Category Archives: Anita Mann
Blurb: REACHING OPTIMUM SPEED
For Detroit handyman Derrick Chance and his lover, Gavin Hayes, the holiday season is filled with the promise of new beginnings. Gavin’s officially moving in, and after the New Year, they’ll begin house hunting. But they both know all the talk of gift exchange, whose holiday ornaments go where, and what repairs and remodels will be needed to put Derrick’s house on the market is only a smoke screen.
Before the month is over, Gavin will have the final verdict on whether or not his dangerously delusional ex, Lukas, infected him with HIV. No matter how good Gavin’s chances appear with the three-month hurdle already passed, neither he nor Derrick knows what the future holds for them.
The holidays have always been a time of loss and mourning for Derrick, but now he has to stay strong as Gavin’s own fears and doubts assail him relentlessly. And when Lukas returns, unexpectedly penitent amid troubling revelations, Gavin has to ask himself whether he can offer Derrick the future he deserves, or whether these first few months of happiness are the best they will ever get.
Review: The overall arc of this trilogy is very satisfying, with my favorite of the three books being Velocity. The doubts that plagued Derrick about his ability to handle Gavin’s HIV status once the testing is complete are all but gone, surpassed by Derrick’s quiet determination to be there for Gavin no matter what. And when Derrick decides something, it just is.
But we have witness to Gavin’s increasing uncertainty, and the stunning revelation that Lukas, Gavin’s controlling and manipulative (and believe me, those descriptions are tame) ex, had been a rent boy during his college days, upping the chances that Gavin’s HIV test will come back positive. Which spurs Gavin into contacting Lukas for more information. Big mistake.
Gormley portrays conflict extremely well. The smaller conflict is the homophobic bullying Derrick has with someone one his hockey team sending him threatening text messages, and while it was less of a situation in the third book than it was in book two, it’s still a problem. I liked the way Gormley resolved it; it had me fistpumping the air and laughing out loud.
The bigger of the conflicts, Lukas and his horrific scheming ways, had me gnashing my teeth. I was furious on Gavin’s behalf, and every scene where Lukas acts contrite and in need of help to rectify the error of his ways, I knew he was just trying a different tactic to reel Gavin back in, to control him.
So when Gavin begins to suspect just how deep Lukas’s betrayal goes, I had much satisfaction watching Gavin take his time, build his facts, and handle the situation. (No spoilers here.)
You can tell, with this book, that the relationship between Derrick and Gavin has found its groove. It’s not the high octane lust of the first book, or the quicksand of the second book, and it’s a very satisfying end to a trilogy that is well worth reading in its entirety. In fact, I believe, now that I’ve read all three, the things I thought of as drawbacks about the first and second books, are no longer an issue for me. They make sense in the whole scheme of things and this is one of the most well written, well characterized series I’ve read in quite some time. I enjoyed it immensely, and will probably re-read it at some point for nostalgia’s sake. Thanks, Ms. Gormley, for your effort with such an entertaining read.