The Obsession by Christie Gordon

7861524Title: The Obsession

Series:   N/A

Author:Christie Gordon

Genre: Contemporary

Length:  Novel (236 pages)

Publisher: eXtasy Books (March 15th, 2010)

Heat Level:  Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 3.5Hearts

Reviewer: Eli/Mandingo

Blurb: As a senior-year art student at a Santa Barbara university, Tristan is caught in a mental prison of his own making. Sexually repressed and emotionally abused by an oppressive mother, his preference for men leads him into sexual addiction. Then a new roommate appears in his dorm—Collin, a stunning psychology major from class he’s fantasized about since the start of the school year, a young man Tristan’s fallen in love with from afar. Collin uses his charm and knowledge of psychology to pull Tristan out of his self-destructive existence and into a tumultuous affair. But Collin has a secret, a secret that could potentially further damage Tristan and send him plummeting deeper into isolation and desperation than he’s ever been before. Will Collin’s secret emerge? And will Tristan move forward and find the love he’s always craved or will he fall headlong into addiction and lose everything he’s worked so hard for.

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Review: This book was first written in 2010 and I’m hoping that it’s in for a revival because it’s quite an interesting book.  There is lots and lots and lots of sex. So much so that after a while, the readers may find themselves skimming over some of the scenes in order to get back to the plot. Not that the sex isn’t pivotal to the plot – it is – the reader just really wants to get back to the story.  The title is The Obsession and it isn’t until the end of the book that the reader understands that it is both Tristan and Collin who both have obsessions and that their rather unorthodox relationship allows both of them to work through their obsessions.

Tristan has extremely serious psychological issues and while the story presents them very well, the ease with which they seem to be solved almost trivializes his illness by making it seem that a novice could help him overcome them with ease. So, while I love the plot of the story and how it wove along to bring the characters together and allow Tristan and Collin to bond and interact with the outside world, the notion that Collin could achieve what he did with Tristan in a mere few weeks is a tad far-fetched in reality. However, it works beautifully for the storyline and so the reader will gladly go along with suspended disbelief to achieve the outcome of the story.

Tristan when first presented seems to be introverted, sullen, invisible and full of psychoses and neuroses. Then Collin enters the picture and the reader sees Tristan begin to move from a caterpillar to a butterfly. (Insert suspended disbelief).  By the end of the story, Collin and Tristan seem to have done a personality switch and it is Tristan who’s suddenly emerged as the stronger of the two characters.  This is a necessary occurrence because half way through the story it is clear that Collin is indulging in some seriously douche-like behaviour blended with intensely unethical practices and it is only total reversal that he will in the reader’s eyes be worthy of Tristan. Of course, his selfless actions by the end of the book give him some redeeming qualities and allow the reader to actually wish to see Tristan and Collin ride off into the sunset together.

The story is well written and the character of Tristan is very well-developed, while Collin provides the necessary tool for conflict and crises in the story. And did I say there was sex?  Yes LOTS of sex! The only flaw is the timeline. For this story to have achieved perfection, it should have taken place over a longer time span – at least six months to make Tristan’s change of heart, attitude and behaviour more believable. And, that is easily achievable since the author puts specific dates of occurrences within the book – simply spread the dates out.   Without doing this, it doesn’t matter how much of a protégé Collin is, the human psyche is not a microwave and does not suddenly change at warp speed. 

The content is a little dark, but well worth the read.