Sunday, June 5, 2011

Four Umbrellas: Mercury Rising by Daisy Harris

Apologies again! Grading heck is almost over, and although my super-secret words on a page project that I started with the May 50K challenge continues, I'm working to find a balance between reviewing and putting words on the page again. *Waving incense to avoid jinxing myself by even alluding to it.*

Moving on . . . It's June and it's the month of Gay Pride festivals and National Coming Out day and all sorts of great initiatives are afloat in a number of states to help bring more equity to LGBT folks. It's the perfect month to venture afield from the staid world of M/F romance and fiction into the emerging genre of m/m romances. I kicked off my m/m salute with When Adam Met Tony on Saturday, and today I bring you The Daisy Harris and her awesome m/m romantic comedies which are another great option for exploring this genre as a newbie.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If Vicki Lewis Thompson and Katie MacAlister had a smutty younger sister with a penchant for m/m pairings, the result would be the hilarious Daisy Harris. This is nominally paranormal in the same way the above authors as well as Erin McCarthy and Janice Davidson handle paranormal/fantasy elements, which is to say that the paranormal elements serve mainly to enhance the comedic impact, making it perfect for the fantasy adverse like myself. For those who like their fantasy/paranormal heavy on the realism and world building, however, this might not be your usual cup of tea. Mercury is the god of order and planning and all sorts of other boring stuff and lives in a universe where not only his own greek pantheon co-exists with humans, but also all other cultures' gods and goddesses too. And they don't always get along, but they are trying with a sort of God United Nations summit. On a cruise ship. It is made of awesome. If you've enjoyed Lewis Thompson and Christina Skye's light novels set on cruise ships or Roz Lee's sexy cruise ship erotica series, you might want to give this a whirl after you don your sunscreen and grab an iced beverage.

Dillon also resides in this universe, and he already knows that the Gods are real (and demanding PITAs!) so there's no need for lengthy set up here. He's not overly impressed with Mercury's rather wimpy collection of superpowers, and he quickly sets out to knock the God down a peg or ten after he realizes that Mercury is both his new boss and the dude he had a random quickie shortly prior. *Awkward moment* Harris does a great job capturing Dillon's POV and portraying his general indifference to Mercury as a means of protecting himself. Mercury himself is a mess, and this is also a bit of great characterization full of nice little comedy gems like his needing his super powers to add a few extra inches. Of height, gutter minds. And better hair. But Mercury's biggest issue is that he hasn't come out to the other Gods, and they think he's about to marry the goddess of Virginity.

So not happening. V, the supermodel virginity goddess, has thousands of years of pent up sexual frustration ready to unleash. But her intended plays for the other team, so she too defects--from the Greeks to the Norse Gods' yacht. Roll with it. It's a complex summit/gathering of the gods, but the minute details aren't really important here--V is courted by two rival Norse gods who both want her for their own. How she resolves this dilemma is most sexy. I actually enjoyed the Mercury/Dillon pairing far more than the V subplot, but I like that she has both a m/m plot line and a hetero one, giving readers more avenues to connect with the plot and characters.

Mercury and Dillon end up separated from the rest of the Gods on one heck of a road trip. There's a lot of physical comedy, which I love, as well as some snappy dialogue as Dillon teaches Mercury some street smarts. Mercury becomes much more mortal in his actions and emotions the more time he spends with Dillon, and this changes him for the better. For me, the best part of the book was how much fun it was-- it is totally one of those books where you can tell the author had an absolute blast writing it. Like early Jennifer Crusie and MacAlister--an author writing for the sheer joy of watching her characters create comedy gold. As a reader, I love books like this because the author's joy bubbles over onto the page, and when done right, it really enhances the pacing. This is quick fun read, perfect for those looking for a light entry to the world of m/m romance. (Note: while there is lots and lots of love scenes, because of the humor, the heat level doesn't seem as scorching as many in this genre. She doesn't mince words and she gets rather creative with the love scenes, so make sure to have that cold drink handy. If you prefer "sweet" love scenes, you might want to consider other m/m writers for your first m/m romance.) Overall, a great summer read! I look forward to more from Harris!

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Thanks for the awesome review! Glad you enjoyed it. :)