From the looks of my current site stats, you folks are really digging the book reviews on here. That’s good, because I intend to do my best to highlight more indie authors on a much more regular basis as time continues. One of the hardest thing to do in this world of waaay too many authors, is find a good book. I hope to help all of you on your reading journeys…especially those of you looking for something to read as you huddle up under a blanket to stay warm during this frigid winter.
This week’s book is one from someone I’ve known for a long time. I hold the honor of having the opportunity to read several of his early short stories, and overall have appreciated him as an author for quite some time. However, when he mentioned to me that his first fictional novel would be a romantic tale, I immediately cringed at the idea of reading any of it. However, being the good friend that I try to be, I even read through one of the early drafts of this tale. I’m not going to pretend that this early draft was fantastic, it was rough, as to be expected. Yet, within that roughness, I found something rather spectacular, something I hoped would become much more prevalent as he edited.
Fast forward a year or so and I found that my friend had released his book to the wild, The Last Dance, by Wyatt McIntyre.
In a frenzy of supporting indie authors while also supporting a friend’s artistic efforts, I purchased the book almost immediately. Yet…reading the tale didn’t come so quickly. Although I had seen something special in the edition I had read, I still hesitated. Chick Lit and I do not traditionally mix, and the idea of reading such a novel for the second time, well, it just didn’t seem like a good time to me.
I’m happy to announce that I did re-read this book and it is a very good thing I did. Like I’ve said many times in the past, editing makes all the difference in writing, and here was a perfect example of that. By simply going through and cleaning up the narrative, and, in fact, simplifying it in a lot of ways, this story became something that shined as a beacon of love…and just so happened to be one that I could actually get behind.
The story is simple, and something we’re all too familiar with, in a lot of ways. Boy meets girl, boy goes to war, boy and girl lose each other, until finally boy finds girl and lives long happy life with each other. However, it’s the telling of the story that makes all the difference. McIntyre gives us a fresh take on the old romance novel standard, letting us see glimpses into the lives of these two love birds that work out almost as though we’re watching the couple’s memories as they reminisce on a life together (and not together). Sure, the lovey portions of the tale may seem a little too perfect at times, but it works, seeing as this reads more like a personal memory than a straight forward narrative.
It is, quite honestly, one of the more unique takes I’ve read on the romance genre (which, admittedly, is not a genre I’m incredibly well read in) and it’s a fresh look that gave these tired eyes some hope for a world over taken by vampires and vampire fan fiction-turned bondage tale.
I hope to see much more from Wyatt as time goes on, so get your butts out and pick up a copy. I have it on good authority that one of his in-progress works is an attempt to take on the superhero genre…