Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Review: You're the One by Gene Taylor

Reviewed by Fehu
You're the One by Gene Taylor
Dreamspinner Press
Novel: 210pgs
3 Pants Off

Intimidated by the clubs and cabarets of 1970s Chicago, shy English teacher Graham Thomas needs a miracle just to be able to talk to a man. When help arrives from a Robert Redford look-alike wizard, Graham brushes him off—he’s obviously certifiable. Or so Graham thinks until he tries out a popular song title as a come-on line and everything changes.

Given the power to make others fall in love with him, Graham begins to enjoy the nightlife. But when he misuses his gift, he finds himself with accidental and unwanted suitors, including the senior dean at his school, a ticket-mad cop, and a rich young banker. Then Graham meets Mark Matthews and finally faces the moral issue of whether it’s fair to use magic to make someone fall in love. It would be so easy….

More told than shown. While the story sounded sweet and funny and it was to a degree, I had a hard time getting into the book. For one I thought Graham was first not very interesting and then he behaved out of character. For one he was initially searching for love and after the plot got its magical element, the only magical element, namely a guy who gave Graham the ability to make people fall in love with him, Graham searched more for lovers. By lovers I mean people to sleep with so he would not feel lonely, that doesn't sound like the awkward and shy teacher that was introduced at the beginning, who was looking for a partner. Let’s remember that this is a historical book and the 1970s were still not a gay friendly time, at least not to go about searching for sex like Graham did, in this he reminded me more of a character from the 21st century.

Also he was more or less making the guys fall in love with him, by magical means so it felt a bit like a dub-con story. The guys he enchanted then slept with, well that was really a moral gray zone for me, since they hardly could say no to the encounter and again that didn't endear Graham to me. A part that was really well done was the description of Chicago in that specific historical period; you could practically feel the city come to live. Sadly I couldn't say the same for the characters, since I had a hard time liking Graham or to form any emotional connection with him. While this is not a bad story, I thought it was missing a spark or a hook, sometimes characters can be this spark but here the plot was a bit too descriptive and the characters failed to charm me.

Should You Read It? If you like historicals and don't mind the paranormal element, you might want to give this a try. The historical aspect of the story was interesting, the paranormal was surprising.

3 Pants Off

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