Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Review: High Lonesome by Tanya Chris

high lonesomeTitle ~ High Lonesome

Author ~ Tanya Chris

Published ~ 3rd April 2018

Genre ~ Contemporary M/M/M Romance, Thriller/Suspense, Ménage





Joe doesn’t live on top of a mountain because he loves people. A late summer snowstorm is the perfect chance to send his customers down to lower altitude and enjoy a few days of solo strolls and fireside naps.
Tanner’s not staying at a high-altitude hut to admire the scenery. He’s got a date to keep with the sort of person you don’t want to disappoint, a date that’ll result in him earning some much-needed cash in exchange for what’s left of his self-respect. But that’s OK. He gave up on self-respect when he picked up the needle anyway.
Pyotr didn’t drop into a blizzard to rescue Tanner or to drag Joe back down to the real world. His mission is a lot colder than that. People are only pawns, and spies are only heroes to those who don’t know them.
Hermit, addict, spy. Three men, one snowstorm, zero reason to trust. And someone’s coming …
Content warning: this book contains on-page heroin use and detox. A brief argument follows the reveal of a character’s HIV status.


Cheryl’s Review

I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. To be honest, I think I expected too much from it. It’s a romance, pure and simple, and on that score it definitely delivers.

I’d thought that with one of the main characters being a heroin addict, one a recovering addict and the third a spy there would be more depth. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying the book is shallow by any means. The author took a risk in dealing with dark topics in a romance novel. She’s obviously done her homework and I applaud her for it. She give us a realistic glimpse at the dirty and bleak realities of being an addict, present and recovering. She show us that no matter how long you’ve been clean, once and addict you’re always an addict, just one who’s better at resisting the pull.

The spying is a different matter and it doesn’t seem “real”. For me, all the tension in the book centred around Tanner and his addiction. The spying was something very much peripheral and when it blew up I was disappointed. The way things played out at the cabin and afterwards left me out in the cold, having to suspend my disbelief a little too much. That being said, this is a romance novel, not a spy/mystery novel, so I figure I probably got more than could have from a purely romance perspective.

Another thing I didn’t like was how quickly and completely the sex and relationships took off. It was all just a little bit too neat. But again…romance novel. Every genre has certain demands. In romance it’s sex, love and a happy ending. This book delivered on all of those, big time. It also has extremely engaging characters. Even Tanner, the hopeless drug addict is adorable and I shared the urge to bundle him up in a blanket and cuddle him until everything was okay.

There was a degree of character development, which was necessarily limited given the entire book took place over the space of a few days, and each character had a rounded back story and raison d’etre. I found myself being interested in them, what they thought, did, wanted and were about to face, although I have to admit never really completely warming to Pyotr.

Overall, this was a very satisfying book. I think it tried to do too much in a too-restrictive genre, but on the whole it worked well – except for really picky angst-addicts like me. There’s a bit of everything, for everyone. Sex, romance, gritty realism, a grumpy bear, a lost boy, Russian spies, helicopters and even some bits of sage advice for anyone who feels like trekking mountains in snow. Not that I’m ever going to need that.

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