Review of More by Sloan Parker

Wednesday, August 1, 2012 0 comments
Title: More
Author: Sloan Parker
Publisher: Loose ID  
Length: Novel, 245 pages
Rating: 3 stars
Primary Relationship(s): M/M/M
Category or Genre: Drama, romance, contemporary
Does this Review contain spoilers?: It contains some quotes
Did you own this already, or was a review copy provided to you?  Bought with intent to review from the publisher’s webpage.

I'm in trouble. This is the second book I've read with intent to review that is written from a first person point of view. Usually I hate this, but it works quite well here.

The voice of the main-character Luke, and by extension the novel itself, is a bit of prime time soap opera mingled with a touch of Noir-dialogue. Sloan Parker wastes no time introducing us to Luke's life as it currently stands, always on the lookout for people after him, and for easy hook-ups, and what might happen soon.

Parts of the novel threatens to spill into clichés and tropes: Our hero, Luke Moore, only has one night stands, never relationships. His father is a US senator who spends his working hours “stripping away the rights” his son has to fight for. The dialogue is awkward at times with lines like: “You sure can kiss, kid. Those lips and that tongue should come with a warning.” They’d be perfect in a Raymond Chandler book, but it took me awhile to get into the swing of things here.

And the swing of things is a 245 page novel about a trio of men with different pasts, tragedy hinted throughout the novel until the reveal, and the major problem: Luke’s stalkers and the threat of his father. 

And if that's what you expect, it's all good and a very nice ride. The tropes are tropes, and the clichés are clichés, but they work out and push the story forwards.

When the novel begins, we find Luke on the prowl. Luce himself lives a sort of Lisbeth Salander-esque life, in a dismal, empty apartment, and utilising the old trick of scotch-brite under his front door to see if anyone's broken in, security cameras everywhere. His only joy seems to be his frequent hook-ups at Haven, the club where our trio first gets together. 

Not only is Luke Moore lonely, but he’s hiding it beneath a chip-board-stiff upper lip and a very protesting demeanor. He wants only one thing to begin with: a threesome that will let him focus on nothing but the sex and strip himself completely. He's jaded and bitter, and reading, I pictured him with the dress sense of Angelus from Buffy. His only friend seems to be Walter Simon, a former policeman, now working security and of course, helping Luke.
But, as romance stories go, Luke quickly discovers he's found something more than a one-night stand in a naughty club, and the two men, Matthew and Richard begin to chip away at his defenses, bringing with them proper couches, loud music, and dinners around the kitchen table (any sex-hungry one-night-stander's true wet dream!).

I really rather like how their relationship developed, and the differences between the three characters.

Matthew, Luke’s first conquest for his night of debauchery, is the youngest, the happy-go-lucky kid who loves sex but who’s had some hits and misses. He has "dark flashing eyes", but it’s hinted from the start that he’s also got a past that might not be so happy as it appears.

Richard is the oldest. He's the man with "a body that makes the rest of" the men in the club "look like they're at play in the schoolyard". The oldest, and strongest, with a nice apartment and good job, it's Richard who takes the leap from occasional hook-ups at the club to the offer of something more. It’s also Richard who serves as the keel of the relationship when Luke, and on occasion Matthew, freak out and want to run away. And of course, when the shit hits the fan.

For a moment as I was reading I was reminded of the tale of the three bears: Too big, too small, just perfect. In a way, there's something for everyone in this story. There's even a mentor in Walter, the wizened old patron of the club who offers Luke sage advice and makes him question his choices.

The relationship between the men is instantaneous. They don't immediately slot into their roles, but it's easy to see which way they're headed. There's never really any question if they'll get together, only how soon (after all, they've already gotten to know each other quite intimately by the end of Chapter one!) and if they’ll stick together. Threats loom, in the shape of Luke’s past, and as the three men get closer, the threat grows larger. 

It’s a nice build-up and kept me reading and wondering what would happen next, what lay behind these people’s motivations, what are their pasts, all the way to the inevitable conclusion.

But what about the sex, you say?

As the name More implies there is A Lot of sex in this book. There are three very hot men, of different build and size, different tastes and wants. There's self-gratification, threesomes, two-somes, flashbacks to a lover no longer in the picture, kisses - many, many kisses - between lovers and plenty of orgasms. The sex varies. If you like wham-bam-thank you ma'am kind of style writing, the sex is probably something you'll enjoy. Mixed in are quieter and more tender moments and this is when the writing shines. 

Needless to say, the sex does not disappoint.

The minor quibble I had with the book was the lack of showing. There’s a lot of telling, Richard did this, I felt that, we went there, I saw this, instead of Luke’s feelings. There is plenty of clichéd dialogue and a lot of descriptions of "the smaller man", "the younger man", as well as the constant use of Kid, instead of Matthew. 

Even so, More offers up gems like: "Your mouth is a fantastic way to start the day,” and that’s all I really need.

More gets 3 out of 5 stars.

Review by Madison Reese, M/M writer and reader, non-fiction nut. (Blog | Twitter | Goodreads)


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