Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Love Rules by Mark Abramson

Reviewer: Bob Lind, Echo Magazine
Publisher: Lethe Press, May 2013
Pages: 250

In this, the seventh book in Abramson's "Beach Reading" series, the gang is in a period of transition. Artie and his lover Arturo are taking a leave from their Castro restaurant, for Artie's comeback singing tour. Aunt Ruth is back behind the bar, helping to keep an eye on things while they are gone, although she would much rather be spending leisure evenings with her still husband. And everyone in the Castro is buzzing about a daring series of armed robberies, by a duo who seems to be very good at what they do.

Ruth's nephew, and the restaurant's most popular waiter, Tim is missing his boyfriend, Nick, who is away in Europe, assisting his grandmother on a book tour, and thinking they should have had a talk about monogamy before he left. Even Tim's usual clairvoyant dreams seem to be sidetracked by his libido, with the exception of rather disturbing flashes about a plane crash. Tim's erotic temptations fight daily with the potential guilt of his actions, and he can't help but wonder if Nick feels the same way, or perhaps has taken advantage of such situations that have faced him.

I've been a big fan of this series since its inception, and it is always good to get to visit with Abramson's realistic, fully-nuanced characters. I was also happy to see further development of some secondary characters introduced in earlier books. Overall, however, I have to admit I found this one to be a bit weak in storyline, compared to the others, and hope it is just a temporary misstep. Overall, I still give it four stars out of five.

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