Monday, September 9, 2013

This Little Whatever by Nicole Forcine 4 Stars

This Little WhateverThis Little Whatever by Nicole Forcine
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Available for purchase at Amazon: This Little Whatever

ISBN-13: 978-1-62798-132-3
Ebook Pages: 270
Cover Artist: Paul Richmond
Published September 6th 2013 by Dreamspinner Press
Edition language English 

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3.5 stars bumped to 4 stars because I want Patch’s story.

In an effort to be very honest and full-disclosure and all of that, Nicole is a friend (we video blog about m/m books together), BUT, BUT, BUT her writing is just delightful. I absolutely enjoy myself, the characters and the story while I’m reading her work.

Within the first few pages I was pretty struck by the in-your-face grit and I could see there wasn’t going to be any holding back. Get ready for a whirlwind ride of sex, drug use and manipulations that feel very true to life. Even if it’s a lifestyle you aren’t familiar with.

Oh, and by the way, I’m putting in my order for Patch’s story right now!

THE CHARACTERS


Yeah, a guy that shakes his ass on stage once a week or more while wearing enough flash to make a cameraman jealous having a low opinion of himself? Who’d’a thunk it? I wasn’t in the mood to talk about it now. It made me feel too raw to drop the bravado.

Jonathan - Rainbow-colored sexual oddball OR manipulated best friend? His dancing grounds him, his family is his tribe and his vices are always knocking at his door.


…this paradox of a man, physically strong, emotionally tender, mentally fragile. I was supposed to be giving him a better memory of the night, not wallowing in my own stupid issues.

Dean - Gorgeous, reclusive, and entirely more layered than I expected. But, how can Dean’s social anxiety match with Jonathan’s flamboyance?

Side characters include Rachel – the bitch worthy of the energy you will expend getting worked up about her. Patch – the sweet, twinky, fireball that just really needs some real, true, love.

THE STORY

On the surface this is a light-hearted, easy going story of a hippie/gypsy dance troupe who floats

The Blurb: Jonathan Mendoza used to live an even crazier life, partying with his tight-knit traveling performance troupe whenever he wasn’t on stage belly dancing. When his sick mother begged him to change his lifestyle, he agreed to try to live sober, but that change is hard. Neither is it easy to stop staring at Dean Winters after he nearly knocks the man over before a performance.

A former recluse, prone to panic attacks after surviving a traumatic accident, Dean isn’t Jonathan’s usual type. Still, Jonathan is irresistibly attracted to him, and decides to cure the itch with a one-night stand. But that night, he’s shaken by Dean’s kindness and consideration—something he’s not used to in a lover or a friend. His best friend, Rachel, who co-owns the troupe with Jonathan, sees Dean as a threat to their friendship and to the troupe—the dream they’ve worked together to build. She reveals a cruel and possessive streak that could do much greater damage on both fronts, and Jonathan realizes he will have to choose between the nomadic life he’s lived and the man who is stealing his heart.

from town to town avoiding responsibility and making sure nothing brings the tribe down. The deeper you go though, there is a lot going on here. Every character, for good or bad, has issues and traumas to deal with.

The unlikely (and I think this is Ms. Forcine’s forte) developing relationship between Jon and Dean is just quirky and charming enough to melt your heart while the freaky, hot sex is steamy in all the right places. Then there’s this wash of tender, adoring care that works it’s way to the surface and just doesn’t let go. By the end of the book I was absolutely needy for Jon and Dean to work it out.

There were a couple areas that seemed to foreshadow and give away a little too much, but then there were other moments that I was struck dumb for not seeing what was coming. Rachel is an absolute horrible monster, this is no secret, but the depth of her deceptions continue to assault me.

Take note: There is a rape element to this story, but it is dealt with in a way that makes it clear how horrible the action is and goes on to deal with the trauma.

THE WRITING

Read Nicole Forcine for her honest-to-goodness unique characters. It’s not like she’s inventing a new species, but rather exploring with writing about characters that aren’t typically developed. In this book we have Jonathan, a male belly-dancer. In her LHNB story, Smoky Glimpses, she wrote about a male fortune-teller. Her characters are vivid, and lively and tend toward living on the fringes of society. Much more interesting for their mystery.

She also has the most interesting mix of fun and serious styles, all mixed together. She is able to delve into some pretty heavy content without bogging the story down. Her writing is readable and real. It’s emotional with both humor and heartbreak.

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I would like to thank Dreamspinner Press and Nicole Forcine for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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