Monday, September 30, 2013

Illumination by Rowan Speedwell

Title:  Illumination 
Author: Rowan Speedwell
My Rating: A

Genre: Contemporary Romance (m/m)
Release Date: September 2013
Main Characters: Adam and Miles
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
Adam Craig is burned out. Lead singer of the hard rock band Black Varen, he's tired of the empty life of groupies, paparazzi, and hotel rooms. Worse, a life in the closet. After the final concert of their latest tour, he flees the after-party in pursuit of memories of lost summers and carefree days, until he passes out on the patio of a shuttered lake resort.

Miles Caldwell is a brilliant artist, tied by agoraphobia and social anxiety to his family's lodge. Alone but for his parrot, he spends his days illuminating manuscripts and hiding from the complexities of life. When he discovers Adam asleep in a deck chair, he's furious but intrigued. Adam soon charms his way into Miles' bed, and they lose themselves in a summer idyll, safe from the compromises and claims of reality.

But Adam's life, with all its demands, is waiting for him. And Miles, uncertain of Adam's true feelings, is battling demons of his own. Somehow, the man who's never home and the man who never leaves it must find the strength to fight for a future together.

My Review:
This book had me riveted from page one and I can't even pinpoint why, but the story was so completely fascinating. I really enjoyed every minute of reading it. 

The book opens with Adam...hard-rocker, Adam, on the final night of the band's tour in Chicage. He's drunk and stoned and tired of the party in the motel room so hops in a cab to go to Milwaukee....and ends up at a lakefront resort he remembers from his childhood in Illinois instead. The resort is closed now and has been the home of agoraphobic recluse, Miles, for the last ten years.

Miles is an artist who used to be Mike/Michael. It takes a long time for the full story to come out about exactly what happened to him to make him the way that he is now, but as a reader, you can tell that it was horribly traumatic. Miles is an illumination artist. He lives in one of the cabins on the property of the resort that his family owned. He hasn't left the property in ten years and is shocked to find Adam asleep on one of the outdoor lounge chairs. Because of his life now, he's completely socially awkward most the time. He doesn't understand subtle body-language cues or even sometimes the not so subtle ones. He's not the book he's described like someone who has Aspergers or Autism which seems accurate. The thing is, he was never that way before when he was Michael.

Adam realizes the changes to an extent. Michael was actually the crush that let Adam know he was gay when he was a teenager visiting the resort. That boy he knew had been outgoing and fun-loving...nothing like how Miles is now.

So you have one of the most famous lead singers in the country and a person who can't leave their property in the woods falling in love...*sigh* Throughout this book, I had no idea how the author was going to fix it so that they could work out as a couple. But *gah* I wanted it to work for them because when they are together on the property, they both are just right. But separate them, and things quickly fall apart....for both of them, not just Miles. It made for a great story.

I loved this book. The artistic aspect was gorgeous...both with Miles' illumination art and with Adam's song-writing. They both express themselves through their art and it's just gorgeous and romantic and beautiful. They also share a love of old movies that was a really nice detail in the story. There were moments in the story that were pure heartbreak and so difficult to read, but in the end I loved the story and was happy that it was one that I picked up. It left me with a smile on my face.

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