by Cameron Dane, contemporary (2008)
Liquid Silver Books, $5.95, ISBN 978-1-59578-515-2
Aidan & Ethan is part of a series set in the town of Redemption, Maine. Rather predictably, this one is all about the redemption of an emo fellow.
High school sweethearts Aidan Morgan and Ethan Ashworth once vowed eternal love and pledged to be joined at the, er, hips forever and ever, never to be parted, et cetera... until Aidan took off the next morning, leaving poor Ethan feeling all desolate and blue. Cut to thirteen years later, Aidan is back in Redemption to begin his new gig as the chief of the local fire department. As it happens, Ethan is a volunteer at the fire department. Both men were no longer eighteen, but since this is a romance, none of them have grown fat or bald over the years. Can they find a second chance at love together?
If you have read my other reviews of gay romances, you'd know that I'm a pretty jaded reader where the genre is concerned due to the large number of trite, badly written, and stereotypical chicks-with-dicks stories in the market at the moment. I'm pleasantly surprised, therefore, by how much I find myself liking the main characters in this story. What I really like about this story is how Aidan and Ethan come off like people instead of a cardboard "husband gay hunk" and "wife gay hunk" characters. Both characters have issues, Aidan a little more so than Ethan, but they do not act like complete assholes. Instead, they know when to drop the whole emo act and try to move on with life.
What I am not too fond of is the number of melodramatic speeches made by the characters later in the story. I know, these two are in love, and love makes people do things in extremes sometimes. But when these people begin talking as if they are giving motivational talks in some kind of seminar, that is when I feel that this story is becoming ridiculous. Also, I know sequels are good for business, but the number of characters announcing that they are gay is pretty unbelievable. The world isn't that small, surely?
While it does have some problems, Aidan & Ethan is, all things considered, an enjoyable gay romance for the most part due to the author's efforts to avoid the use of clichés as shortcuts in place of characterization.
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