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REVIEW: Be Mine – Alexandra Caluen

Be Mine - Alexandra Caluen - L.A. Stories

Genre: Contemporary

LGBTQ+ Category: Gay

Reviewer: Tony

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About The Book

A hurt/comfort M/M romance novel about truth and consequences.

Valentine Gale knew he was difficult. Too many years of not only hiding his emotions, but refusing to admit he had them. He thought his future would look a lot like his present. Then he met the new science teacher Christopher Parsons.

Kit had been trying to find a moment to talk to the language-arts teacher for months. When the guy started that conversation at the academy’s year-end party, Kit was delighted. It turned out they had a lot in common. Including the way they liked to kiss.

A few months later, Val and Kit were still tiptoeing around the truth of what they’d become to each other. Then Kit disappeared from a donor event, and suddenly Val couldn’t hide from it anymore.

Content alert: this novel deals with recovery from sexual assault. Adult situations, themes, and language; 63,000 words and a happy ending.

The Review

‘Be Mine’ is Kit’s and Val’s story. The two guys teach at an academy and are in the early stages of building a relationship.

Kit is falling in love at speed, while Val is just being a dick and making snide comments. That’s his usual approach to a relationship, get in first with the bitterness, don’t be the one who is dumped.

What Val should be doing is looking after Kit, watching out for him, not making unnecessary, unkind and untrue comments and then deserting him. He finds out how badly he has let Kit down when days later, he discovers Kit had been drugged, raped, beaten and dumped on the side of a road. 

We get to read Val’s blog entries and find out that he has fallen in love with Kit but does not feel worthy of him. Val really needs to make amends. if Kit will let him. Those blogs are winners.

The story also follows the police investigation to uncover evidence to convict the rapist. Detective Bill Littlefield is in charge. and is not going to let it go until he can ensure the assailant is locked up. 

The love story is great, and the police investigation is suitably convoluted and intriguing. Val starts off from a low point, and makes every effort to clamber back into Kit’s light. In doing so he becomes a hero, that nice guy who deserves Kit’s love.

This is a wonderful piece of writing.

The Reviewer

Tony is an Englishman living amongst the Welsh and the Other Folk in the mountains of Wales. He lives with his partner of thirty-six years, four dogs, two ponies, various birds, and his bees. He is a retired lecturer and a writer of no renown but that doesn’t stop him enjoying what he used to think of as ‘sensible’ fantasy and sf. He’s surprised to find that if the story is well written and has likeable characters undergoing the trails of life, i.e. falling in love, falling out of love, having a bit of nooky (but not all the time), fending off foes, aliens and monsters, etc., he’ll be happy as a sandperson who has just offloaded a wagon of sand at the going market price. As long as there’s a story, he’s in. He aims to write fair and honest reviews. If he finds he is not the target reader he’ll move on. 

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