Title: Cutting Cords (Cutting Cords #1)
Author Name & Publisher: Mickie B. Ashling (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: November 15, 2009 – 252 pgs
When Sloan Driscoll and Cole Fujiwara become reluctant roommates, neither man is willing to share too much. Sloan is instantly attracted to Cole but knows it’s a hopeless cause; Cole has a steady girlfriend. But one night they share a joint, and Cole opens a window neither anticipated. A relationship may be impossible-both men are living with heart-breaking secrets. While Sloan is smart, sassy, and a brilliant graphic artist, he’s also a pothead with severe body image problems. Cole, a former major league pitcher, has his own personal crisis: he’s going blind. Sloan and Cole are suffering on so many levels, they might not realize that the ultimate salvation could be within each other’s arms.
I really love Sloan in this book. He is an angst ridden beautiful young man with a terrible self-image and a hunger for independent self-discovery. Ms Ashling has created a wonderful character.
I love the fact that the title can be read in so many ways. Sloan cuts the cords between himself and his overbearing father, leaving the West Coast for New York. He cuts himself when he’s sad. He cuts himself away from his delinquency to start a new life.
I had massive empathy for Cole, but his behaviour is infuriating. It takes him much longer to cut the ties confining him, and while he figures himself out he harms those who love him.
I love the fact that Sloan explores New York with new friends and an open mind. His experimenting with Etienne and Max and his friendship with Emily are part of a beautiful coming of age story. I love Ms. Ashling’s non-judgemental treatment of Sloan’s first experiences in a big city. There are no huge morality lessons, Sloan just has fun and tries some new things.
The romance between Sloan and Cole doesn’t always work for me. Much of the sex in the book is between one of the men and another partner. I love the fact that Sloan doesn’t allow Cole’s internal conflict to stop his own adventures, but his sexual escapades don’t necessarily fit with his claiming to love Cole at first sight.
I do love Sloan and Cole together but the actual romance between Sloan and Cole seems really abrupt. It is only in the last two chapters that the men actually start a relationship. After suffering through all the angst of Cole and Sloan getting together, I hoped for a little more than a quick epilogue featuring them as a couple.
Mickie B. Ashling is the alter-ego of a multifaceted woman raised by a single mother who preferred reading over other forms of entertainment. She found a kindred spirit in her oldest child and encouraged her with a steady supply of dog-eared paperbacks. Romance was the preferred genre, and historical romances topped her favorites list.
By the time Mickie discovered her own talent for writing, real life had intruded, and the business of earning a living and raising four sons took priority. With the advent of e-publishing and the inevitable emptying nest, dreams were resurrected, and the storyteller was reborn.
She stumbled into the world of men who love men in 2002 and continues to draw inspiration from their ongoing struggle to find equality and happiness in this oftentimes skewed and intolerant world.
Her novels have been called “gut wrenching, daring, and thought provoking.” She admits to being an angst queen and making her men work damn hard for their happy endings.
Mickie loves to travel and has lived in the Philippines, Spain, and the Middle East but currently resides in a suburb outside Chicago.