Red Light

Thom Lane
Red Light
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Loose Id
Release Date
February 2011

Jeff is a deliberate loner: he's had his heart broken once, and he won't let it happen again. Ready to rebuild his life, he goes on holiday. Alone. Until he meets Benet -- and finds that the human heart is not so easily controlled.

Unable to resist the siren call of Benet's sweet, beautiful nature, Jeff decides a fling can't hurt, but all he wants is sex and company; anything more just leads inevitably to disappointment and betrayal. But Benet slithers under his guards and breaks all Jeff's new-set rules. Will he obey his brain and stop for the Red Light or will he give in to the heart's impulse and run it?

Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: Male/male sexual practices.

Book Review by aobibliophile (reviewer)
Mar 03, 2011   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
228 people found the following review helpful
How do you really heal the pain of a broken heart? Would you let the wound fester or would you dare salve it and end the suffering?

Jeff has broken up with his boyfriend Tony. He is on a holiday in Marseille, France to get over the memories and start anew. He meets Benet at a cafe and shares a dish of bouillabaisse and a carafe of local wine. He is resolute in taking no more chances and getting into another relationship because for him it never works out in the end anyway. He and Benet spend time together and what started out as a fling leads to something deeper that confuses Jeff. Will he sort out what he really feels for Benet or continue to deny himself?

Thom Lane's novella beautifully reads like a personal travel journal. It is solely told from Jeff's point of view and describes his hurts and angst over the past, the present and the future. I would have wanted to hear Benet's thoughts as well and how he viewed everything from the moment he meets Jeff. This would have provided a balance and a better understanding of the two major protagonists. Nevertheless, as I read along, I realized that it could also have worked, whether from Jeff or Benet's point of view or someone else.

Nevertheless, the author's writing is intelligent and intuitive. He presents Jeff as the quintessential I'm-hurting-so-I'm-afraid-to-love-and-let's-not-take-it-to-the-next-level type, although Jeff's heart screams otherwise. Benet is shown as being cool about everything. Their fling cum romance is like a one step forward, two steps back routine. Everyone around them sees the truth yet Jeff persists to be oblivious to the fact that he is falling in love and that Benet is good for him. The author allowed me to share Jeff's burden for a while and it is only later that I find out how Benet truly feels.

Benet's adopted family also sounds too good to be true but there are people I know who are as welcoming and accepting of others regardless of their sexual orientation, color and creed. Despite the welcome he receives, Jeff still feels like an outsider. He has so many issues that the walls he builds around him for protection are the very ones that trap him.

Readers may or may not be disappointed to know that there are no explicit sexual situations here. They are only too briefly described or implied.

I loved this novella because I find it truthful and poignant. RED LIGHT is about a man's journey from within and without. It is about learning the art of letting go and of healing. It is a reminder that to freely assume is more often than not immature and unproductive. It is about realizing that to close one's heart and building walls is not worth it but to risk falling in love again despite the possibility of getting hurt is.
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