Blue River by Theo Fenraven

18484534Title: Blue River

Author: Theo Fenraven

Genre: Historical Romance / Time Travel (19th cent)

Length: Novella (92 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (October 9th, 2013)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥3~3.5 Hearts

Reviewer: Thommie

Blurb: Photography genius Ethan Mars is out and living the fast life in Los Angeles until a mysterious mist in Topanga Canyon sends him back in time. There he meets Quinn Parker, a farmer who has hidden his homosexuality from everyone, even Margaret, his fiancée. Falling in love is the last thing Ethan expects, and the last thing Quinn can allow—in 1863, being gay can get him killed. When Ethan is unexpectedly offered a way home, he faces an impossible decision: go back… or stay. 

1st Edition published by MLR Press, 2011.

A Timeless Dreams title: While reaction to same-sex relationships throughout time and across cultures has not always been positive, these stories celebrate M/M love in a manner that may address, minimize, or ignore historical stigma.

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Review: I really enjoyed this read, even though it wasn’t as enthralling as one would expect. It was fun though for me, and it had the most in your face slap of reality I’ve encountered. That on itself was hysterically funny for me. I swear I was reading the book and imagining what other reader’s faces and reactions would be at certain scenes, making my laugh out loud and hard for a while.

Other than that, the story is quite simple. There is a portal that shows randomly and there are tales of its existence, so naturally there are idiots who’d go and pursue those tales. But Ethan is not an idiot, he’s a brilliant photographer who’s simply going through the motions of life and following his crazy ass friend Randy to adventures and a bit of a thrill. It’s like that that he ends up walking through the mist and right into to the horrors of 19th’century.

Theo Fenraven manages to disillusion us from the romantic view of 19th cent in a very unique way. You think living back then was fun? Think again, for the horrors of outhouses, no plumbing, bathing with two buckets of water heated on the stove, and practically no heat in a small house but for a wood stove are all unraveled in front of your eyes in this little story. But romance still lives in a mostly realistic way and people do manage to live and fall in love even if deprived from the easy lifestyle of 21st century.

Again, I find myself needing to state that I liked this, very much actually. I liked how Ethan and Quinn worked together. I liked that there were no sugar-coating anything here, even though the blurb warns you that there is certain lack of consequences back in time. And I like the writing too. This is a two point of view narration but while Quinn’s PoV is written in third person, Ethan’s is written in first and there is this feeling you get as if Ethan is confessing to you making you come closer to him and feel as if you’re traveling with him back in time. A very nice touch, that one.

As for the intimacy between our two lovely characters it was ok, it was nice, it was sensual even at times. I so wanted the deflowering scene though, damn it, I was expecting it from Ethan’s reactions, and inner thoughts and waiting to see how they’d both react to that, especially after one certain intimate scene where Quinn literally flies in passion and eroticism. I was a bit disappointed I didn’t get that so when the story ended – a happy for now? Who knows – I was beating at my desk saying nooo and come on! But nothing to do about it now, simply wait and see if the author might come with a sequel for this story. Hmm imagine that!

Overall, this is quite an enjoyable read and it made me actually laugh even though it’s definitely not a comedy. Nice one and totally recommended.