Thursday, August 4, 2011

Hard as Teak: A review

I must admit, I am not a fan of M/M romance. I do not actively seek out those titles.  However, I will check out certain titles by certain authors, namely A.B Gayle and KevaD.

Disclaimer alert:  I am friends with Margie Church. We chat vial e-mail, Face Book and cell phone.  Some say we are as thick as thieves.

All true. I enjoy her work and our conversations.


I was also privy to the difficulties Margie experience while writing Hard as Teak. She got a lot of flack for it. All undeserved as it turns out Hard as Teak is rockin it…....HARD.

Second Disclaimer alert:  I bought my own copy of Teak.  Margie did not solicit, compel, or coerce me with lewd photos (hey, I was young and in college and this nice man came up to me…) or threaten to bludgeon me her open toed sandals if I did not write a review.

The story of Kevin Marks and Teak Hidalgo (love that name) is beautifully told. The sexual coming of age journey Kevin embarks on is realistic without being sappy or flamboyantly over the top.  

It also resonates because it starts out with Kevin having sex with his girlfriend Chiyo.  It is during this intimate (and hot) act that we see the emotional conflict brewing in Kevin.

Margie Church does not shy away from such turmoil and presents it in not as a mere plot device to engage in a little het-sex action. It is organically germane to the plot.

Here is where Margie Church received her criticisms. How did she have the audacity to break the tried (tired) and true convention of M/M romance by introducing icky hereto-sexual congress and infidelity?

Simply answered- because it happens. Yes, unlike you are one of the Geico rock dwellers, yes, my friends, it does!

Margie breaks the genre conventions and that is what makes her books compelling.

Also, her words, they are poetic, humorous and sexy.

Very sexy. Burning hot.

There is some serious male-male action in the pages of Hard as Teak.  Admittedly, I would not like to emulate the sexual activities compellingly described in these pages, but did manage to get the blood flowing!

If you want a poignant sexual coming of age story, with fully textured, compelling characters and poetic words that  brilliantly frame not only the rural beauty of the Minnesota wilderness, but the beauty  of two people falling in love, while combating inner and outer conflict, then run, not walk to your computer and buy Hard as Teak.  


Margie Church said...

Kb, thank you. You always call 'em like you see 'em and you did that here. Thank you for manning up and reading Hard as Teak. I appreciate that so much. (And I feel doubly bad that I couldn't make it thru one of your horror stories - wimpy me.)

Kidding aside, I did struggle with what the expectations are for hard-core m/m readers and still decided to tell this story my way. Has it hurt me? Maybe a little, but I haven't gotten creamed by any stretch of my imagination - at least not yet. Next book, I'll have more experience to drive character development. This is a complex subgenre, with lots of rules and opinions to consider. Ultimately, an author still has to write their own story.

I'd never kick you with my open-toed shoes. I'd use my steel-toed ones. Why damage a good pedicure? LOL I enjoy our friendship immensely and envy your choice in footwear every Saturday night.

Best always,

DA Kentner said...

As every person is different, so is every author.
That's the beauty of storytelling - the tale told in the teller's own special way, the genuine emotions, the music of their words.
With "Hard as Teak." Margie wrote a symphony.

And KB Cutter's a freaking rock star between the pages of his stories.

Margie Church said...

A symphony, David? I'll treasure that remark always. Thank you.

And Kb, yeah, in those shoes, he does rock it. Wonder if he wears them when he writes. Inquiring minds want to know!

Thank you for coming by.

kbcutter said...

Happy you dug my review, Margie. Came from da heart!

Thank ye, David. Most pleased you stopped by. Thanks for the kind words, if I'm a rock star between the pages, you sir are a GOD!