Thursday, January 19, 2012

ARC: The Heart's Greater Silence by Anne Brooke

The Heart's Greater Silence by Anne Brooke
Riptide Publishing
Short Story: 31pages
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Mark isn’t sure he believes in love, especially when he’s torn between two very different men: his reliable boyfriend, Craig, and his illicit lover and priest, Richard.

Mark knows what he should do, but he can’t bring himself to give Richard up. The sex with Richard is unlike anything he’s ever known with Craig, and he hungers for it as much as—if not more than—the truer intimacy he finds in his boyfriend’s arms.

When Craig discovers his betrayal, Mark is forced to look at his life more closely, but the path to self-knowledge is never an easy one. Richard seeks the way back to God, but Mark finds no solace there. Can he ever discover the truth of his own soul, or is he too afraid of what he will—or won’t—find inside his heart?

Mark has just been dumped by his boyfriend to be expected when he was caught cheating. Mark is broken and sad because he loves his boyfriend Craig, and he’s hoping that they can just move on from it. He’s been having the best of both worlds, the love and security of Craig and the hot carnal lust of Richard the man he’s been having an affair with. When both his worlds collide, he’s left in shock but he can’t deny that he wants both.

With Richard, the sex is hot and nobody does it better. With Craig, he has someone to do boyfriend things with, and most importantly, he can present him to the world. Richard is a man of god, and Mark will always be his piece on the side both figuratively and in actuality. When you’re caught between two men, the outcome is never positive.

It’s easy to call Mark a cheating bastard and say he got what he deserved. I honestly feel very sad for him. He’s in love with the idea of loving Craig, because its safe and he’s dependable. Though it’s Richard, I feel he really wants, but he’s grown accustomed to the situation. He’s his dirty little secret, his quick f*ck outside when the weathers nice. When it all ends, he puts on his collar and goes back to what he loves the most, being a priest. I feel that Mark both accepts it and loathes it and so he found someone who created a balance for him. It’s a sad situation for all three men, but I feel it's sadder for Mark. Richard will ask for forgiveness from his god and move on, and Craig might find solace and love from his family and friends. Mr Mark though is left with nothing.

My first time reading anything by Anne Brooke and folks it won't be my last. I always talk about short stories being worthy of novel praises and this story is one of them. Anne Brooke is an excellent writer with a gift to portray emotions on pages. Sometimes we don’t always get what we want, and we leave behind the things that we need. That being ruled by lust and desires can be nice but when the desire is sated, all that is left is emptiness. This story with a just a few pages was able to share that with me the reader, and if that isn't excellent writing? I don't what is!

I hope to read about Mark again because I feel that he deserves his happy ending, finding that one person whom he both wants and needs.

4 1/2 Pants Off

A Year of Firsts- First book by author Anne Brooke

 *book provided by publisher*


  1. Gosh, thanks, Darien - so glad you enjoyed Mark's story, especially as I found it such a challenging one to write. Thank you! :))


    1. I loved it!! I want more Mark, he's so...complex.


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