Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Glitterland by Alexis Hall

Title: Glitterland
Author: Alexis Hall
My Rating: B

Genre: Contemporary Romance (m/m)
Main Characters: Ash and Darian
Release Date: August 2013
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Purchase Links: 
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
The universe is a glitterball I hold in the palm of my hand.

Once the golden boy of the English literary scene, now a clinically depressed writer of pulp crime fiction, Ash Winters has given up on love, hope, happiness, and—most of all—himself. He lives his life between the cycles of his illness, haunted by the ghosts of other people’s expectations.

Then a chance encounter at a stag party throws him into the arms of Essex boy Darian Taylor, an aspiring model who lives in a world of hair gel, fake tans, and fashion shows. By his own admission, Darian isn’t the crispest lettuce in the fridge, but he cooks a mean cottage pie and makes Ash laugh, reminding him of what it’s like to step beyond the boundaries of anxiety.

But Ash has been living in his own shadow for so long that he can’t see past the glitter to the light. Can a man who doesn’t trust himself ever trust in happiness? And how can a man who doesn’t believe in happiness ever fight for his own?

My Review:
Be prepared, this book was completely different from most romance novels you will pick up, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, I kind of liked those differences for the most part. 

Ash is completely mental, with several debilitating disorders that keep him in and out of the hospital. And Darian is sweet and wholesome and definitely not the sharpest tack around. BUT they make for a great couple. Specifically, Darian is GREAT for Ash as he helps pull Ash out of his head and truly enjoying life for the first time in a LONG time.

Ash is a writer and as such, is very cerebral...and the book is written from entirely his POV, so there is a lot of flowery, gorgeous literary prose to the writing of the book. (At times it was really beautiful to read, but at other time it did get to be a bit much and I would skim, but overall it really made you settle into exactly how brilliant Ash's mind is.)

But as a literary and cerebral person, Ash is a snob, and truly looks down on Darian, despite his feelings that he ignores for a lot of the book. I had a hard time with his attitude at times. He's been so wrapped up in his own head for so long, he really has a hard time with empathy or seeing to anyone else's needs besides his own. That makes it really hard sometimes to like his character, although as a reader, you were always aware that so many of his problems were based upon his own self-doubts. He knows that he's a mess and doesn't really feel like he deserves love. He knows going into this thing that he's going to hurt Darian so it's like he's just sabotaging himself before he gets in so deep that he won't be able to recover. At time, it makes the book a bit difficult to read because you just want to hit him upside his head and tell him to get a clue. 

Overall I enjoyed this book. It's not an easy thing for a writer to take two characters like this who are completely unlikely heroes and be able to make you fall in love with them, but Alexis Hall does a pretty fabulous job of it! I would definitely read one of his books again.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

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