Author: Anne Brooke
Length: Extended Novel (233 Pages)
Publisher: Amber Allure (September 15th, 2013)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥3 Hearts
Blurb: Michael Jones, a young gay artist and part-time prostitute, will do anything to stage his first exhibition. When he falls in love with rich financier, Jack Hutchinson, he seems set to achieve his goal. But as Michael becomes caught between the unforgiving territory of smoky-bar Hackney and the green-garden luxury of upper class London, the intense mindscape of a man obsessed with his dreams is revealed as he attempts to free himself from his past.
When a net of antagonistic relationships and inner battles encroaches upon him, the consequences of Michael’s uncompromising pursuit emerge in tragedy, leaving him having to fight for all he holds dear, and in the only way he knows how.
NOTE: This book was previously published under the ISBN: 978-0-98282-674-4. This reissued version of the book has been reedited.
Product Link: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/DangerousMan.html
Review: As I’ve finished this book, I find myself still crying. It started thirty pages before the end and the emotional state that this book has left me quite painful. I don’t know what to make of this book really. I found it brilliant in a way, powerful as hell too, but above all, I found it saddening and depressive.
The protagonist, Michael, is such a disturbing character. It’s the first thing shown to you by the author, shoved right in your face, and it colors the entire book. His obsession is huge, a swallowing emotion that sweeps out of your feet with every line you read. He has dreams of making it big, and though he lives in the darkest corner of London, where you can easily name it the slum of the city, he never stop pushing, never stops pressing, or giving up. He sells his body whenever he needs money, but the way that doesn’t really touch him yet still leaves marks in his soul is amazing really to read. A character that as much as he gets, it’s never enough. He needs a job; he obsesses about it, pushing through it until he gets it. He wants a man, he obsesses about him verging on disturbing, even though he’s not available, but he wins him over. Yet it’s not enough. He wants an exhibition and literally sells his soul, making himself vulnerable to people who use him, abuse him, and threaten to destroy everything he ever dreamed of and in the end even that doesn’t liberate him.
Another astonishing fact is how brilliantly his self-destructiveness is painted. I cringed most of the read, no scratch that, I kept on cringing more and more and it never seemed to end as the story wove over. There was not a single moment of joy or happiness in this book. Even when Michael was most happy at the beginning of his relationship with Jack, even then everything was layered in gloom and doom. It was inevitable that all that would result in the most tragic way, but so foolishly I never expected the exact way. I never expected this end… Foolishly yes because in hindsight it was more than obvious.
What I loved the most though was the description of the artist and his mentality. Having a couple of experiences myself with artists, the entire description of how Michael felt, acted, draw, or even saw life, felt as if I was taken back in time, to places and people who once were part of my life. In some ways Michael was exactly like my cousin was, lost in his world, and his perception of what was going on around him. When he kept loosing himself in his thoughts of drawing, felt the urge to laugh out loud at the perfection of that describing, at how wonderful the author captured the essence of talent. And the desolate feelings that come with it.
I think though, even as this book is the saddest one I’ve read, even though Michael was brilliantly written, it would have been higher up on my list if the read didn’t lack a certain something. I don’t know, was it the fact that this entire book was seen from Michaels distorted point of view? On the other hand, that unique viewing of this story from Michael’s eyes was what gave this book its originality. But there was a connection lacking. For example, I didn’t get why Jack fell in love with Michael in first place. Through very small glimpses I got the impression Michael must be stunning, but that was it. Why did Jack fell for him so hard, why did he accept all his antics? All I had was Michael’s need, his using Jack and for some reason that went on and on… The fact that I felt disconnected, yet forced to endure all those emotions that swirled with pain, pity, and a pathetic feel for the main character, was only made worse by a drag in the lines. I felt myself pushing through my limits to keep on reading. I had to stop and take breaks for a bit of air, as it seemed to run out of if constantly while reading. It took me forever to finish this book with only the last fifty pages making a difference where the pace quickened and the rush for the bitter end became more palpable. In the end, all I was left with was tears and a feeling of profound heartbreak.