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More Than Friends: Book 1 of the More Than Friends series Paperback – December 5, 2012
"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Learn more
From the Author
Aria Grace's debut M/M romance, More than Friends, will capture your heart and leave you wanting more. A sweet story about a guy who realizes that everything he thought he knew about love might have been slightly off when he finds himself attracted to a man. He doesn't think he's gay and definitely doesn't want to be...but he can't explain the connection that he feels building with a new friend.
About the Author
Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Aria enjoys the year round sunshine and laid back environment of the west coast. She lives with her husband and two children on a quiet hill that gives her lots of time to read and write. Her first series was a semi-traditional look at sexy gigs found online. She has now ventured into the exciting M/M world of gay romance. She loves to hear from readers so please feel free to drop her a note or visit her at her website.
Top customer reviews
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On the not so good side...it's not that these things I'm about to complain about are bad so much as they are unrealistic.
The first time they have sex, there's no lubrication used. And yet, somehow they still managed to enjoy themselves. It doesn't work like that. For a woman who's never been a gay man, she actually did pretty well. Just...this one was a big deal. I don't think her goal was to make her readers shake their heads and think, "ooph, that's not going to end well."
As a GFY story, I would have said this failed. GFY has to be expertly crafted to pass the sniff test, because stuff like that just doesn't happen in real life. For a straight guy to get so close to a gay friend that he actually falls in love, I need a believable explanation. I wouldn't have called this story believable enough to qualify as a good example of GFY. (As you might imagine, I haven't found too many that DO qualify.) All the same, I don't actually think it turned out GFY. It was more of a sexual awakening sort of story, and...Grace didn't do too badly. In case I'm not being clear, the "straight" character didn't strike me as having a one-time, one-dude-only experience. Instead, I just wanted to shake my head and mutter something about how "they're always the last to know."
For all my talk about realism, I don't actually expect romances to be utterly realistic. I mean, if I wanted embarrassing noises and farting in bed and "Get off...no, I mean get off ME! That hurts!" I'd just go to the bar, you know? But if an author wants me to buy into the fiction she's selling, I need her to give me a reason to think the story could actually happen. I can suspend disbelief to some extent, but once you cross that line...
This one was close, though. And it really did have its good points. I'm not at all sorry I read it.
Secondly I also found its way of dealing with homophobia offensive in several places in the story.
"He bounced between feelings of disgust for having f**ked a dude, to feelings of guilt for feeling disgust when it felt so good, [...]"
Feeling disgust, actual disgust, for touching another human being regardless of gender is to me a dated notion which should not be further cemented. The culturally imposed moral conflict a GFY character might experience is much better handled in most other books I've read of the same theme. All of the above makes me a bit sad for this story, because during the first couple of chapters it held potential to be so much better.
His friend, Paul, takes him to a bar to try and help him move on. There, Ryan meets a girl named Drea and they end up going back to her place. She introduces Ryan to her cousin, Zach, and then heads off to sleep (apparently she notices the lack of chemistry just as much as Ryan). Zach and Ryan briefly chat while Zach remains preoccupied with playing video games.
However, they soon meet up again and have a great time. They end up spending more time together afterwards and Ryan begins feeling confused about his true feelings for Zach.
I enjoyed the story and was rooting for them to get together towards the end. Ryan seems so unsure of himself, but Zach makes the perfect companion for him. The natural progression of the story made it an enjoyable read.
Overall, it has a great balance of story, personal acceptance, and intimacy.
Ryan is straight. He is one-hundred percent sure of that until he befriends Zack. Zack is gay, although Ryan had no idea that he is until Zack tells him so. Normally he wouldn’t have a problem with that, but he feels different when he’s around Zack. He feels drawn to him in a way that he can’t explain. These feelings confuse him. He is both intrigued and repulsed when Zack confesses his attraction to him, but his curiosity and his own inexplicable attraction convinces him to take the plunge.
The build-up to that first physical encounter is both sweet and sexy. The confusion in the aftermath is both heart-breaking and honest. The story moves along quickly and although short, it was not too short. Aria got the job done! Although it might take Ryan a lot longer to work through his issues in the real world, the pace is perfect here. I can’t wait to see how they’re doing in the next story!