Author: Ryan Field
Genre: Erotic Romance
Length: Novel (199pgs)
Publisher: Ryan Field Press (28th April 2016)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts
Blurb: Danny and Vince have an almost perfect gay marriage in New York, and then they move to a small gay enclave in the suburbs of Pennsylvania where they discover something interesting: most of the older gay couples have open marriages. Danny and Vince are still in their twenties, and everything about their lives is new and exciting. So when they leave New York to be closer to Vince’s job as a TV weather person in Pennsylvania, they discover they’re interested in exploring the possibilities of an open gay marriage, too. In the midst of all this “adulting,” from being first time homeowners to buying a new car, the changes Danny and Vince experience in the small town of Penn’s Grant lead them to new sexual and emotional experiences they never had in New York. They not only meet gay couples who have been together for decades, but a few who have been leading double lives and hiding deep dark secrets that have ruled their lives. Thanks to his new open gay marriage, Danny discovers a few secrets about his own strong desires for men he never knew existed. Will their open gay marriage ruin them both forever, or will it wind up bringing them closer together? And will the move to Penn’s Grant turn them into the small town gay couple they never wanted to become in the first place?
Reviewer: Napoleon A. Chase
Review: While swingers are far from my preferred genre, I jumped on this book for the opportunity to read something written both by and for the actual members of the gay/mlm community. What Field advertises is a story of identity/sexual exploration, self-discovery, double lives, growth as gay men, and some teasings of gay history. This is what I’ll be paying the most attention to.
The first tidbit that strikes me is that Danny works as a freelance writer, to which I smirk and announce, “hashtag own voices” while my partner is trying to sleep (sorry partner!). To be fair, I give TV shit about that all the time, too.
There’s a certain ache of recognition in just hearing some dynamics of your own relationship described. I hear from people in heterosexual relationships who haven’t so much as kissed in years, who don’t have any clue how to initiate intimacy let alone sex. Meanwhile, 10 pages in: yep, there’s the middle-of-convo buttgrab of a regular couple who hasn’t had the chance to forget what oral feels like (or what it’s like to take advantage of a stairwell). Thank fuck.
I am grateful for the way race was addressed in this: frankly, respectfully, and without sugaring up how the average person actually *does* address race.
Our narrator has a subtle hand at introducing the things that annoy the fuck out of him but he doesn’t want to say outright. The battle of following his family of origin’s rules is both intriguing and familiar.
The politics are believable, both to the tune of laughs and sighs.
I am not Romani, and I am not sure how the American Romani experience differs from elsewhere or if the author is Romani. If Field is not, he’s treaded into some disappointingly face-palming levels of stereotyping here. If he is, well, we’ve all internalized shit we’re told about ourselves, but it sucks when we start inflicting it on our own communities, too.
I got a kick out of Nick’s “detective” story arch.
Speaking of Nick, minor nitpick: always double-check who “Nick” really is. It seems like the author might have planned him in two different roles than he eventually ended up in, and that that slipped through editing.
Four stars and recommending to my friends, even if Danny never does realize how awesome pickup trucks are. Delightful read.