Mar 6 2010
Dear Ms. Green,
In a way “Steal Away” is a major departure from the previous books of yours I’ve read. Yet in others, it’s very similar. Here there’s no paranormal element, at least not that I noticed. But you reprise the use of two men and one woman as the main characters around whom the drama unfolds. As well, there is an immediacy to the story that makes me feel that I’m there, right there, with the characters.
During Prohibition, Twilight Amery has dreams that she refuses to let die. She’s going to escape rural Alabama and get to Harlem where a young woman with a voice can sing at the Cotton Club. But even after years of scraping by, she doesn’t have enough money for a train ticket. So, dodging Pinkerton men, she hops a northbound train and encounters two very different men. Courtly Hector with his deep, booming voice and Daniel Stone, who is initially as hard as his name, are unlike any men she’s ever met with a relationship unlike any she’s seen. Together they’ll backtrack across the South then end up in an Atlanta whorehouse where they pick up a deadly foe before finally reaching Harlem. But once there, will Twi achieve her dream, will the three of them work out their relationship and can they escape a deadly enemy determined to track them down?
The sex is hawt but it doesn’t overpower the story nor is it included in inappropriate places. I don’t usually care for or read menage books but you’re one of the few authors who can entice me to do just that. Yet this one has a twist from your usual m/m/f books in that there is a bisexual character, Hector, who has relationships with both a man, Stone, and a woman, Twi and often in the same bed while the other character watches. Okay, so add voyeurism onto the list of things I don’t generally read but which I will from you. And doesn’t that sentence sound strange?
When I read your novels – I’m there. I feel surrounded by the atmosphere you create and immersed in the action. This is something I look forward to in your novels and you don’t disappoint. I can feel the tension as Twi waits to jump a train, the heat in the upstairs room of Miss Beu’s house, the tenderness with which Hector removes Twi’s face paint, the nonstop action on the streets of Harlem. The period detail is wonderful and I never once thought I was reading 21st century characters in Prohibition era clothing.
At Loose-Id this is listed as a novel length story but it’s shorter than the usual Harlequin category novel by my ereader page count. So I wasn’t too surprised when the final conflict was resolved mostly off page. I was bummed that some of what happened isn’t explained at all – how did the injuries occur? how was the rescue carried out? how was the escape made? will there ever be a resolution or will these three really have to watch their backs from here on? But, on the other hand, I like the open ending of the relationship of Stone, Hector and Twi.
An unusual setting, coupled with three dimensional characters, mixed with hot sex makes me happy you offered me the chance to read this novel. Since you took such care with the action throughout most of the book, I was sorry that the ending seemed slightly truncated but overall it’s still a B read for me.