Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Wine Is Missing a Backbone

I love the premise of Syrah, a gay romance in which the owner of a wine store and a restaurant manager get together.  And the cover to the novel is lovely.  I just wish a reader didn't have to go through page after page of the manager acting like a scared kid who was willing to knuckle under to abuse for no good reason.

Romances, at least for me, are about strength and courage.  Doesn't it take both for people to unwrap their hearts and put them in their hands for someone else?  When someone says, "I love you," isn't the person taking a leap of faith that the recipient of the declaration won't stomp all over the heart and fling to back to the declarer?

So reading a romance in which one of the protagonists refuses to stand up for himself when it's within his power to do so is off-putting for me.  I understand if the protagonist has undergone years of abuse and needs a hand getting out from under that abuse.  But when the protagonist is an adult male who knows he's being offered verbal abuse and does nothing to change his life (get away from the abuser) and then ignores the help of his friends and potential lover, then my sympathies wane.

Syrah had so much potential.  In fact I haven't seen any other gay romances set around the wine world.  I just wish the book's protagonist lived up to its heady promise.

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