Europe to pursue a life of pop stardom. There’s just one thing he wants to do before he goes—so he places an ad in the campus paper stating that he’s looking for his first sexual experience with another man.
Danny begins a correspondence with a secret admirer who turns out to be his roommate, Kirk. Eventually they embark on an emotional and sexual relationship so intense that Danny considers not going on tour. Then a phone call from Kirk changes everything. Believing Kirk never loved him, Danny leaves to take Europe by storm. Six years later, he learns the truth….
I have read two short stories by this author – I liked her story in MLR Olympic anthology a lot, but I thought her m/f story “Pearl” was absolutely gorgeous. In that story the writing really did have that cinematic quality IMO. However I am not reviewing “Pearl” right now. This story was a disappointing reading experience for me. It felt as if a different person wrote it. The writing is not horrible, but I just did not feel anything and certainly did not think it was special. Opinions of course may differ.
I also thought that story was not paced well. The blurb pretty much tells the story (except the reason for their break up – thanks for that at least), so pretty much anything I will discuss besides that reason is not going to be a spoiler. I thought them going from roommates to lovers happened too fast, even if some letter writing happened in between, then it became very intense, then we have break up and then I could not believe what occurred.
The story then jumps six years in time. There was no in depth look into how they both felt after the break up, instead we have a recitation from Danny and that was pretty much it. As a reader I was not satisfied and really wanted to find the “missing pages” in the story.
Moreover, the only feeling I am left with about Kirk is how much I hate him. But I will be honest and upfront – this has nothing to do with the criticisms of the story, this is strictly due to me usually disliking any manipulative character. I just wonder if this is the feeling the author wanted me to have about her character after the story was done.
The ending was the only thing that worked for me. With the reason for the break up mentioned but not addressed yet, I would have been very annoyed if the ending was more definite than it was in the story. It ended on a hopeful but a very uncertain note and every reader could imagine which way it went depending on how we feel about the characters.
Unfortunately I cannot recommend this story.