Monday, September 10, 2012

Review: Sidecar by Amy Lane

Reviewed by Buggy
Sidecar by Amy Lane
Dreamspinner Press
Novel: 270pgs
5+ Pants Off and gone for good

The year is 1987. The boys wear pink Izod shirts, the girls wear big hair, everyone has a stash box, and AIDS is just an ugly rumor rumbling like a thunderstorm from the cities. A teenage runaway wanders the side of the road, a heartbeat away from despair, and is rescued by a long-haired angel on a Harley.

But that's just the beginning of their story.

Josiah Daniels wanted peace and quiet and a simple life, and he had it until he rescued Casey from hunger, cold, and exhaustion. Then Joe's life is anything but simple as he and his new charge navigate a world that is changing more rapidly than the people in it. Joe wants to raise Casey to a happy and productive adulthood, and he does. But even as an adult, Casey can't conceive of a happy life without Joe. The trouble is getting Joe to accept that the boy he nurtured is suddenly the man who wants him.

Their relationship can either die or change with the world around them. As they make a home, negotiate the new rules of growing up, and swerve around the pitfalls of modern life, Casey learns that adulthood is more than sex, Joe learns that there is no compromise in happy ever after, and they’re both forced to realize that the one thing a man shouldn’t be is alone.

Sidecar was one of those books that I couldn`t stop reading yet also wanted to put away and slowly savour because I just didn`t want it to end. I absolutely loved Casey and Joe and I`m fast approaching phonebook status with author Amy Lane, you know if she wrote a phone book I`d read it cover to cover, probably cry at the end then write a gushy fangirl review all about it. Everything she writes just grabs me by the guts, sometimes destroys me, always makes me sigh and smile and generally leaves me a hot tear streaked mess. Sidecar was no exception.

This amazing and rare story; encompassing twenty-five years of love and well, life. And because of the length of time we get to spend with our characters this also becomes more than just a story, this is a lifetime, this is every little heartache and hope and triumph. This is epic. Thanks for the ride Amy!

Ponytailed, Harley riding, bear of a man Joe Daniels is on his way home from his job as a pediatric nurse when he comes across a visibly distraught teenager on the side of the road. Joe has picked up his share of runaways over the years in this remote area, feeding them and giving them a safe place for a few days until they head out into the world again. He`s assuming this 16 year old will be the same but Casey is about to change everything.

At first Casey is wary of accepting the big hippie bikers offer, knowing some of the shit he`s had to do over the past few months just to get a meal. But he`s also reached the end of his endurance; he’s exhausted, dirty, hungry, lice riddled and reeling from the recent abuse of a trucker. He can either go back to the bridge he almost jumped off or he can go with Joe.

Casey’s story is not a revelation, on the run because his parents couldn’t accept him being gay; now all he needs is a break, just a place to make a start for himself. He`s found it with Joe and so much more. Joe doesn`t want anything from him (definitely not sex even though Casey offers) he just wants Casey to have a chance to grow up without judgement and become a good man. So Casey doesn`t leave, with Joe as his legal guardian he goes back to school, gets a job, helps remodel the house, they get a dog, he dates a few boys and life goes by.

At 27 Joe is pretty settled in his life, he works at the hospital, he likes his seclusion, he loves having Casey around and he dates a few girls and a few boys. Their relationship works, for several years it works but Casey is growing up and he`s never hidden the fact that he wants Joe. So far Joe’s been able to play it off, telling him he`s just a kid and doesn’t know what he wants and that’s where the conflict comes in because suddenly Casey isn`t a kid, suddenly, overnight (well 6 years) Casey is a man and Joe can no longer deny what s been growing between them. How it hurts now to see him with his silly boyfriends.

Gawd the moment Joe realizes that he`s in love with Casey, that he wants him is so perfect and so beautiful and so well written it makes you want to cry. I`ll be honest though I had my doubts as to whether Lane could pull off this transformation taking them from a pseudo father son relationship to lovers but I needn’t have worried and YES, Finally, the payoff for their first time together is so worth the long wait.

"I want you. I want to hold you. I’m suddenly, terrifyingly, overwhelmingly possessed with the idea of what your mouth would taste like under mine, and I don’t know how to say it or even think it.”

And still their story goes on. Joe wants a child, same sex adoption wasn`t really a thing in the nineties so that’s a problem, Joe also wants Casey to travel, to see the world and experience everything before he settles down. Casey just wants Joe and time marches on, in the blink of an eye 25 years has passed and that is life. Cheers.

SideNote- I want to mention that Amy has also included a song title for each chapter, relevant to when it takes place and what our characters are going through. And because this starts in 1986 –the year I graduated (!) I had an absolute blast with this playlist, bringing back lots of memories for me, back when I had super big hair and Corey Hart was the bomb.

5 Pants Off


  1. Ermmm OK, must by this now!!! Sounds freaking brilliant!! Great review!

    I'm Hannah by the reviewer *waves*

  2. Me tooo! I really wanna read it now, Buggy makes it sound so awesome.

  3. I've never read an Amy Lane book that I didn't like, but this one was truly special. I loved it and did not want the story to end. Next up, Mourning Heaven, which I hear is a much harder book to read. Dex in Blue will also be out next month. Yay!!!

  4. Thanks guys sorry for the delay in responding. Big hello to Hannah, (its fun here)

    Yeah, I loved this D when you have the time read it, it won't destroy you like some of Amy Lanes other stuff.

    Thanks for the info Lisa, I agree with you, this one is special. Also looking forward to Mourning Heaven (I think) -sounds like another tear jerker. and Yay Dex in Blue :)


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