Series: Xu 01
Author: A.J. Llewellyn
Genre: Gay / Paranormal / Psychic Phenomena / Sports / Athletes
Length: Extended Novella
Publisher: Amber Quill Press (First published October 14, 2010)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥3.5Hearts
Blurb: Fight or flight? This has always been the way of Lindo Santiago’s life, and he has always chosen to fight. He has prepared for world championship boxing glory his entire career. From the Mexican slums to the hard streets of Hollywood, he gave it everything. Lindo thought he was ready until his world title shot arrived and almost killed him. Now, forced to retire by the California State Athletic Commission, he has defied the odds by surviving a three-month coma and severe brain injury.
Forced to choose a new path, to live a different life, Lindo is certain he can do it, with the help of Xu, a mysterious spirit force of a man who emerged in the darkest days of Lindo’s coma. Xu and Lindo’s homosexuality are his biggest secrets. Encouraged to take his first vacation ever, Lindo flies to Honolulu where Xu becomes more potent, yet more mysterious. Signs are everywhere that Lindo must choose between love and death, and he also must decide whether to enter into a relationship with a hot local, Turner Cypriano. But if he does, what will that mean for Xu?
Product Link: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/Xu.html
Review: Such a lovely book. Boxing was, is and will always be one of my favorite sports and Llewellyn managed to capture the very essence of it. Very good job indeed! The training, the double-crossing, the injuries and the hiding that takes place, the cheating and all, yes very, very well done.
So, this is the story of Lindo Santiago who rose from the streets of Mexico to the world ranks of boxing. A naive athlete that got played by his very own manager and promoter. Lindo participated in a match that cost him two months in a coma and a very serious brain injury. His surgeon and best friend Marcella did whatever she could and eventually saved his life… or did she??
After the decision of the California State Athletic Association that Lindo can no longer box, there is nothing left for him to do but to take a long vacation and heal his troubled body and soul. Onward to Hawaii. Lindo starts with baby steps into a new life and with the help of the island’s magic he starts to realize how much he still has left. Perhaps his fighting days are over, but he has a life to live and love to let in his heart.
The author indeed has a magic touch in her hand when she introduces us the Island. It literally feels like we’re there; like we could smell the breeze and the flower’s fragrance. Absolutely perfect!
While in Hawaii, Lindo goes with an acquaintance to a boxing match, where he becomes witness of a repetition of his own fight. The young boxer falls head down and Lindo watches during the coming days, as another boxer falls into a coma. this time with no hopes of coming back.
Lindo also finds love and while it has its ups and downs, he and Turner become inseparable. The chemistry between them is almost palpable and the two of them are such a charming couple. Until Turner hear Lindo talk in his sleep, whispering the name of another man…
What? You thought I forgot Xu didn’t you? Of course not, but I had to leave him up for the end. You see, while I loved the story of Lindo the boxer that fight death and moves on even if all his former life has taken an end, I somehow didn’t quite liked Xu and “his” part in the story. I’d love to say more about him and his relationship with Lindo…but, that would be a major spoiler and I don’t want to ruin it for you.
All in all, this was a very nice story that I enjoyed reading and if you are into boxers that overcome their difficulties and fight for their life, go ahead and give it a shot, it is quite worth it.