- Book Title: Between the Lines
- Author: J. Scott Coatsworth
- Publisher: Dreamspinner Press; 1 edition (July 15, 2015)
- Book Length: 53 pages
- Genre: Gay, Magic, Politics
- Reviewed by: Scott
- Rating: 3 Star
- Posting Date: August 11, 2015
The saying “The Truth Will Set You Free” is pretty much the basis of this book. Brad is looking for an engagement gift for his boyfriend when he finds one of those old curio shops and he is immediately drawn to a pendant. Instead of being able to purchase it the proprietress offers it to him free of charge, already I was thinking something was amiss.
I’m not going to say that I didn’t enjoy the story, it was cute in it’s own way. I like the idea of the story but the way that it was used really bothered me. Part of the reason that it bothered me was that I never connected with the characters, I didn’t really find them very likable but then again I was never given the side of them that wasn’t working in a Republican Senator’s office.
As I sit here reliving the book it suddenly dawned on me, this is not a happy story it is filled with negativeness with the exception of the very very end, the HEA. From the name calling to the serial cheater to the rudeness of co-workers the story doesn’t leave you feeling happy. This may have been intentional by the author to channel all of the negative into the final action of Brad as the Chief of Staff, sort of a breaking point.
I feel the story could have benefited with romance added. For me adding romance would have given the characters more life instead of leaving them 1 dimensional. I would have also enjoyed it more if the magic had been used as a more playful tool alongside the way it was used in the story. Adding these elements to the story would have definitely added positiveness.
Brad Weston’s life seems perfect. He’s GQ handsome, the chief of staff for a Republican California state senator, and enjoys the power and the promise of a bright future. And he’s in a comfortable relationship with his boyfriend of six years, Alex.
Sam Fuller is Brad’s young blond blue-eyed intern, fresh out of college, running from a bad breakup, and questioning his choices and his new life in politics. To make things worse, Sam also has a thing for the boss, but Brad is already taken.
While looking for a gift for his boyfriend, Brad wanders into a curiosity shop and becomes fascinated by an old wooden medallion. Brad’s not a superstitious man, but when he takes out the medallion in his office, he sees the world in a whole new light.
And nothing will ever be the same.
Scott has been writing since elementary school, when he and won a University of Arizona writing contest in 4th grade for his first sci fi story (with illustrations!). He finished his first novel in his mid twenties, but after seeing it rejected by ten publishers, he gave up on writing for a while.
Over the ensuing years, he came back to it periodically, but it never stuck. Then one day, he was complaining to Mark, his husband, early last year about how he had been derailed yet again by the death of a family member, and Mark said to him “the only one stopping you from writing is you.”
Since then, Scott has gone back to writing in a big way, finishing more than a dozen short stories – some new, some that he had started years before – and seeing his first sale. He’s embarking on a new trilogy, and also runs the Queer Sci Fi (http://www.queerscifi.com) site, a support group for writers of gay sci fi, fantasy, and supernatural fiction.
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