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REVIEW: Flames – J. Scott Coatsworth

Flames - J. Scott Coatsworth

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Magical Realism

LGBTQ+ Category: Gay

Reviewer: Tony

Get It On Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

About The Book

Alex always thought love was enough to keep him and Gio together. Why did they need wedding rings or legal certificates? But now, with Gio lost in a coma after a fire has destroyed their home, his partner’s mother banishes Alex from his side.

Locked in a gray limbo inside his head, memories are all Gio has left, and the urge to let go is getting stronger.

Nothing can keep Alex from Gio’s side, even if he has to break the rules. In their stolen moments alone together, Alex fights to reach Gio, one memory at a time.

What if Alex’s voice is the only thing that can bring Gio back?

The Review

Flames is something a bit darker from Scott. A love story with a kernel of darkness. It’s about the consequences of letting anger blind you to the love of those around you.

Alex returns home from work seething with anger from a bad day of work. The emotion is mostly internalised, but it does not stop him ruining more than just the wonderful meal Gio has prepared for him. 

Alex has a journey of discovery and self-realization ahead of him, as he attempts to rebuild the bridges burnt down, not all of them by him – cue the wicked mother-in-law. Alex made a bad mistake, but you just know this was an atypical day for him, as he and Gio are surrounded by lots of people who love them. No one points the finger of blame at Alex. Everyone supports him from the beginning to the end, and they help him make the right choices along the way. 

Gio has a different journey to make, one signposted by happy memories and purchases he and Alex made when making their home together. Like Alex, he has a choice to make, but his options are between life and death. He’s going to need some persuading to take the track back into life when he comes to that fork in the road.

One of the messages here, if there is a message, is that people can change. Alex is one of those who manages to take those first steps into light. The touch is light here and there is no preaching. What you get is a sweet love story – a moment of darkness swept away by the finish.

Oh, yeah, just in case you didn’t get it, I loved this story. It took me awhile to forgive Alex but forgive him I did. :)

The Reviewer

Tony is an Englishman living amongst the Welsh and the Other Folk in the mountains of Wales. He lives with his partner of thirty-six years, four dogs, two ponies, various birds, and his bees. He is a retired lecturer and a writer of no renown but that doesn’t stop him enjoying what he used to think of as ‘sensible’ fantasy and sf. He’s surprised to find that if the story is well written and has likeable characters undergoing the trails of life, i.e. falling in love, falling out of love, having a bit of nooky (but not all the time), fending off foes, aliens and monsters, etc., he’ll be happy as a sandperson who has just offloaded a wagon of sand at the going market price. As long as there’s a story, he’s in. He aims to write fair and honest reviews. If he finds he is not the target reader he’ll move on. 

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