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REVIEW: The Huntsmen 2: Bareback by Amber Green

Dear Ms. Green,

ag_bareback_coverlg.jpgI read and enjoyed the first novel in this Hunstmen world last year. And despite being for the most part paranormaled out, when you mentioned that there would be sequels to come, I was excited. Here’s a world that is radically different from most paranormals out there and one which was fairly well thought out. The fact that it was set during WWII didn’t hurt my appreciation either. When you contacted me with the information that book two was now out and did I want to review it, my immediate response was “OMG sure.” I might even have put an exclamation point in that email reply. Now that I’ve read it, I’m sure I probably should have added one even if I didn’t.

I guess I should also say that I don’t read many M/M romances. I have read some and usually they just don’t do much for me, perhaps because most are more erotica/romantica. Your book feels like a M/M romance to me. Yeah, there’s hot sex but I came away from the story feeling that Joe and Brian are a couple with a HEA. And that we see them as individuals who fall in love instead of just two bodies banging together in an attempt to titillate readers. For sure the younger Brian might have started out willing to enjoy what might come his way and not thinking much further but for Joe, who’s never been in a homosexual relationship, it was a big step. And one which he questioned himself about. Shocked that he allowed himself to gain sexual gratification from a man, he wonders if that means he should begin to enjoy things he thinks of as homosexual-ish. Does he have to start worrying about names of colors? Or begin liking yogurt? Which might seem silly to some but here’s a man undergoing a monumental lifestyle change and you take time to mention it instead of just having him suddenly accept that he might be falling in love with a man. After some note exchanging with Teddy Pig, I think perhaps even what you included might not be enough to be truly believable for gay men but you did make an effort.

Another thing I enjoyed is the ‘guy’ atmosphere of the novel. Joe is a police officer of fifteen years and Brian a paramedic working out of a fire station. The story oozes testosterone because much of it takes place in those locales among characters who rarely bother to temper their speech. Perhaps this is reverse discrimination thinking on my part but these characters sound like men instead of a female romance novelist’s idea of what sounds like men. They also sound like experienced police and firefighters. And if you didn’t spend time interviewing and listening to the real deal then it sure sounds like you did.

One thing I did have trouble with in the first book was the fact that I ended the book with almost as many questions about this world as when I started it. Usually I adore books which don’t info dump the entire world building onto three pages but you deliberately chose to dole out information throughout that story and in some places – I felt – left gaps in our – the readers – knowledge. With this book, I found that it helped me to have read the first book and I wonder if readers new to the Huntsmen world will feel as adrift if they start with this one. You use Joe as a mechanism to slowly explain the world to us, and I felt that a nice way to do it, yet I was left wondering how he could possibly have not known more than he did. I mean some of the things he grew up with are just not normal no matter how you look at them. I think by the end of this book, new readers will probably have a good grasp on this world but they need to be ready to be patient.

The second issue of contention for me comes after I’d finished reading the book and had had a day or so to think about it. As with the first book here come the questions. How did the old-school cops get hooked up with hydes in the first place? Why were they hunting twins? I could see that male twins they grabbed might be huntsmen but then why try and nab Nevada? And as with the first book, despite still having some questions about the plot when I was done, I still had a thoroughly good time reading this story. I hope the huntsmen series has a long way to go and I plan to be in on the next book. B

~Jayne

Avaialable in ebook format

Another long time reader who read romance novels in her teens, then took a long break before started back again about 15 years ago. She enjoys historical romance/fiction best, likes contemporaries, action- adventure and mysteries, will read suspense if there's no TSTL characters and is currently reading very few paranormals.

7 Comments

  1. Chicklet
    Mar 07, 2008 @ 16:27:44

    1. I’m totally gonna buy these ebooks this weekend.

    2. I totally sniggered at the title Bareback. Because my mind resides in the gutter. *g*

  2. Jayne
    Mar 07, 2008 @ 19:13:11

    2. I think your mind is supposed to be in the gutter about the book title. Besides it being a term used for a Huntsman without a brother, that is.

  3. BD
    Mar 09, 2008 @ 15:01:18

    I stayed up all night reading this. Totally a brainfukk I got to page 42 and had to start over. Its on the cover too, the magickal bamboo. Amber greene you have fukt my NickatNite childhood.

  4. Amber Green
    Mar 09, 2008 @ 19:57:15

    Thank you!

    The Dies were shooting in the dark: They got the twin factor but didn’t have a clue that huntsmen only come in the XY variety.

    Right now I’m backtracking to 1984, when Joe’s mother met the Deuce.

  5. Jayne
    Mar 10, 2008 @ 06:45:41

    Oh, cool. The Deuce. Some seriously bad ass boys.

  6. REVIEW: The Huntsmen 2: Backtrack by Amber Green | Dear Author: Romance Book Reviews, Author Interviews, and Commentary
    Jul 14, 2008 @ 15:00:12

    […] I can more easily understand why Joe doesn’t know as much as I would have thought come “Bareback” […]

  7. The Huntsmen 2: Bareback - Amber Green « Ebook Review Index
    Dec 15, 2008 @ 01:27:09

    […] Dear Author […]

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