Sunday, 29 December 2013

With or Without Him By Barbara Elsborg

This book needs a hotter cover and more exciting blurb, because it doesn't represent what's inside at all. I haven't read a book in one sitting, with this amount of pages, in a while. I enjoyed every minute of it and couldn't wait to turn the page!

There was suspense, crime, drama, mystery, love and some hot M/M sex scenes that left me wanting more! These guys know how to get it on! There are many elements to this story that I loved, but one that sticks out the most for me, is the fact that they were gay! I know that sounds strange, but normally when you read a novel about M/M romance, you have guys who are afraid and hiding from the stigma. If not, then the book is about coming out or life after coming out. These guys knew! There was never a shadow of doubt, and they have accepted and practiced in their lifestyle the moment they became sexually active. In a traditional sense, most of them are basically virgins, with regards to M/F sex.

I love all the characters, even the bad ones. Everyone's  role was written for them and there was never a dull moment with this clan. I laughed more than ever and the word "bored" never came to mind. I was at the edge, middle and back of my seat as I went through the chapters and motions. It was like your usual M/F, BDSM, he's-rich-i'm-not romances, but from a M/M perspective.

If not for the blatant absence of sufficient female presence, then it could be overlooked as a M/M romance. They were literally in their own little world, doing their thing. They fit the traditional stereotype without even trying. Then again, I guess M/F romance novels also only have a smattering of homosexuals, so it was good to see this community get to highlight the same with a smattering of heterosexuals. The fact that it was set in the UK was just icing on the cake!

Tyler is a character I fell in love with from the opening chapter. Every one else comes behind him. Somewhere along the line, he became the bottom in this relationship and world. He however, never lost his masculinity. He was still Tyler, but with a much softer note. Between him and Jeremy though, kept this story on a much needed light note. I laughed more reading this book today than I did all week.

Haris and even Des were characters I eventually got to know more and fall in love with also. Haris is a complete emotional hot head with some intense trust issues. I dislike him. I love him. It wavers. After all, I am Team Tyler ;)

I did however love his quirks and in the end where he stood up for himself and made his feeling and declarations be known. Him telling Malik to shut up was awesome!  :D

Lu was another character who definitely got the giggles out of me. Mex, Prescott and even Gerald helped with that aspect. It's safe to say it was a funny cast! I can't even talk about the hypochondriac Wilson. That man is something else, and nothing like your usual butler. With him, Alcide, Tyler and Haris living in a house, it just doesn't get any better!

Beside the obvious laughter that this story brought, there were serious issues, that not only affected homosexuals, but countries. Laws, practices and different cultures were at play. I also liked the musical aspect of the story. It wasn't your every day rock, pop mania and it kept me intrigued and interested.

The forwardness, awkwardness and other components that made up this story were great contributing content. I connected with each character, their personalities and their struggles. It was a different take, on a recurring story line.

The lead characters back stories were also originals, for me at least, and shed more light on their current concerns and vices. This was  a well developed, researched and delivered plot. It unraveled beautifully and it is out of sheer selfishness that I want more. If even a 10 years update ;)

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