A Guest Review by Sammy
Review Summary: A promising love story whose twists and turns left me shaking my head in dismay.
Blurb: When sexy, kilt-wearing astronomy professor Greg MacIntyre moves in next door, Blake Theriot knows he’s in trouble. Blake is a research librarian, and he likes things orderly and controlled. But in his secret fantasies, he craves a big, powerful man like Greg to stir up his life. Every time Blake tries to talk to his erudite neighbor, his brain shuts down and his vocabulary is reduced to one-word utterances, but when Blake’s niece challenges him to invite Greg to dinner, he does. A few shots of after-dinner whiskey loosen Blake’s inhibitions, and the two men share a hot kiss and the promise of more. Can Blake relax enough to give himself a chance with Greg, or will his fear of letting go ruin his hopes for love?
Review: This is my first foray into the imagination of Silvia Violet. The premise of her novel Astronomical was endearing–bringing together two nerds and watching their chemistry ignite the sky. I must admit that, at first glance, this novel was so promising and, in some ways, delivered a sweet story of second chances and love. However, for as nice as those moments were, they simply could not carry an entire novella successfully. For that, we needed a solid ploy line that delivered again and again and Astronomical fell short of that goal.
Both characters were nice guys–each in their own way a bit backwards, a bit unusual, and while both were handsome, neither was your typical main character.
The addition of Blake’s nine year old niece was a brilliant move as it not only tied the two men together, (Greg being an astronomy professor and Haley being totally into astronomy) but allowed for some really sweet interactions between Greg and his niece.
The initial sexual encounter between Greg and Blake where Blake allows Greg to dominate was not only hot and sexy but character revealing–giving us a true glimpse at just how fragile Blake was and how much he needed to “let go” and give over control.
What simply did not:
The insta-love for both men. Within a month of meeting we are led to believe that both have fallen in love, given their difficulties just in getting together, it was fairly hard to believe that Blake could overcome years of insecurities and obsessive control issues to cavalierly fall in love.
The “switch” in Blake as it pertains to the bedroom. First we encounter this fierce, all-consuming need for Blake to be dominated and Greg eager to fill the bill. Then we are thrown a huge curve ball and were expected to believe that the reverse could and did happen–it simply did not compute. I felt like a yo-yo on the end of a string being pulled this way and that and never really feeling that the abrupt shift in the story line made much sense.
This is really where the story fell apart for me. I was involved in Blake’s struggle and his needs and then all that was shifted and he became this dominant person, and then, it shifted again and he was back to being submissive–I just wanted the author to make up her mind–which was he? How could she set us up and lead us to believe we were beginning to really key into who Blake was and then pull the rug out from under us? I needed a whole lot more story for this shift to work and, unfortunately, that was not to be.
Astronomical by Silvia Violet had such great potential but, ultimately, left me more frustrated than satisfied.