Monday, September 17, 2012

Review: Beneath the Surface by Kate Sherwood

Beneath The Surface by Kate Sherwood
Dreamspinner Press
Novel: 200pgs
3.5 Pants Off

When Peter Carr’s company sends him to Southwestern Ontario to sweet-talk the town into agreeing to a gravel quarry proposal, he welcomes the challenge. Technically he’s a lawyer, but really he’s a problemsolver. He just never expected the problem to be Caleb Sinclair, the passionate but introverted artisan carpenter who lives next to the proposed quarry site.

“Know your enemy.” That’s Caleb’s philosophy. And trying to turn fertile farmland into a gravel pit earns Peter the title of “enemy.” Caleb loves that land, and if he has to make peace with his homophobic neighbors to make war on Peter, so be it. Except knowing his enemy doesn’t turn out anything like he expected. Peter’s not the fairy-tale monster—he just might be the first step to happy ever after.

It's always nice to read books that happen on the home front and by home front, I mean Canada. There is this unexpected connection whether you've been to that part of the country or not. Beneath the Surface really captured the small town vibe and level of community. Not perfect and filled with its own bigotry, but when it came time to unite they gave it 110%.

Caleb Sinclair is an outcast in his small town after coming out as gay. He was gay bashed, ostracized, and he only his one childhood friend. When his neighbours sell their farmland to a company that will be digging for gravel, Caleb realizes he’s gonna have to step out of his shell to fight for the maintenance and safety of his home. He won’t be alone in the fight because the entire community is against it, but his stake his higher. His home is right beside the site, and he has to protect his animals and way of life.

Enter Peter Carr lawyer and professional charmer. His job is to make the progression of the digging smooth and keep the locals calm. Everything is thrown into chaos by one man, Caleb Sinclair.  Yes, the challenge always makes his job more exciting but it’s the shy beautiful Caleb that has his heart in his throat. There is no point in wanting a relationship with Caleb, they are on opposite sides in a land war and Peter doesn’t think he can do the small town life. Though things are working against their favour, the attraction between the men is palpable and sometimes you just have to go with the flow.

This story is slow progression, but I never found it boring. I really enjoyed the sexual tension between Caleb and Peter, though it was clear that they wanted each other, they both remained wary. It would have really thrown the story if they had jumped in to bed together too quickly. There is a bit of something added to thicken the plot including Caleb's brother, and that was my least favourite part of the book. I think it’s because I was expecting it, so by the time it did happen I was all "whatever". I understand it needed a little something to keep the story going, but I found his brother to be most insignificant, he annoyed the crap out of me (probably the author’s intention).

There really isn’t anything outstanding about the story line or characters but I do enjoy Miss Sherwood's writing. The lack of loving would make this a good pick for newbie M/M readers who don’t want a lot of sex. Overall, a decent book that entertained, and offered up a really nice romance.

SideNote- Love the freaking dogs! I am so grateful that they weren’t killed off. I would have cried T_T

3.5 Pants Off

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