Author: Raine O’Tierney
Book Name: All That Shimmers
Genre: LGBT Romance
Rating: Didn’t Like
Blurb: Beau Bell is a former Olympic hopeful, left paralyzed from the waist down after a car accident. He has every reason in the world to be pissed off and miserable, yet he’s training for the Paralympics Men’s 100m—S6 division. The chair? Just a part of who he is now. Beau’s attitude is golden. If only he could contend with this one little issue: errant erections and no way to relieve them!
Nikša Meríc is a lonely scientist and really bad poet living underneath the old building where he does his research. Every night he watches his neighbor through his basement window as he undresses in his wheelchair. Although there is no apparent reason for Nikša to be unhappy, he’s struggled with depression his whole life and has tried to kill himself on multiple occasions.
When Beau proposes that his “voyeur” come over and help him experiment with the erections he can’t actually feel, the relationship they build is a sexual one. But the relationship they need is one that will heal each other’s heart as well.
Review: There really wasn’t much about this book that I liked. At all.
The characters totally didn’t work for me. Beau was the epitome of the stereotypical jock. He is an arrogant, self centered SOB who only thinks of two things. Winning and getting off. Niksa is catastrophically depressed with absolutely no friends or even acquaintances and comes across as seriously creepy and needy. It would be a stretch of incredible talent and creativity to write a relationship between these two characters that works on any believable level. That just isn’t the case here.
Not only are you trying to force two seriously messed up personalities into a working relationship without any kind of damage, but the writer also does so in a ridiculously short period of time. There are lots of ways you can make a really short courtship work in a book. Extenuating circumstances, like a really intensely dramatic situation, usually life and death, that forces the characters to become extremely close. Heck even a mystical reason, like a mating bond type thing you often see in fantasy novels sometimes works. Every day, general life experiences typically just won’t do it unless you’ve, again, gotten really creative and made it work. Again, not the case here.
As I’ve mentioned before, safe sex scenes in a book are a huge peeve of mine. This book pushes the peeve button all the way. The couple have unprotected sex after knowing each other barely a week based on the fact that Beau tells Niksa, who claims to never have had sex before, that he is tested regularly by the team he is on and that he is clean. Sorry! No. It is not okay to just trust that it is okay. Suit up or wait for a test and written proof. Sort or long term relationships don’t even make a difference. Always, always. No exception. No excuse.
In the end, after only about a week, both characters are madly in love with each other. Personality issues are either magically gone or, hey, yeah, the one that is horrifically unbalanced is now in therapy and all is good in the world. Even after 95% of the time the two spent together, one is treating it strictly as an experiment and the other is so completely lost in his own depression or so needy it is almost scary, they suddenly realize they are in love and are going to live happily ever after. That just doesn’t work for me.
I’ve said it many times before, I have to really believe what I’m reading to make it even a decent story, let alone a good one. This is so far away from believable that it doesn’t even rate an okay from me. Authors can do wonders working with dark and seriously broken characters and create some really amazing stories in the process, but it does take a lot of ingenuity and realistic problem solving and having the characters deal with and work to overcome those issues to make it work. If you aren’t going to put that work into your writing, please don’t try to work with those kinds of personalities for your characters.