Monday, September 10, 2012

Review: Moonlight, Tiger, and Smoke by Connie Bailey

Reviewed by Hannah
Moonlight, Tiger, and Smoke by Connie Bailey
Dreamspinner Press
Novel: 298pgs
5 Pants Off

Taken from their families and raised to be assassins, Moonlight and Tiger are the perfect weapons and secret lovers. Even when they are sent into service with different clans, their love remains pure and strong until a more insidious threat divides them.

When Moonlight realizes his master is manipulating people for his own ends, the discovery threatens not only Tiger, but their entire society. Betrayed by a fellow assassin, the men are tortured and broken. If their love and their people are going to survive, one of them will have to defy everything he knows and stand up for the only thing he believes is real: Love.

This is one of the best written ‘stories’ I have come across for an M/M Romance book, emphasis on story. You could remove the sex from this book and still have an amazing, heart-warming, blood pressure rising, lump in your throat read.

Bailey has created three beautiful characters in Tiger, Moonlight and Smoke. Their personalities are described with such delicacy and heart that the reader is enveloped in emotion, as you are lead down their individual paths as they negotiate through a journey of brutality, fear, but most importantly love

The fact that you are introduced to these characters as young children allows more depth to this story than can be found in most M/M romance novels, and therefore provides the reader with an incredible intricacy into how these relationships develop.

I had tears in my eyes for so much of this book all of which were provoked through examples of true love. Bailey develops a world where these three young boys pull the reader in as your heart aches for them when they are torn from their families to face a life of coldness as they train to become assassins. However, no matter how harsh the environment around them, Bailey ensures the reader is shown the true spirit of each character.

The warmth created by the bond between Tiger and Moonlight is what holds the reader for most of the book. Tiger is written beautifully as he displays the strength and courage of a leader, and your tears swell as you see his love for Moonlight conflict with his ideals of loyalty to ‘duty’. Although Tiger is considered to be the ‘protector’, Bailey’s construction of this story allows you to see some of the best examples of true love, courage and strength come from Moonlight; a true literary hero in this story as he chooses to use his love for Tiger as strength to fight against manipulation and corruption in their dark world of trained assassins. The unrequited love that the character of Smoke holds for Moonlight is used by Bailey to allow the reader to get a glimpse of the greatness that is to come from these three characters as they struggle to build a relationship of equals when it appears inevitable heartbreak is on the horizon.

The character of Smoke provides some of the greatest beauty in this painful love story as you see his actions come from a place of selflessness as he forgoes his own hearts wants to aid the man he loves.

Your blood pressure will rise throughout this book as the boys are put through unimaginable tortures, and you wonder if it will even be possible for them, and their love for each other to be enough to make it through to a happy ending. They are separated so many times throughout the book, and although it breaks your heart, it allows you to understand their minds as individuals and their motives for the actions that follow.

When betrayal rocks Tiger and Moonlight you feel almost broken by Bailey’s decision to take away any hope. What the reader comes to realise though, is that this betrayal opens up for some of Bailey’s most beautiful writing, saved for the character of Smoke and understanding his mind. As you learn of Smoke’s true loyalty along with his love and passion to ‘protect’ Moonlight, this book takes its final grip on your heart and you pray there is some way these boys…that have grown into beautiful men before your eyes can find a way to achieve their freedom.

I won’t give away how this story ends, but I will say the tension created by Bailey as you read through the characters journey leaves you on the edge of your seat and your heart in your throat. She wrote this book in a way that allows the reader to understand each character, their love, their loss and their motives as individuals, and that talent means that by the end of the book you are invested in their happiness. No matter what the outcome you will have tears in your eyes and love in your heart.

5 Pants Off

1 comment:

Go ahead and talk to me!