Hot Sauce - Scott Pomfret
Iím still not entirely convinced that there is a market for this kind of gay novel. The theory that gay men like the same romances as women, only with men, is a pretty shaky theory to base a whole genre of novels on. Because thatís what the authors unashamedly admit: they set out to write in this style, rather than write books which end up as romances.† That aside, I have the same criticism of this book as the previous one we reviewed Ė it just isnít all that well written and the characters remain pretty much names on a page. Itís all fluff and nonsense, but like a pretty twink, I guess itís easy on the eye and amusing for a while.
Brad is a celebrity chef. Troy a celebrity designer, born to wealth and privilege. They are together, but Brad wants love and marriage. Troy isnít giving anything away. Along comes Aria, a pretty boy who seems to be stealing Troy away. Is he? Can Brad and Troy declare their love?
Thatís the plot.
To be fair to the book, I did read with some enjoyment and was quite happy to return to it at night. Itís quite sexy† - the sex scenes being the best written and most convincing parts of the book. The weakest element of the writing was in the characterisation. If youíre going to have a threat to a romance, make it a credible one. Being threatened by Aria was like being punched by a dandelion clock. He was just silly. Characters changed on the flip of a coin with no real explanation Ė just to suit the authorsí requirements for some attempt at dramatic tension. I expected some dramatic revelation as to why Troy had been so reserved and distant with Brad. It never came and so the whole resolution of the plot rather left me cold.
At the end, the ďso-calledĒ romance is laid on so thick I began to wonder whether the authors were parodying straight romance. I donít think they were; the writing isnít good enough. And I guess therein lies the main issue that I have with this novel and had with the last one. These are men, for Godís sake! Do we really want to read about men who obsess over candlelight and niceties of food and like being tucked into bed with cosy blankets and being bought flowers? Iíd rather have the brutal but genuine love shown by Jas, the honest, clumsy love of Dakota Taylor.
There may be a good market for this kind of book for all I know. I guess itís just not me when time is limited and there are so many great books out there to read.
This novel is a gay version
of every Mills & Boon/Harlequin novel I ever read (not many) and hated
because the female characters annoyed me so much I wanted to shake them
until they stopped acting like morons and got a life that didn't revolve
around finding Prince Charming to sweep them off their tiny feet.† Though
in this case I wanted the prince to see sense and ditch the would-be princess
cus he's just so irritating.† At 14 I moved on to proper books with role
models and believable characters I'd actually want to spend time with
in real life. People criticise slashers for feminising gay men, well this
novel takes the prize for that!