Dana reviews In the Flesh (Flesh #1) by Ethan Stone (Published by DSP Publications, April 7, 2015, 280 pages)
When writing a book, one big issue to consider is who your characters have sex with. In romance, some readers feel that the main characters should only have sex with each other. If you’ve read my books, you know I don’t agree, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think long and hard before I write a sex scene between a main character and a supporting character.
In In the Flesh before Cristian commits to Colby he messes around with a couple other guys, one of whom ends up dead. Obviously, that’s a big part of the plot, without it there wouldn’t be a story. However, he also sleeps with Gabe, a supporting character who later becomes his best friend. What happens between Cristian and Gabe not only kick-starts their friendship but also reveals some of Cristian’s personality.
In fact, Cristian’s prolific sex life before Colby is a huge part of who he is. He sleeps around and isn’t ashamed of it. Of course that all changes when he meets Colby.
If a main character has sex with someone other than his love interest, it should have a point beyond just titillation. Every scene should move the plot forward, even sex scenes. Naughtiness that doesn’t matter can stall the story, and that can make a reader put the book down.
Title: In the Flesh
Series: Flesh Book 1
Author: Ethan Stone
Publisher: DSP Publications
Date: 7 April 2015
Edition: Second (re-edited and new cover art)
Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Gay Fiction
A Flesh novel
Reno Detective Cristian Flesh is an out and unashamed cop, but his slutty ways might be his downfall. Cristian lives by a strict set of personal rules, preferring hook-ups and anonymous encounters to committed relationships. His guidelines work for him… until one of his tricks is murdered and he becomes the prime suspect.
Leave it to handsome lawyer Colby Maddox to save Cristian’s life. He takes the case and the attraction between them is quick and undeniable. After several passion-filled encounters with Colby, Cristian unexpectedly wants to break all his rules. However, before they can contemplate a future together, they’ll have to clear Cristian’s name and find the real murderer.
Ever since I was in high school (oh so long ago) I have been a fan of romances. YA, Paranormal, Contemporary, Historical, you name it, if there was a love story in it, I read it. The amount of mysteries I read before I started reading m/m romance and gay fiction was zero. Now I devour the mysteries of the m/m romance and gay fiction genre. Though this book is classified as gay fiction, there is enough of a romantic connection between the main character, Cristian and his lawyer Colby that this book completely satisfies all my wants in a book.
Cristian is definitely the main character. He is a detective for the Reno P.D. He and his partner are called to investigate the attempted murder of a really well known evangelist in the area, known for preaching against the sins of homosexuality. Only the evangelist does not practice what he preaches. Cristian has seen an entirely different side of the preacher but tries to investigate the case to his best ability. Unfortunately too many people are lying, and some cops are too dirty to get too far. When Cristian gets too close to a suspect, all hell breaks loose. He becomes a suspect instead of the investigator.
I really loved the story line. Though I had a good idea of whodunnit early on, watching Cristian sort through the facts of the case in order to clear his own name along with his tall dark and handsome lawyer, was interesting. I liked seeing Cristian who normally went in for casual sex fall for Colby as well. I was a little confused about the demands that Cristian put on Colby considering the request he had regarding their relationship.
Cristian, himself is a very intriguing character. As he moves through the story especially in the relationship with Colby, we learn a few tidbits about his past and why he had always preferred to keep everything casual. Tidbits. Not enough to give the reader anything concrete, but enough that I felt I needed to know what happened to him pronto. I’m sure there will be more revealed as the story goes on. Between the mystery that serves as the plot line of the story and the mystery that is Cristian himself, I will definitely be reading more of this series, and more from this author in general.
Ethan Stone is an out and proud gay man. Which is fairly new in his life, the out part, not the gay part. He’s been queer his whole life, though he tried to deny it for years with a wonderful woman. The years in denial weren’t all bad, he has two amazing kids out of it. His son is a teenager and his daughter has made him a grandfather, three times over. A way too young grandfather.
Ethan has returned to Oregon after almost a decade in Nevada. He no longer has a day job and is doing his best to make a living at this writing thing. If he can’t make a living, he at least wants to support his Mt. Dew and beef jerky addictions.
Readers can find Ethan online.
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