Friday, August 18, 2017

Review: Dear Mona Lisa… by Claire Davis and Al Stewart

dear mona lisaTitle ~ Dear Mona Lisa…

Author ~ Claire Davis and Al Stewart

Published ~ 12th August 2017

Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance, Gay Fiction





Tom, shy office clerk by day and drawer of foxes by night wakes up one Monday knowing the most extraordinary week of his life is about to begin. In five days time a lifelong ‘secret’ will be made gloriously public—but will it mean losing the person he loves most?
Getting married…
It seems like only yesterday Tom changed nappies and sang nursery rhymes to a laughing baby. He relishes the demands of being a daddy; especially teaching his little girl to draw and paint as she grows up.
But the years tick by and times change. Long-buried secrets must come to the surface which may test even the strongest ties.
Tom and Lawrence…
He writes a list of all the things he has to do before the weekend and sticks it in the middle of his wall. The names and goals hang like threads of a spider’s web, inevitably leading to the centre, and all to the same place.
Dear Mona Lisa…
How to explain?
Each morning he notes the colours of dawn, listens to the birds and waits for the perfect moment. In one hand rests the balance of life and a terrible responsibility, in the other a wedding ring. Difficult days and the past loom, but his friends rally round and one by one the words come to life.
Everyone waits as Tom finds the strength to open up and set free the secrets of his heart in a celebration of family, friendship and love.
A quirky story of modern life, set within the breathtaking landscape of Bradford.


Debra’s Review

The cover was the first thing to grab my eye on this story. I had to know more about the man in the fox mask. Now that I do, I have to wonder how this writing duo has escaped my TBR in the years I’ve been reading in the genre.

Tom works an average office job. He is artistic, drawing foxes and seeing the colors all around him. It took me a bit to catch on, but Tom has synesthesia. Every day he sees the colors at dawn that reveal the mood of the day to come. He sees colors around the people in his life too. As he packs up his house and makes final preparations for his wedding to Loz he makes his lists of important things that need to be done. The most important thing is the hardest, telling his beloved daughter about him and Loz. The story unfolds from here, revisiting the past and moving towards the future. I don’t want to say anything more about the story as you need to read it as it unfolds for the biggest impact.

I could call this a later in life coming out story, but there is so much more to it. There are definitely romantic aspects, Tom and Loz are days from getting married, but it’s Tom building up the courage to talk to his daughter that drives the story. His beloved fiancé Loz is an integral part of this. Loz is a perfect, caring, understanding partner to Tom. Loz knows his husband-to-be inside and out and is Tom’s strength when he needs it.

The story sneaks up on you. Each day spent with Tom reveals a little more about why this conversation is so difficult and scary. Along the way we are introduced not just to Loz, but to Tom’s friends and co-workers Jenny and Hikmat, his ex-wife Kathy, Tom’s mother, and the light of his life, his daughter Lou. All of these people have their part to play in Tom making his way to the altar.

So well written, Claire Davis and Al Stewart packed a lot into less than 100 pages. It’s full of beautiful imagery, heartbreaking stories, touching memories, humor, romance, friendship and a whole lot of love. I think most readers will be hard pressed not to both shed a tear, either happy or sad, and break out into a smile at least once at some point during this story. I’m so glad I discovered these authors and I can’t wait to work my way through the rest of their catalog.

Purchase Link



Connect with the Authors 

Claire Davis lives in the beautiful UK. She works full time and reads whenever she gets a spare five minutes.

Al Stewart - Originally from an enormous housing estate in the south of England.
Early influences include male ballet dancers or anyone in tights, Robin Hood, and all my sister's boyfriends.
Have written poetry from a young age but fairly recently moved on to books about ordinary people.
I'm crippling awful at talking about myself but can draw a horse.

Claire Davis and Al Stewart write about people who are not perfect. Their work is there for a fusion of dark and good, mixed often with kink and humour.



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