In the Azure Noon (Bob-O-Link’s Review)

Title: In the Azure Noon
Author: Mark C. Wade
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: June 24, 2019
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 169 pages
Reviewed by: Bob-O-Link
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5


Oren had it all going on. He was set for a full-ride gymnastics scholarship until a tragic accident took his leg.

Now he’s trapped in a small tourist Maine town, and he hates the world.

Steve wanted to be an artist, but he never got his lucky break. After the unexpected death of his wife, he just lives day-to-day.

These two men, struck by tragedy, form an unlikely bond.

In the Azure Noon is an uplifting story about the power of love to raise us out of our darkest moments and become more than we thought we could be.

As a reviewer-critic, I’m given to opinions: too frequently they rashly speed, without pause, from my mind to my pen (computer?). Sadly, sometimes, their quality is not mercifully strain’d, as they gently droppeth. [Thank you, Will.]

So, how do I go about presenting an enlightening discussion of a short work as unusual as In the Azure Noon? On the asset side of the ledger, it is quite nicely realized, Mr Wade having a fine use of language. An example: “The thought hung like a burden on my soul. I wanted the blurred mist and dimness to last forever.” He is thus able to promptly paint an atmosphere well-suited to this a tale bordering on fable.

Secondly, our main characters are artfully drawn. In almost no time, we are fully involved in their lives, histories and individual difficulties, making it easier for the reader to empathize with them. Third, their rapidly developed attraction to each other and its detailed fulfillment is eminently satisfying. He asked “ . . . ‘Are you sure?’ I’d lost my mind as my body craved him like it never had before. ‘Fuck me, you moron.’ “

On the debit side, the “fabulous” nature of the plot wears a little thin. Many may not be generally prepared for that tone, and may find it too cloying.

But, overall, if the reader is seeking a short, sweet, fantastical escape, In the Azure Noon may be just the right vehicle.

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of In the Azure Noon provided by the author in exchange of an honest review.

If the reader is seeking a short, sweet, fantastical escape, In the Azure Noon may be just the right vehicle.

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I'm a retired professional. My husband and I, each with an ex-wife, between us have six married children and 10 grandchildren. We both read voraciously, with a strong leaning to gay romance and HEA. Stories with a little (okay, even loads of) sex, and a lot of tears, always pleases.