Wednesday, September 7, 2016

'A Midsummer Dream' For Late Summer (M/M Romance)

A Midsummer DreamA Midsummer Dream by E.T. Malinowski

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a short book and a quick read, so I finished it in an afternoon. I love everything to do with my favorite Shakespeare comedy, A Midsummer Night's Dream. I love romance novels in all the genres, with all the possible gender combinations, and I especially like contemporaries. It was a no-brainer that I had to read this one.

I was not disappointed. The writing wasn't perfect, but I really didn't care, because I was heavily invested in the characters. I always like the heroes who are a little bit damaged, and Arik Blackbourne is a classic example of this. He has a tragic past. He's estranged from his sister and niece. He harbors a longstanding crush on a fellow actor who barely knows he exists.

Donovan Montgomery is that actor, and he's a little clueless. He needs to work on his communication skills. But as he performs the role of Demetrius, opposite Arik's gender-swapped Helena ("Helenus"), Donovan is increasingly smitten. And this seems increasingly familiar...

Like Shakespeare's play, this gripping romance proceeds, with much confusion, toward a happily-ever-after ending. The involvement of fairy royalty and their retinue is not even required.

The novella does raise an interesting Shakespearean question, though: At the end of the original play, are Demetrius and Helena really in love? Or is she in love with a guy who's still stuck under a fairy love spell, but deep down he's not even interested in her anymore?

I tend to think that at the end of the wedding scene, when Oberon bestows his blessing upon the marital beds of the three couples, he's also undoing all of his mischievous magic, and at this point, Helena and Demetrius are truly in love. Christian Bale and Calista Flockhart look pretty lovey-dovey at the end of the 1999 movie (which I saw in the theater when it came out, because that's the kind of literature geek I am). But I suppose the Shakespeareans are welcome to debate that point.

I checked this e-book out from the library via I was not obligated in any way to review it.

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