Book Reviews

Tahoe Blue by Eden French

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Artists/Actors/Musicians/Authors / Doctors/Nurses/EMTs/Vets / Erotic Romance
Reviewed by Bob-O-Link on 24-November-2020

Book Blurb

A paramedic must face old wounds when his Hollywood heartthrob ex returns home and tries to win back his affections. Will he find closure or will he give first love a second chance?

Coming back to Tahoe was a mistake. At least, that’s what Carson Keaton thinks the minute he returns to his hometown. When he ran away seven years ago, he left everything behind, including Brand West, the only person he ever loved. Not that he had a choice. But now that the danger has passed, he returns home to reclaim Brand. The biggest question is, is it too late?

Brand West is a paramedic with a broken heart. Just after high school graduation, the love of his life hopped a Greyhound to Hollywood, leaving without explanation. Now, seven years later, Brand is determined to forget about Carson by throwing himself into his career, his community, and—thanks to his best friend playing matchmaker—a hot new lover. But now Carson’s back in town, as irresistible as ever, leaving Brand with two choices: find closure and move on, or give first love a second chance.


Book Review

As I am writing this review just as Halloween approaches, I’m thinking of the holiday’s illusional association with gay life. I’m so mindful of how often our subsegment of today’s society so joyfully approaches the “fantastical” in life. Especially now, let us take note of our ubiquitous drag queens, or of the men, driven by either humor or wishful regret, who ambitiously stuff socks in their jocks. Well, here is Ms. French, contributing to gay lit’s pleasurable gaiety with a fun (though far from realistic) pastiche on second-chance gay romance.


First, it is necessary to recognize that the heroes and their situations are merely visions of “what might be” were the real world a little warped in the direction of our proclivities. Then, how the Lake Tahoe location is well presented as pastorally enchanting. We are also expected to accept the respective idiosyncratic issues of the two main characters: that, at eighteen years of age, Carson and Brand are sufficiently mature to have discovered ‘true’ love - then, to equally credibly believe that seven years later, at twenty-five, these men have not moved beyond that shattering biological epiphany.


The reader must adopt these fundamental conceits, which are tightly woven into the narrative. Brand grows into a handsome, physically developed adult. He is an ideal person – devoted to friends and community. Oddly, though having preserved at least his emotional sexual solitude, just as the story opens, he may have finally found a new Prince Charming, ready to awaken Brand’s long hibernating hormones. Carson, too, has been in an emotional statis – angry with the world and his homophobic father, Brand has been psychologically incapable to engage in adult romance.


As our Rainbow Book Review’s editor makes the published critics don underwear embroidered with “Kindness, Please” I’ll approach this novel gently.


The characters are just that: characters. Even their names are odd, or gender neutral, such as Ryan (who qualifies as a fag hag), Teo (the admirable opportunity for a sexy new lover), and Carson – asexually addressed as ‘Car”). All are really good people, the classic villain having smartly become deceased before the action even begins.


History complicates the reunion of the heroes – though the assured HEA requires that, in a timely manner, all truths will out! Stuck with the old trope, sex progresses in stages of increasing intimacy and pyrotechnics (that is, self-abuse, then mutual abuse, and then… well, surely, you know the roadway!). In fact, acceptable or not, some impatient writers start with the main course and, if it’s okay, subsequent menus may include appropriate appetizers and desserts. Oh, and please notice, once again, that the agreement to go bareback is employed as a most romantic substitute for acknowledging enduring commitment. Sometimes one wonders whether these novels are written and/or structured by the number.


Ms. French’s writing is easy, which may be my encouraged Kindness way of saying Prosaic. (In one span of two pages, “until” is repeatedly over-used for merely convenient introductory purposes.) The sex is sufficiently described as to satisfy, and it occurs with some sufficiency. The language often flows nicely, as when Brand’s eye color is compared to the blue of Lake Tahoe. But it can also smack of very purple prose: “As it was, his balls were destined to turn blue, anymore teasing and he was certain they’d fall right off.” And “… their mouths met and devoured him in a kiss that stopped time and space.” But, of course, any author may take a step too many, assuring either the reader’s praising or puking: “He remembered every crease and fold of that cock, the one he used to own.” Really?


'Tahoe Blue' is an easy read, and – especially if this review makes your approach realistic, is relative fun.






DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by the author for the purpose of a review.


Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 220 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 21-November-2020
Price $2.99 ebook, $18.99 paperback
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