Review of Orgasmic Texas Dawn
I have to admit, I never thought I would enjoy reading a male-male erotic romance.
But I liked the Orgasmic Texas Dawn series by A.J. Llewellyn and the late, great D.J. Manly.
Although I wish I knew what the initials stood for.
Anyway, this was a straight-ahead romance with a rollicking fast-paced police thriller plot.
Orgasmic Texas Dawn hits all the standard “forbidden love” points. It’s about two people irresistibly attracted to each other because of similarities in background, experience, and desire, but whose love is frustrated by a narrow-minded society.
And of course, they’re both beautiful, fit hunks. After all, no one wants to read a romance with ugly people.
The only thing I’ll say about the plot is the main character, U.S. Marshall Jubilee Mason, has found corruption in the local police force in the town of Lone Trail, Texas, where he’s stationed. As he gets into the case, he finds the rot has spread to the U.S. Marshall’s service, as well. The only people he can trust are outsiders like Kieran Fox, a Vancouver cop who’s looking for a fresh start after making some stupid decisions in Canada’s most beautiful city.
The plot is fast, advanced largely through dialog. There are no long info-dumps. This kept me flipping pages to find out what would happen next. If you’re looking for a step-by-step description whodunnit and howdunnit à la Poirot or Holmes, you’re in the wrong novel, honey.
And I loved the Canadian side of it—one protagonist, Kieran Fox (no, the authors don’t waste the opportunity to make that pun), has served on the Vancouver Police Department for a few years. And the episodes in Montreal evoked so many memories. Poutine (which I don’t like), bars open really late, the whole constant party vibe of the place. The only thing they missed was Schwartz’s smoked meat.
As in all good romances, Kieran and Jubilee fall in deep lust at first sight. Why not? They’re both gorgeous, and the only (apparently) gay men for 100 miles.
This is the element that saves the book from being a typical romance: being in rural Texas, they just cannot profess their sexuality or their love. It would be social and career suicide for Jubilee—not to mention, potentially physically, too.
This danger is not just an undercurrent, but a looming presence in the novel, and the authors skillfully weave it into the story and the love affair.
The emotional story, and the character development elevate this book from what could have been just another soft-porn thriller. It’s a story that delves into two men’s hearts and souls. And not just the main characters. The secondary characters and the villains are also well-drawn, three-dimensional figures.
The seedy dark side contrasted with the in-denial hysterical wholesomeness of small-town America also rang true.
The story’s breakneck pace sometimes left me in the Texas dust. More than once, I had to review the last few pages to make sure I understood what was going on.
While the main and secondary characters were well developed and believable, there was a little too much Texan cuteness for me. The name “Jubilee,” for one. But what do I know? I’ve never even been to Texas.
The other thing is that it’s written as a series, rather than each book being a standalone story. In fact, it took the first three books, Orgasmic Texas Dawn, Longing, and Slow Dance, to complete what I would consider a full story.
Each book ends on a cliffhanger. As a writer, I have to appreciate that. But for readers, it could be frustrating. Especially since there are only three books available so far, and the cliffhanger at the end of #3 is the most shocking and tantalizing of all.
My reaction to this book probably surprises you as much as it does me. But I have to admit: this is a good story written by skilled authors, and professionally produced.
Find it on Amazon.
Get more on A.J. Llewellyn’s website.