Sunday, July 10, 2011

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥: Lorcan's Desire by SJD Peterson

Lorcan's Desire (Whispering Pines Ranch #1)
SJD Peterson

Release Date: May 30th, 2011
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Page Count: 184
Source: Complimentary copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review (thank you!)

Despite the loving support of his family, Lorcan James wants to try life on his own, so at twenty-one, he finds himself walking halfway across the country in search of adventure. What he finds is desperation, desperation that leads him straight to Whispering Pine Ranch and right into the path of its strong, arrogant, gorgeous owner, who awakens something in Lorcan he didn't even know existed.

Quinn Taylor is up to his neck in grief and frustration dealing with a neighboring rancher who wants nothing more than to see him go belly-up. He doesn't need more complications, but from the moment he lays eyes on Lorcan, his world turns upside down. Despite finding in Quinn what his heart craves, Lorcan refuses to be Quinn's dirty little secret—and Quinn isn't the only one vying for Lorcan's attention. Ranch hand Jess will happily declare his love for Lorcan to the world, something Quinn won't offer—something Lorcan needs above all else.
What Stephanie Thinks: Burning passion, yet also skeptic true love, scathe the pages of Lorcan's Desire. Quinn is everything Lorcan wants—handsome, brooding, salacious—and he can tell Quinn wants him too (telltale signs of male body language, hello!) but his moodiness expresses otherwise. Lorcan has done everything to be kind, helpful, and sometimes even flirty around the strong cowboy who has taken him in and offered him a generous ranch job, but he's not exactly getting friendliness in return.

While Lorcan wants to have a public relationship with Quinn, Quinn is afraid of coming out of the closet, from old, nostalgic fears of his past that have to do with gay bashing. He knows his revelation will taunt him, and it may even make him lose his ranch.

There's lots of sexual frustration in this gay romance novel, but I can't say I feel any chemistry between any of the characters. Yes, some of the things lovers whisper to each other in the dark make my heart squeeze, and some of the sex scenes are fiery hot, but I just don't feel that zing I should feel between characters who are attracted to each other. This applies to both Quinn and Lorcan, and Jess and Lorcan: the two main relationships this book centers around.

To put it pleasantly, Peterson writes aggressively. The plot is aggressive, the characters aggressive, the sex aggressive. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I like to save intensity for necessary moments, rather than throwing it around every other approach. The straightforwardness of the story also makes for profound emotion, rawness, and haste because of the fast pace.

In the end though, the indispensable message Lorcan's desires reveals, is that love should be uninhibited, not restricted by society's expectations and standards. I felt lots of frustration myself, while reading about Quinn's inability to truly express his love for Lorcan. It was like I know the love is there—Quinn knows the love is there—he just refuses to display it because he fears what others will think of him for being gay. As a believer of true love, no matter what the gender, race, age (except pedophilia; ick), and religion, I totally sympathize with Lorcan's heartbreak about the man who will forever be unavailable. The ending is extremely dissatisfying; it's one of those tragic conclusions where one lover has a happily ever after, while the other doesn't. Very depressing. It shows what results from following the rules at the expense of following the heart, and makes me never, ever wish that sort of decision on anyone.

Stephanie Loves: "Sometimes being in love hurts. Hiding it or denying it causes the greatest hurt of all." — Pretty much sums up the most important part of this book!

Radical Rating: 7 hearts: Not without flaws, but overall enjoyable. ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥