Title : Still
Author : Mary Calmes
Publisher : Dreamspinner Press (BUY HERE)
Genre : M/M, Contemporary
Length : 190 pages (e-book)
Published : May 15, 2013
What happens when two men who have been together for seventeen years fall out of love? Sivan Cruz, a set director in San Francisco, and Walter Wainwright, a big shot Bay Area lawyer, find out the hard way. Walter loves Sivan with all his heart but rarely talks about it, and Sivan needs to hear the words. The language of the love they have shared for so long, that has enabled them to build a life together and raise two children, stops working. They become—still.
When Sivan asks for a divorce, Walter doesn’t know how to say no. They separate, but while Sivan sees the relationship as over, Walter sees only a temporary setback. He has never lost his passion for Sivan and decides he has to say something before he ends up loving his husband in silence for the rest of his life.
“To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.” Yes, an Orwell quote best describes Mary Calmes’ new book, Still. Sivan Cruz sees his marriage has become stale. After 17 years of raising kids and being with a man who was climbing the legal ladder at all hours of the day and night has taken it’s toll. They don’t really know each other anymore. Sivan asks for a divorce, Walter Wainright concedes. Sivan is convinced part of Walter’s problem is rooted in the fact he went from one marriage to another with only a year as an out and proud gay man. Sivan and Walter became an instant couple with two kids the day they started dating and Walter’s ex-wife died in a car accident. Seventeen years and a dream home later Sivan decides Walter needs to date. He moves out into a loft in Chinatown and starts his life over. Unfortunately after seventeen years they kind of have the same friends. It’s hard to segregate a life after that much time. And seeing Walter with another man’s hand on his back is too much for Sivan to handle.
After a few months of unsuccessful dating Sivan is still alone. He refuses to admit to loneliness. He also refuses to admit anything to all the people who tell him that Walter is still insanely in love with him. Even the kids want them back together. Eventually, a psychopath and Walter’s determination get them back together. Sivan admits, to himself at least, he’s an idiot and hasn’t seen the obvious. He also admits to his loneliness and intense love for Walter that never waned.
I found this story a little frustrating. Whereas I did read it all in one sitting, it felt a lot like other stories by Mary Calmes. Key phrases are becoming common as well as personal kinks among her characters. However, there was originality in the twist of two men needing to renew themselves before they could renew their marriage. I get that a lot of romance books have similar key elements and it gives rise to comments that romance books are written to a formula. The hard part of being an author has to be making the books original while still including all the elements readers of romance love so dearly. My big complaint is this book did not feel original. At all.
So, after all my complaining I’ll reiterate I read the book all in one sitting. The characters were pretty good, too. Sivan was a great guy who just blinded himself to the obvious with his own perception of how things should be, not realizing Walter didn’t have access to his brain to see what those things are. A marriage takes two people to work. Neither party should expect the other to read their mind. Both men screwed up and had to fix their problems to get back to happiness.
Rated 3.5 stars by Faye