See the Light

cc_seethelightTitle: See the Light
Author: Cassandra Carr
Cover Artist: Mina Carter
Genre: Contemporary M/M
Length: Novel (41,702 words)
Rating: 1.5 stars out of 5

A Guest Review by jeayci

Review Summary: PWP that didn’t even work as that for me because I found the sex boring.

Blurb: Hockey player Jason Monroe lives a double life—star defenseman and soon-to-be Olympian on the ice and closeted gay man outside the rink. A serious relationship is out of the question, and Jason makes do with anonymous sex in barroom bathrooms, not willing to take the chance on coming out as gay in a decidedly macho sport.

Advisor to the US Olympic hockey team Patrick Parker knows a thing or two about being a professional hockey player who’s not out. He’s fifteen years older than Jason, and when he senses the sexy younger man is interested, he knows he shouldn’t give in to the attraction.

The two men can’t keep their hands off each other, though, and with each heated encounter it gets harder to hide their relationship. When their world blows up around them, forcing them into the limelight, though, will their love survive or be put on ice?

Review: An m/m romance involving an NHL player and the Olympics was already a hat trick as far as I’m concerned, so how could it be anything other than awesome? Unfortunately, I discovered the answer to that: it could be PWP. Though if the “porn” had been hot and sexy, I could at least have enjoyed it for that, but I’m afraid I mostly found it boring. Too much telling, not enough showing.

From the beginning, I wondered what was so special about these guys. They were apparently more hot for each other than either had ever been for anyone before. Hot enough to take all sorts of risks and try things they would never previously have even considered. We’re told, constantly, but I never saw what made either of them so special for the other, and that frustrated the heck out of me.

There were also several things that made no sense to me, like when one or both main characters acted like teenage girls and I had no idea why they were so moved. And there was one scene that involved some jealousy, but only because one character made a bizarre leap from A to Q in his assumptions. Again, rather high school-like. A few times Jason, the big, burly defenseman in the freakin’ NHL, demonstrated an inability to fight and an equally bizarre tendency to essentially swoon after being involved in conflict.

There was a big melodramatic event, the one hinted at in the blurb that forces them into the limelight. And all the usual post-melodramatic event stuff occurred. I won’t say exactly what, because that would be spoilery. But if you’ve read more than a dozen romance novels or seen a few Hollywood romantic comedies, you have a pretty good idea.

We all have different tastes, and there are several very favorable reviews, so I recommend reading the excerpt. If I had, I probably wouldn’t have read this book, as some of my issues are noticeable in the excerpt. I was too excited by the hockey premise and my eagerness to try a new-to-me author to think to check that out. This is apparently her first m/m book, but she seems to have a lot of fans for her previous books. So if you enjoy the excerpt, you’ll probably enjoy the rest.



    I haven’t figured out how to put it behind a spoiler tag, but I’m going to share an excerpt from one sex scene to show 😉 you what I mean when I say “telling” instead of “showing”. For the sake of contrast, I’m also going to add an excerpt of approximately similar length and equivalent point in the activity from Home Work by Kaje Harper. Both are the paragraph leading up to climax. Full disclosure: I’m picking a scene from that book because I beta’ed it and so could find quickly exactly the sort of thing I have in mind.

    Here’s a paragraph from See the Light:

    He set up a punishing rhythm but found Patrick could more than keep up, pushing his ass back into Jason even as Jason thrust forward. The sounds of raw sex filled the room as both men raced toward completion. Jason had ahold of Patrick’s hips with a white-knuckled grip as he felt his orgasm begin to roll down his spine. Knowing he wouldn’t last much longer, he reached around and tugged on Patrick’s dick. “Come. I don’t until you do, and I’m fucking close.”
    “Shit.” Patrick clamped around him, and then Jason felt Patrick’s dick pulse before jets of white-hot cum poured over his hand. That set off his own release, and Jason filled the condom on a hoarse shout.

    And here’s a paragraph from Home Work:

    Mac wanted to watch, wanted to see the heat overwhelm Tony’s face, but he was climbing too fast himself. His neck tightened, arching, and he dug his fingers into Tony’s ass, eyes half closed, mouth dropping open. Now, now, more! He couldn’t form simple words, couldn’t do anything but grunt and moan and buck wildly under Tony’s hips. Holy Christ! His orgasm hit in burning spasms that arced from dick and balls through his ass and abdomen until it was all one heat. He smelled cum, heard his own whining gasps, and shuddered again and again.
    Tony cried out Mac’s name as he came. Mac was just conscious enough to open his eyes and watch as Tony shook, eyes wide, jaw set, his fair skin flushed and hot.

    In the first excerpt, it’s telling me what’s going on without giving me the visceral details to feel it. In the second, I get that, and I’m right there with the characters. That’s the sort of thing I mean when I’m talking about telling vs. showing. Does that help? And apologies to anyone who might’ve been at work! 🙂


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