Author: Dar Mavison
Length: Novel (230 pages)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (January 10, 2011)
Heat Level: Explicit
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥5 Hearts
Blurb: Australian adventurer Adam Yager arrives in Athens for a conference and meets a colleague from the past: Dmitri Pryce, a brilliant archaeologist, a charming individual, and a beautiful man. Adam has never found a man beautiful before, not like this, and between remembrances of the dig in Tanzania four years ago and talk of more recent work, Adam does his best to keep his arousal hidden… until he blurts out his admiration for the way Dmitri says the word “ass.” And once Adam’s said it out loud, it’s too late to take it back.
Dmitri remembers lusting after Adam four years ago with painful clarity, but he made himself get over his crush and accept Adam’s friendship at face value. Now, as a documentary of the dig they both worked on is about to be released to the public, Adam clearly wants more, but Dmitri believes their opportunity to have passed. Except Adam is unwilling to miss this once in a lifetime chance to really get to know Dmitri and explore the passion they both feel.
Review: I loved this book. Mavison has the perfect level of plot- and character-building to make Adam and Dmitri’s story both believable and captivating. Both men are actually interesting, their motivations are clear, their actions make sense, and they’re just fun to read about. Even the flashbacks to when they had worked together before were well-placed and made sense.
Given his personality, the early internal struggle Adam faces, being bewildered by his attraction to another man, is very well done, as is his reaction to that attraction. Dmitri is also a bit hesitant, because he is also convinced Adam is straight. His assertions that he wants to be close to Adam, like a brother, are cute, but a little bit over-played. The little surprise of bedroom roles, once they began acting on their mutual attraction, is fun and their reactions add a bit of depth to both men.
The second half of the book does have is a bit more emphasis on the actual sex, but I think that makes sense in the situation, and with their assertions that this relationship is merely burning off a mutual lust by the time their conference is over. Despite its relative prominence, the sex is balanced with Adam and Dmitri getting reacquainted, learning who they are now, and self-reflection.
I like that The Way You Say is not a total HEA, with everything wrapped up neatly and prettily, mainly because it adds to the over all feeling that these are real people, with real lives. It doesn’t hurt that it gives the option for Mavison to bring these characters back a bit later in their lives…
The only thing I’m a bit bummed about is this is Mavison’s most recent book, and the only book that is not part of an anthology. I want more.