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Jonathan Orms is sent by Luther, the dean of his university, to the Galapagos Islands to do field work. On the way there, Jonathan finds himself marooned after going overboard during a bad storm. The island he is marooned on is deserted except for Marcus - a mysterious American inventor.

Marcus saves Jonathan and one of the first things he does for the man he saves is make an improved clockwork arm for the one that was ruined after Jonathan wound up in the sea. From Marcus, Jonathan knows that a ship will be passing by the island in a few months. The question is, as the two men get to know each other and grow closer, does Jonathan want to leave? If he stays, his career is over. If he leaves, he will wind up being miserable.

One element of the story that appealed to the geek in me was the steampunk element. Namely, the clockwork prosthethics that Jonathan had - both the one he left England with and the new and improved version Marcus made for him - and the "tinkering" Marcus did on the island. Part of that tinkering - and also the appeal to me - was the set of mechanical wings Marcus was working on that looked to be an ode to Da Vinci and his drawings and notes on different mechanical wonders.

Another element that held an appeal to me was the setting. Jonathan is, after all, sent to check out the flora and fauna in the same place that Darwin did his research. He finds himself on an island - a tropical paradise - spatially near his original destination. It is a place on which he can still do his research, yet be far enough away from the place that has caused him such pain.

A final element that appealed to me as a reader is the characters. With Marcus it's the acceptance he has of himself, what he needs, and the self assurance that he has.

Jonathan has an appeal all his own in that he grows into himself on what turns out to be a much needed getaway. They each have their strengths and weaknesses that play off of each other.

An enjoyable read that has me looking forward to reading future writings by the author.

To find out more about the author, please visit her site: Danse Desirable.

Island of Icarus is available for pre-order at the following sites:
Island of
Barnes and Noble
Carina Press

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Over the six months since Joe, Matt's longtime lover, had left Matt and started seeing Marnie, Matt has missed more than a few shifts at the hospital, has drunk too much, and has gone through too many men. Matt also does not much care that he is on the razor thin edge of losing everything.

Things change, however, the night Matt meets Aaron. Aaron possesses good looks and has more than the average share of intelligence. While Aaron does not seem interested in being picked up, he doesn't turn away either - even when he sees Matt at his worst.

The more time Matt spends with Aaron, the more he comes out of his slump and starts looking beyond what he had with Joe. Due to a slip, however, Matt starts being suspicious of what he has with Aaron. Will the happiness stay or will they break apart?

For me, the story can - in part - be summarized by an observation Matt has early on in the story: "It's not the breaking up that kills you, it's the aftermath." For him, that most certainly is true. Having said that, Life After Joe is also a story about finding a way out of the aftermath and slowly finding a path away from it. This holds true for both Matt and Aaron.

What I also liked about the story is that it's not presented as all hearts and flowers and that the characters work at it. The work is through pitfalls, misunderstandings, miscommunication and "dealing with" things - both together and apart.

To learn more about the author, please visit her website.

Life After Joe can be purchased at the following places:
Barnes and Noble
Carina Press
All Romance eBooks


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