3 stars for The Mating of Michael (Sex in Seattle #3) by Eli Easton @dreamspinners #MM #disability #contemporary

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Title: The Mating of Michael (Sex in Seattle #3)
Author Name & Publisher: Eli Easton (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: June 30th, 2014 — 240 pages

Synopsis

Note: This can also be read as a stand-alone title.

Everyone admires Michael Lamont for being a nurse, but his part-time work as a gay sex surrogate not only raises eyebrows, it’s cost him relationships. Michael is small, beautiful, and dedicated to working with people who need him. But what he really wants is a love of his own. He spends most of his spare time reading science fiction, especially books written by his favorite author and long-time crush, the mysteriously reclusive J.C. Guise.

James Gallway’s life is slowly but inexorably sliding downhill. He wrote a best-selling science fiction novel at the tender age of eighteen, while bedridden with complications of polio. But by twenty-eight, he’s lost his inspiration and his will to live. His sales from his J.C. Guise books have been in decline for years. Wheelchair bound, James has isolated himself, convinced he is unlovable. When he is forced to do a book signing and meets Michael Lamont, he can’t believe a guy who looks like Michael could be interested in a man like him.

Michael and James are made for each other. But they must let go of stubbornness to see that life finds a way and love has no limitations.

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Review

ThreeStar

I have some really mixed feelings about this. There were parts I loved and thought were wonderful, and there were parts that made me want to scream in frustration.

If it were not for the things I disliked, this would have been a fantastic romance. I appreciated the way James’ feelings about his disability were handled, and I loved how he and Michael were together. Seeing both of them slowly unfold was terrific.

While it may not have appealed to some, I thought the sex surrogacy aspect was also interesting. It’s not a subject often discussed. This was one time when I felt it made sense that Michael was keeping it a secret, and it made for some good tension.

The sex scenes between Michael and James were terrific. They were really steamy but not too descriptive for my personal taste. They were also intensely loving, which is one of my favorite types. Great combination of sweet and hot, and I thought James’ feelings throughout were woven in very well.

That said, I think some of those things were still handled far less delicately than they should have been. First, Michael stalked James–which is really creepy. He also definitely had a “thing” for people with disabilities, regardless of how much he tried to avoid saying it directly. I found him really condescending toward his clients.

I was really annoyed with the way Michael’s job as a nurse was portrayed. A nurse working in people’s homes generally does not spend 8 hours with a single client on weekdays only, and I have never heard of a high schooler being hired as a nurse’s aide, particularly with absolutely no training. It threw me out of the story because it was so unrealistic.

The whole huge blow-up between Michael and James was really ridiculous, and despite it being entirely Michael’s fault, his “minions” showed up to badger James into taking him back. It really felt like they all had decided they knew better than the disabled person, which is a big, fat no for me. The epilogue was cringe-worthy for a lot of the same reasons.

I’m past the point where I want to give points just for writing about disability. I would love for it to be written about in a way that doesn’t imply only a certain type of person could ever love someone disabled (for example an empathetic sex surrogate). This story gets thumbs up for the middle part being romantic, sweet, and sexy and thumbs down for the rest, so it averages out.
~AmyM

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AuthorBio

Having been, at various times and under different names, a minister’s daughter, a computer programmer, the author of paranormal mysteries, a game designer, an organic farmer, an avid hiker, and a profound sleeper, Eli is happily embarking on yet another incarnation as a m/m romance author.

As an addicted reader of such, she is tinkled pink when an author manages to combine literary merit, vast stores of humor, melting hotness and eye-dabbing sweetness into one story. She promises to strive to achieve most of that most of the time. She currently lives on a farm in Pennsylvania with her husband, three bulldogs, three cows and six chickens. All of them (except for the husband) are female, hence explaining the naked men that have taken up residence in her latest fiction writing.

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