Author: F.E. Feeley Jr
Publication Date: March 27, 2019
Length: 136 pages
Reviewed by Sammy
Life after college is not what Aaron expected. Isn’t he supposed to have what he wants to do figured out by now? David never expected his marriage to be rocky, let alone about to end. How is he supposed to move on from this? December in Detroit is normally unforgiving, but an unexpected blizzard puts David and Aaron on a course toward each other. Despite the frozen ground and battleship gray sky, these men find heat together. It’s intimate and illicit, stretching what was supposed to be a one night stand into something more. Sometimes the touch of a stranger, however forbidden, is just what we need when we enter the gray.
While the author, F.E. Feeley Jr. says this is his first foray into the world of erotica, I would caution readers who may not always be a fan of that genre to be careful not to dismiss this as just a sexy time kind of novel. For me, Into the Gray was so much more—it is a beautiful story highlighting the hurt/comfort trope with a solid promise of a second chance at a love that brings happiness and comfort rather than pain and disillusionment. Aaron and David are two wounded men—both escaping a love that was hurtful and filled with lies. In David’s case it was his own inability to be truthful to himself about who he really was and the years of a wasted marriage trying to be something different. His lie would harm both himself and the girl he did indeed care for and nearly destroy the friendship they once had. For Aaron the need to distance himself from a man he loved in order to keep his own sanity intact meant turning his back on his lover when the man hit rock bottom. Both Aaron and David are at a crossroads in their lives, unhappy, unsettled and not really sure what to do about it. Then they find each other and what begins as a one night stand turns into so much more.
This is not the first novel I have read by this author and each time I experience one of his stories I am struck afresh by the authenticity of his voice, the depth of his characters and the honesty of their journey. There is no wasted time spent on detailing empty sexual encounters or tired old conflicts that are meant to induce angst; instead there is a tightly woven story that reveals where his men have been and where they long to be. Feeley’s descriptive prose and intelligent dialogue is reminiscent of beautiful poetry as he paints pictures with his carefully placed words that draw one into the fabric of the story. This was a lovely romance with just enough heat to make it erotic but not erotica. The distinction here is the author choosing to put the story of Aaron and David first and their sexual encounters second and it works beautifully.
If I had any complaints about this novel it was that it was just too short. I want more of Aaron and David’s story. I want to understand how their past experiences brought them to such a painful present. I want to see more of their life together and travel with them as they become a couple. These two men are just on the cusp of a future together and I would love to see some of that played out in a second novel. Suffice it to say that for now I can only recommend this story to any who enjoy reading about hurting souls who step out of the darkness and find the light in another’s arms.
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