Author: Tracy Rowan
Genre: Contemporary YA Romance with a Shakespearian twist
Length: Novella (74 pages)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (August 28th, 2013)
Heat Level: Mild
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥3Hearts
Blurb: Mercutio is a funny, moody, complex foil for Romeo in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, but in the four stories presented here, each an independent tale, Mercutio’s love for his friend goes far deeper, always somehow entwined with the fates of Romeo and Juliet.
The first tale sets the trio back in Renaissance Verona, where Mercutio vies for Romeo’s love. Romeo is oblivious, but the love triangle has deadly consequences. Next, we find Romeo and Mercutio in Victorian England. Though Romeo knows Mercutio loves him and returns his passion, he struggles to fit his desires into the strict mores of the day. The third story takes us to post-WWII America, where war-weary Romeo, Juliet, and Mercutio long for the right to love whom they choose. The final story in the collection brings the three characters into contemporary times, a band on a road trip that will change their lives forever
Review: Four acts bound into one novella all spurned from the classic tale of Romeo and Juliet with a slight gay twist.
We begin at the start as the original story of these two young lovers is reinvented with a gay undertone. There is still the agony of love, betrayal and death as the array of young men fall on each other’s swords, and not the sexy kind of sword, the literal sword, unfortunately.
Each tale is just a little different and more advanced, or modern, than its predecessor but always, Mercutio is in love with his friend, and Romeo and Juliet could still screw up a wet dream. From Verona to England through WWII and finally closer to the present day, the one constant is that Mercutio has to fight for the right to love who he chooses. The majority of the time, it has devastating consequences.
I’m going to give this one an E for effort. I was never a huge Shakespeare fan aside from the version with Leo, but I did like the way Rowan was able to take the classic tale and spin it into a gay YA story. This one is YA all the way, so there are no naughty bits, but surprisingly, there is no angst either. That gains bonus points from me! If you are a fan of Shakespeare then you need to give this one a go, it might just surprise you.