The Wine-Dark Sea by A.J. Llewellyn

Story: 9.5
Presentation: 9.5
Total: 19
Publisher: Ellora's Cave
m/m contemporary

Blurb: Daniel is an elegant chair…

He’s a handsome Englishman. A successful writer living in Paris, writing guidebooks that help people discover the secret delights of the city and country he loves. As for discovering the secrets to navigating the treacherous Paris social scene, Daniel himself relies on a book, which imparts some unusual advice—be an elegant chair, seen and not heard. And he’s getting a lot of practice. His last lover, Alain, is undergoing a tremendous transformation that he didn’t confide in Daniel. His current lover, Francois, is a celebrated artist, as arrogant as he is amorous. Their needs and dramas overshadow everything, including Daniel.

He is a very elegant chair…

Against a backdrop of the world’s most romantic city, between rounds of sizzling sex and sensational betrayal, Alain and Francois teach Daniel about passion and pain, loss and lust, gentle humor and poignant heartache.

It will take someone else, someone unexpected, to teach him about love.

Review: From the opening paragraphs, I knew I was reading something special. Vivid descriptions perfectly depicted the life of a Parisian. The scents, sounds and sights. I breathed in France and felt the romance of the city.

But the story was so much more than a great setting. Daniel is a character that will stay with me for some time to come. His life was a struggle to find balance. Work and relationship. Loving someone and being loved. I ached with him. I wanted so much more for him than he was willing to settle for. Even when betrayed, even though in his gut he knew he didn’t have in a partner what he deserved, he still tried to give to others what he wanted for himself. He deserved better men the ones he’d had. He loved completely and the story, The Wine-Dark Sea was his journey to discovering he needed loved with equal ferocity.

After pages of turbulent, gut-wrenching story—good, bad, sexy, emotional, erotic—I was ready to see Daniel risk for what he wanted. The ending is outstanding. Nothing was missing, nothing was left unanswered. The story isn’t just a romance (the romance manifests itself at the end of the story, but you feel it building throughout). At times the story is edgy and erotic, and others sensual and emotional.

The story has depth and layers not typical in erotic romance. The sex wasn’t always long drawn out passages, but more often, it was the desire behind the act that caused the heat in my chest and the flutter in my belly.


Belle Scarlett said...

I agree, this book is something quite special. AJ Llewellyn's got a remarkable voice on the page.

AJ said...

Thank you so much for this incredible review. I am so stoked!

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