Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

REVIEW: Seeing You by Dakota Flint

Dear Ms. Flint.

Seeing YouOne day I’ll read something that’s not a novella, right? One day I’ll have the mental energy for it. Until I do, I’m glutting on novellas and (mostly) really enjoying them. Quick enough for a satisfying read, not too long that I stress about not having time to read.

Dylan’s sister calls him up and asks him to come back home to the ranch in Montana. He’s been running for 14 months from the grief of losing his (adopted) brother in a car accident while he walked away unscathed. And he’s been running from his feelings for his brother’s lover, Wade. Wade owns the ranch that Dylan works on (I never really figured out who owned what, when, and why Dylan worked there, but it didn’t really matter, I don’t think) but he’s given up in his own grief and is letting it go to hell. In a short 50 pages or so, these two men both come out of their grief and find each other.

More than anything else, this story is about the loss of Simon and how both Dylan and Wade have to give themselves permission and time to get over it, to find their way to the other side, to find happiness and contentment and joy again. It felt incredibly poignant to me, very true to life and what I know of grief (although I’ve not yet lost anyone close to me ::touchwood::). And you give them enough time to do that. They don’t get it on as soon as Dylan shows up and everything’s hunky-dorey. They work through their issues over months, which makes me trust it.

The one thing that made me question it, though, was that the story is first person POV from Dylan’s perspective. And while I could feel Wade’s wrenching grief and got the impression that his feelings for Dylan were as deeply felt as Dylan’s for him, the men didn’t discuss their feelings for each other at all. They had some heart-to-heart talks about Simon and how and why each other them was running from his death, but they never talked about their own relationship except to say that they weren’t going to talk about it at various points. And while the ending was satisfying and felt real, I would have liked an opportunity to figure out when and how and why Wade wanted a relationship with his dead lover’s brother.

Conversely, while I (somewhat perversely) trusted in Wade’s commitment to the relationship, I didn’t trust Dylan not to go running again, either physically or emotionally, the next time something was difficult. Because that was what he kept doing all the way through the book, avoiding Wade when he didn’t understand what was going on. Hopefully they’ll both learn a little more communication skills, but I couldn’t count on it.

That aside, this story was angsty but with reason and purpose. It was a satisfying and heart-warming glimpse into a devastating time in the lives of two men and how they got over it. The relationship was almost a bonus to the beautifully-done story of loss and recovery. So don’t look for the romance so much as just the human interaction.

Grade: B-

Best regards,
-Joan/Sarah F.

This book can be purchased from Samhain.

Sarah F. is a literary critic, a college professor, and an avid reader of romance -- and is thrilled that these are no longer mutually exclusive. Her academic specialization is Romantic-era British women novelists, especially Jane Austen, but she is contributing to the exciting re-visioning of academic criticism of popular romance fiction. Sarah is a contributor to the academic blog about romance, Teach Me Tonight, the winner of the 2008-2009 RWA Academic Research Grant, and the founder and President of the International Association of the Study of Popular Romance (IASPR). Sarah mainly reviews BDSM romance and gay male romance and hopes to be able to beat her TBR pile into submission when she has time to think. Sarah teaches at Fayetteville State University, NC.

4 Comments

  1. Tweets that mention REVIEW: Seeing You by Dakota Flint | Dear Author: Romance Novel Reviews, Industry News, and Commentary -- Topsy.com
    Jan 20, 2010 @ 17:55:34

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Erotic Romance, dearauthor. dearauthor said: New post: REVIEW: Seeing You by Dakota Flint http://bit.ly/5sru9M […]

  2. Linda Rader
    Jan 20, 2010 @ 18:56:52

    Good review. Told me a lot about a quick read. Thanks.

  3. allison
    Jan 21, 2010 @ 13:08:50

    I just finished this book the other night and I have to agree with you on this review completely. Well-written, the characters are well-flushed out but, dude, talk to one another about your relationship! That’s the only complaint I had. I found the length worked perfectly as the author concentrated on the show not tell with the obvious ease and unease they had between them historically without going into pages and pages of backstory.

    I enjoyed this book very much.

  4. Here, there, and everywhere… | Dakota Flint
    Feb 04, 2010 @ 19:35:43

    […] Joan/Sarah F. from Dear Author also reviewed Seeing You (I was completely flabbergasted that it had even been reviewed on such a popular site). She gave it a B- and thought it was a "beautifully-done story of loss and recovery." You can read the rest of the review here. […]

%d bloggers like this: