It’s Not Shakespeare
brings together two completely different men in a testimony to love across the divide. It is told through James’ POV -- he is a college English lit. prof who has been betrayed by love and we find him still licking his wounds three years later. Along comes gorgeous auto mechanic Raphael (Rafi) Ochoa. Did I mention that he’s Latino? So not only do we get two guys with very disparate backgrounds, we get an intercultural/racial romance! I love this, it’s something we don’t often get in m/m romance. Kudos to Lane for that...but...it’s just focused on a bit much with ‘brown fingers, brown-golden skin, glossy black hair, liquid black/brown eyes, etc’. I get it already. Some of the language (James’s internal thoughts, especially) is a bit too sweet and over the top for me too, do guys really talk or think like this? I did love Rafi -- he simply glows off the page! -- and props to the use of Marlowe, James’ pet dog; and Sophie, Rafi’s best friend (and matchmaker) in the plot. They were wonderful and essential additions.
There are Amy Lane books that I enjoy more than others. I always appreciate the solid writing. And I love the sweet romanticism and optimism but sometimes it gets spread on a little too thick for me. While my tastes run towards a little more subtlety, I did appreciate this effort and I will definitely read more from Lane who is an obvious force in the m/m romance genre.