Sunday, October 13, 2013

Review: BAD IDEA by @DamonSuede. 5 Stars #AmReading #LGBTRomance

Some mistakes are worth making.

Reclusive comic book artist Trip Spector spends his life doodling super-square, straitlaced superheroes, hiding from his fans, and crushing on his unattainable boss until he meets the dork of his dreams. Silas Goolsby is a rowdy FX makeup creator with a loveless love life and a secret streak of geek who yearns for unlikely rescues and a truly creative partnership.

Against their better judgment, they fall victim to chemistry, and what starts as infatuation quickly grows tender and terrifying. With Silas’s help, Trip gambles his heart and his art on a rotten plan: sketching out Scratch, a “very graphic novel” that will either make his name or wreck his career. But even a smash can't save their world if Trip retreats into his mild-mannered rut, leaving Silas to grapple with betrayal and emotions he can't escape.

What will it take for this dynamic duo to discover that heroes never play it safe?

Damon Suade has done it for me again! Proving that romance transcends stereotypes, Bad Idea has completely charmed me.  This book isn’t just a gay romance - it is a book about the human needs of love and acceptance.  As a straight, married woman from the mid-west, I might not be who Suade and his publishers would envision as their target market, but I’m telling you, Suade’s books are now on my “automatic buy” list.

Like Suade’s previous novel, Hot Head, the dialog in Bad Idea is witty, and the prose quietly genius. I never use the highlight function on my Kindle, but I had to break it out for this novel. Little pearls of wisdom abound:

“Sometimes an artistic career felt like climbing a glass mountain wearing nothing but bacon fat.”

“S’important to have old friends...They remember who you were before you made yourself up.”

“Never make a permanent mistake to solve a temporary problem.”

These are characters I’ve never met, but somehow, always wanted to know.  Trip and Silas are both men trying to find their place in the world in their own ways.  On the surface, they couldn’t be more different - Trip is quiet and anxiety-ridden; Silas has a charm that is larger than life.  The two bond over the geekdom of comics.  What is better than a sexy nerd?  TWO!!!  But the relationship is not perfect.  Both men stumble and fumble their way toward each other, making plenty of mistakes along the way.  But the issues between them are not trite and contrived as I find in so many other books; rather Trip and Silas come across as real people, as if they didn’t have an author orchestrating their actions and peering over their shoulders. As an author myself, I know how incredibly hard that is to do.  

I can’t review this book without commenting on the erotic scenes.  The sex in this book is just the right combination of realism and romance - hot, steamy and tender with just a touch of comic relief mixed in for fun.  While I have no problem with M/M sex, there are readers out there who do. If you happen to be one of these people, do everyone a favor and don’t read the book.  But for readers who are more open to that sort of thing, you will find the eroticism heart-racing.

At 136,000 words, Bad Idea is a fairly long novel, but the depth of the story keeps the plot moving.  Aside from the main romantic plot, there are many other conflicts at work.  Trip battles endlessly between creating art for commercial purposes and creating art that he loves.  Complicating matters is his boss and “Unboyfriend”, Cliff, who treats Trip like his personal branded, cash-cow, and who cuts Trip off at the knees every time he strays from his planned route. Artists of all types can relate to the battle of “selling out” to make a living and doing what you love. I love reading about other authors’ creative processes , so Trip creating his new graphic novel character Scratch was really fun.  (And I’m thrilled to see on Damon Suade’s website that Scratch will be coming to life in his own novella in 2014.)

I could go on and on about how much I loved this book, but this review is getting long. Check it out for yourself. Bad Idea is actually a truly brilliant idea.

Overall, I give Bad Idea...

Character development - 5 bookmarks (Even the supporting characters are fabulous!)
Love story - 5 bookmarks
Geek references - 5 bookmarks
Sex scenes - 5 bookmarks (HAWT!!!!)
Dream cast (otherwise known as who I pictured while reading) - Kellan Lutz (Silas), Max Irons (Trip), Ryan Reynolds (Cliff), David Tennant (Kurt)

**** Bad Idea releases for sale 
on October 22, 2013. ****

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