Hi there! Today I am reviewing Chartreuse, by T.E. Ridener. What I am doing different this time, is I have also made a podcast of this review. Yes it seems long, but the podcast is only about 7 minutes long. I go into a bit more detail, especially in the end about my feelings on this book, and the author.
As many of you already know, I am her PA. I do however go and buy her books before I review them. This is because of Amazon pulling reviews because they think someone knows the author or because it is a fake review, who knows why. All I know is I have seen a lot of authors and bloggers lose reviews lately because of this and I don't want it to happen to T.
Chartreuse is a M/M contemporary romance, as I said, by T.E. Ridener. The main characters are Kasen and Rowan, as well as their dogs, Houston and Napoleon, respectively.
Kasen has lived his entire life in Chartreuse, Alabama and has known he was gay for a few years now. He recently told his mom that he was gay, and she is the only one he has ever told, and the disappointment in her eyes was basically like the straw that broke the camels back and is the reason he got a place of his own. Kasen also knows that his chances of finding love in his town are slim to none. He has never had a boyfriend, and never been in love.
Rowan moved to Chartreuse about two weeks ago from Boston and has been openly gay since he was 13, when he told his mom. Moving from the Eastern Seaboard to a small town in the South, Rowan was quick to notice the differences in the citizens of each town. He has opened his first animal clinic here and enjoys the fact that many of the residents are animal lovers like himself. Rowan has been in relationships before, the most recent being a few years back. It ended when he caught his ex cheating on him.
Rowan and Kasen meet for the first time at the dog park and Kasen immediately finds himself feeling things he never has before. He is almost ashamed that instead of noticing his height the first time he saw him, he noticed his eyes. Those gorgeous, almost caramel eyes. However, Kasen is very timid. Shy almost. He knows that he has never seen this guy before, but finds it very hard to speak to him. He has no problem talking to people at work, however they are calling into his radio show, so they aren't looking at him. Rowan is the opposite and tries to start a conversation with Kasen. He later thinks of the encounter as odd. His hopes of getting to know the locals were beginning to wane, but not just from his introduction to Kasen.
I enjoyed this book for a variety of reasons. One of them being that it's not smutty. I have read M/M romance before and generally its BAM, right into the graphically detailed sex scenes. What I liked about this one is it isn't that. It is a build-up, more like real life. Nothing about this book is predictable.
As a straight woman with friends and family in the LGBT community, I know I for one say that I "understand" what they go through on a daily basis. But I don't. There is no way that I can know. For me, this book was eye-opening. We know it happens, but it's one of those "it doesn't happen to my family". However, Tonya really made me feel like I was the character going though all of this, and feeling all of this. Good and bad.
One of the things I love about a book is when I feel like I can identify with a character, wether they are gay or straight, transgender or not, black, white, green, purple, blue orange, whatever! It doesn't matter. A good book will make you feel like you are there and you are that character.
I totally give this book ♥♥♥♥♥! To me, it was that good of a book. If you like contemporary romance, I think you will like this one!