The Phoenix — review by Bethann Korsmit
FICTION and GLBT Fiction and Gay Romance and Historical Fiction and Theatre Fiction gay love story, Gay Romance, GLBT Fiction, Historical Fiction, Theatre Fiction ruthsims
Bethann Korsmit blog:

As someone who is not a fan of historical fiction, I’ll be the first to say that I’m glad that I put aside my dislike for the genre, and read The Phoenix. This was one of the best love stories that I’ve read in a long time.

The Phoenix is a complex love story between Kit St. Denys, the rich, artistic actor with a troubled past, and Nick Stuart, the chaste, conservative, religious physician. Kit St. Denys, born Jack Rourke, and twin to Michael, flees his brutally abusive father after his father kills Michael. Dirt poor, injured and frightened out of his wits, the teenaged Jack escapes to the local theatre where he works and encounters his friend, Lizbet. Lizbet takes him to stay with her wealthy cousin, Xavier St. Denys. It is there, with Xavier, that Jack Rourke rises like the Phoenix and becomes Kit St. Denys. As he enters manhood, handsome, amiable and rich, he encounters the Puritanical Nick Stuart, who grew up in an extremely oppressive religious household. There is an instant attraction, and the two begin an intimate, but forbidden, love affair. Nick is the only man who can keep Kit’s nightmares about his troubled past at bay. The big problem that Kit battles in his love for Nick is his unwillingness to share Nick with God. Misunderstandings and hurt feelings abound, and the “couple” go their separate ways, only to find one another later in New York, with Nick married with a baby on the way.

The hellish nightmares continue to haunt Kit, culminating with a bloody battle with his past. Will Nick be able to save the love of his life from himself? Will Kit ever be able to bury his troubled past? Will Nick’s wife see through his façade and realize that Nick and Kit are in love? A roller coaster ride of emotions ensues, and multiple lives will never be the same. Not until the last chapter will you find out if the Phoenix rises yet again.

The Phoenix is a well-constructed love story with a solid plot. The main characters are so well-defined that you will get a clear, indelible picture of both Kit and Nick, and the minor characters advance the plot exceptionally well. The author did an excellent job of weaving a tightly knit plot and bringing everything to a final resolution.

From the first page to the last paragraph, I was hooked on this novel. I wasn’t exactly a fan of Kit’s until he faced his demons in New York, but after that he had me in his corner. I lost a few hours sleep reading this book because I didn’t want to put it down, but it was well worth it. Definitely one of the better books I’ve read this year. I give The Phoenix my highest recommendation

BETHANN KORSMIT reviews… Orientation by Rick R. Reed
FICTION and Fantasy gay, lesbian, Mystery, reincarnation

Title: Orientation
Author: Rick R. Reed
Publisher: Amber Quill Press, LLC
ISBN: 978-1602729377
Genre: Paranormal, Gay

Orientation is the first book that I have read that involves love,
reincarnation and a murder plot. It is about falling in love with someone
without the presence of passion and physical love. Being truly loved, even without the romance and passion, can transcend the need for physical love between two people. The love between Robert, the gay, aging, sugar-daddy, millionaire heir with a distaste for confrontation, and Jess, the young, artistic, twentysomething lesbian is both deep and meaningful. They fill a void in each other that no one else can.

Robert and Jess knew from the moment that they met that some guiding force had pushed the two together. Could the guiding force be Keith, Robert’s deceased lover who succumbed to AIDS in the early days of the disease? The timing is also very significant. Was Robert sent to save Jess, or was Jess sent to save Robert?

Christmas plays a big part in the story, with most of the action occurring
on three separate Christmas holidays – 24 years apart. One Christmas holiday is very tragic and heartbreaking, another is potentially fatal, while yet another makes one believe in the magic of the holidays.

I thought this book was magnificent and very poignant. I’m not one who goes for the supernatural or who believes in reincarnation, but I was thoroughly impressed by the way in which the author made it work, and dare I say (within the confines of this book) it was believable. Orientation is definitely a roller coaster ride of emotions from the first page to the last. If you enjoy a good love story, mixed with a fair share of angst, go ahead and buy this book. You won’t be disappointed.