WOW WOW WOW...Just WOW
How in the hell does a person even write a book that is a full onKick Ass Action Feautre Feelm complete with explosions, high speed open ocean chases, latino hearhthrobs, silent and steady sea captians with honest hearts, fantastic knock you down MMAC boys with a romantic streak, paintballer champions for GOODNESS SAKE!!! with love, romance, passion, beutiful views and even lovelier emotions, melt your face off sex scenes and the sweetest ending ever OMG... and PIRATES!! YES I said PIRATES people!! What the hell even just happened to me?!?! What was I asking??? Right! Who can pull this off?! Ahh...BEN MONOPOLI is who!
Ok so boys, men...They like movies with shit that blows up and heroic characters and why not, a bit of an epic love to round things out...Ben Monopoli who is a boy, went and made hisself one of these beauties for US TO READ, and it is an absolutely amazing AMAZING adventure.
Those of us who are fans of Mr. Mopoli are well aware of his writing prowess, however this book IS a bit of a change of pace for him. So, before I even start my review, I have some recommendations to make your journey with Boots McHenry, Clemente Santiago and the rest of boys the best experience possible:
1. Please take out of your cranial area any preconcieved ideas, notions, expectations of what this book is, of what a "gay romance" should be, and read with a mind that is OPEN...If you do you are in for a FABULOUS time, and YOU WILL get your Love Story.
2. Be prepared to fall in love with Boots (total skank but I lurves him), Clemente (SWOONS), Colby (my FAVORITEST), Marcus...and Natan and Miguel. They are all such amazing characters they rock, they kick ass, they fuck like gods and they made me LAUGH, cry, cringe, sweat...EVERYTHING!!
3. Do not commit yourself to any activities that involve the use of your fingernails, because you will have NONE left by the end of this book.
4. For the last third of the book do yourself a favor, and read it in a place where people won't think you're crazy if you start high fiving your kindle...This comes from personal experience.
Alrighty the STORY...So Boots McHenry our narrator, is a professional athlete for the American Paintball League. He has a man he's in love with, fellow Paintballer Ryan Kroft and he's at the top of his game. Things go downhill fast on the day that Ryan is shot during a game and is immediately taken to the island where all players who fall during a game are exiled to for five years. He is heartbroken...Ryan his love, his partner is taken away, and they had not time for closure, for ANYTHING...What is he supposed to do for FIVE YEARS? What was it that Ryan was trying to tell him when he got on the helicopter? What is he going to do with that big empty house? Why can't he stop staring at other dudes?
Boots he's confused, he's lonely, he misses Ryan, but also he doesn't want to have his life on hold for five years, he's horny as all hell too...He is stuck.
When Clemente Santiago another one of his teammates suggests that they go on a mission to find the mysterious island and Ryan, Boots is ALL IN...They recruit Ryan's brother Colby (my favorite thing in the world) and MMAC junior champion, Piper Pentfors (teammate and also Boots' ex, the guys is a douche, but we needs one of those to make stories interestinger), Marcus Tumble (captian of the Intrepid the yatch that will take them across the sea). This group of guys sets out in an unlikely mission with very little certainty that they will even reach their destination, but the adverture they have it is LIFE CHANGING.
Nothing can be the same after what they live through, what they find in their group, for some it's love at first sight, for others is coming to the realization that there was love for them all along, for others the truth of their cowardice and selfishness finally comes out, and for all of them, it's gaining a bond with the other men in their groups that is unshakeable and it's seeing life with a different perspective and embracing IT and love and all that stuff.
Mostly though it's about Boots finally being able to face the truth and be ok. Being in love, living your life can be messy and painful. Sometimes you can be hurt or be the one being callous and careless, but you can also man up and do the right thing even when you are not returned the favor. Boots learned in his journey that even though things he held as certain turned out to be lies...He also learned that opening your eyes and seeing what you already have and embracing it can make your life FULL...even if nothing is guaranteed.
The characters...Boots was a fantastic voice. He was honest and carnal. He loved men and sex and fun. He wanted love, he did, but mostly he wanted to be happy with himself without hurting anyone in the process. I love a man that unapologetically is open about his lust and desires.
Clemente...Mighty. He was mighty. The man tore down an ocean for love people!! I do not lie, this is the truth and that mustache! Just for that you gotta love the man.
Colby.Like I said, loving him is not optional. What a fantastic character. That boy dished out some serious ass kickings. So fucking hot.
Marcus strong and steady and when it was time to fall in love...He did not fuck around. He took his chance.
Piper will annoy you, but he is also a necessary evil. He's like mosquito repellent, bothersome and makes you feel gross, but it's better than the mosquito bites or getting Malaria.
There are also the lovely Natan and Miguel who are not our main crew, but provide a strong dose of spice and do wonders to *ahem* lubricate the most sticky of the situations the boys get into.
Frankly I can't say much more without spoilering the hell out of this story. Just know that you will be surprised again and again...You will witness love that is flawed, but honest and passionate...Steady. You will laugh, you will hold your breath, and you will have loads of fun.
Once again Ben Monopoli has written a wonderful book. The man can write anything. GO READ IT...Those loooking for generic gay romace formulas need not apply.
Homo Action Story! A tall tale is for sale at Amazon.com