Devlin and Garrick (Seeking Redemption, Book 2)

Devlin and Garrick  - Cameron Dane Far away from his native Maine, Devlin enters a gay bar in San Francisco. His single aim: finally losing his virginity. The man who comes on to him, Gradyn, is just the kind of man parents warn their kids of: big, bulky, bald, and tattooed head to toe. Yet, there's something in Gradyn's bright green eyes that makes Devlin trust him despite his bad boy vibes, and he takes Gradyn back to his motel room. What was supposed to be a one-time-thing to both of them takes on an entirely different quality as Devlin confesses his virginial state to Gradyn and Gradyn deals with it in a very considerate, even tender way. The two men share a passionate, intense weekend which none of them can forget, and start a long-distance relationship of a kind through emails and telephone calls for the next six months. But then Gradyn breaks them off in a cold and cruel way, leaving Devlin confused, hurt to the core and unable to find another relationship since he can't get over Gradyn despite everything. Five years later Devlin's sister Maddie introduces him to her new colleague, Garrick, whom Devlin immediately recognizes as Gradyn, despite the fact that Garrick has long hair, a lean frame, no tattoos and - blue eyes. What is more, Garrick acts as if he didn't know Devlin. Shaken to his very core, Devlin does his utmost to uncover the truth about Garrick. I liked this book very much. The plot alone was fascinating. The story is told in the alternating third person POV's of both main characters, with Devlin taking up the main part. The narrative flow alternates between the present and flashbacks to that fateful weekend, which is a very good narrating technique, since it breaks up the very intense and detailed description of their sexual development during those two days with the more emotionally laden, angsty revival of their former relationship. Both Devlin and Gradyn/ Garrick are very likeable, multi-layered and well-developed characters, and some of the secondary cast are really good, too, particularly Devlin's sister, Maddie, and Garrick's neighbor's daughter, Chloe. Deep emotions, scorching hot sex, and a gripping and suspenseful plot are this book's fortes.But, and this is a very big but, unfortunately, there are some major issues which kept this otherwise pleasant read from being a real zinger. For one thing, the prose, particularly the author's penchant for wild euphemisms for the word "anus". (The phrase "fluttering channel", in particular, threw me out of the story every time it came up, which was often). The character's sexual encounters were detailed thrust by thrust and kiss by kiss in most elaborate florish, which, although it sure transported the intended sense of intensity, got pretty ridiculous pretty fast. Another issue, to me, was plausibility. Not only had both men no sex at all respective no sex for two years prior to their fateful weekend, they didn't have sex for five years afterwards. While this might be thinkable for Gradyn/ Garrick, given his particular situation, it is absolutely unrealistic for Devlin, a healthy young man in his early twenties. Then there is Garrick's motive for going into hiding, which is still probable, but the reason why he ended up in Redemption? Fairytale-ish. Then again, this is romatic fiction, and it sure is both: very fictional and very, very romantic. Recommended for the romantics out there who love beautiful, faithful heroes, an intense, angsty, sexy story and a sweet HEA.