February 02, 2011

Review: Lost Treasure

Lost TreasureLost Treasure by Kate Sherwood

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lost Treasure is a very nice gay romance, which is both its strength and its weakness. The story of childhood sweethearts reuniting in a beautiful location (a lake house in Canada) decades later is familiar and effective enough, and I admit that I got a little teary when they finally get together. I'm revealing that as a spoiler, but it's not a surprise, and neither is the life decision the main character Kyle/Casey makes at the end of the book. Even with the major plot points telegraphed very early and the predictable twists (I thought things like, "Third act difficulty in the romance coming now..."), I was involved enough in the characters and story to be moved.

It helps enormously that Kate Sherwood has a crystal clear and lovely smooth writing style, and that she's adept at dialogue, characterizations, and descriptions. Some of the "meaningful" metaphorical layering is clumsy, but the writing is vivid and soothingly comfortable throughout. Because the voice is so effortless, there's a lot I relaxed into and accepted easily rather than being jarred by clunky exposition.

The characters and their relationships are often too perfect, to the point of making them dismayingly idealized, but I also swallowed the romantic fantasy and allowed myself to dream of experiencing such an idyllic situation: settling down in a gorgeous location with a hunky carpenter and his charming son. It worked, I was touched by the fantasy, but I felt a bit suckered afterward.

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