Before I get into anything else, I’d like to state up front this is a hard review to write because I don’t want to give out any spoilers. But with “Dammit,” Michele Montgomery had me surprised by her characters and the plot almost every time I seemed to think I had them all nailed down. In fact, the title of the book is perfect in more ways than one. Every time something took me by surprise I kept thinking, “dammit she did it again. I didn’t see that one coming.”
The book opens with an airport scene. This always resonates with me because I absolutely despise air travel because of the horrible complications that go along with it these days. But after reading the scenes in this airport, and some of the things that happen to Michael before he boards the plane, I might rethink how I feel about air travel and take a short trip somewhere. This is where Michele really is a master at fantasy, in my opinion. I read this book late at night this past weekend. And from Friday night until Sunday night, Michele took me away into a world of “what if combined with intrigue” and I loved every minute of it. I’ve had an intense month. I needed that and loved every minute of the escape. In fact, I’ve posted many times about how much I love Anne Tyler books. Well, I bought the most recent Tyler book and put that on hold so I could read “Dammit” first. I’m glad I did. It put me in a better mood and helped changed my perspective about a few things that have been irritating me recently. And books that can to that don’t come along often.
The story revolves around Michael’s adventure, and his good-natured way of being there for others. It talks about his past and how hard he’s had to come back from some serious trauma most of us can only imagine in our worst nightmares. I liked him from the first page, and as I read more about him I started to like him even more. Without getting into spoilers (this is where it gets tricky and I don’t want to ruin anyone’s experience) he’s had a rough past with regard to his love life, and he’s still not completely over it nor is he ready to trust again. He’s also very sexy and not obnoxious about this either. There are more than a few airport scenes that leave the reader on the edge, with teases and erotic references that made me smile more than once.
In the airport, Michael meets another interesting character, Carly. She’s a little outrageous, she’s funny, and she’s not shy about anything. In fact, she’s fascinated by the fact that Michael is so shy. When Carly goes to the gift shop, another character is introduced: Cash. He’s strong, sexy, and just what Michael needs. But there’s more to his story, too. And the connection between Michael and Cash is much stronger than Michael thinks it is in the beginning.
As it turns out, Michael is on his way to Pittsburgh to help out his cousin who has been committed by his step-mother because he’s gay. There’s another storyline here that’s as emotional as Michael’s own back story (and another big surprise later), and Cash seems more than interested in listening to everything Michael has to say. When they arrive in Pittsburgh, the sex scenes are as intense and emotional as the story and they add a layer of reality to the book that’s done very well. The way each character and sex scene is handled in the book gives an authenticity that’s hard to describe. The best way I could describe it is that I’ve been in situations like that, as a gay man, more than once and everything I read regarding the sex scenes could have happened to any gay man in real life. In other words, I didn’t have that “Oh no, she didn’t do that,” moment during the sex scenes. I had that “Yes, she got that right” moment instead.
And the emotion was there, too. I’ve written about other books by Michele Montgomery and I’ve mentioned this before. It’s one reason why I look forward to reading her work. The sex isn’t just there for the sake of sex and yet the voice is strong. There’s always some kind of a bond between her characters. And it’s all executed in a way that keeps the story moving forward and the reader waiting to see what’s going to happen next.
As I said earlier, there’s a lot of intrigue in this book I didn’t expect to see. It happens in a way that hits hard at times and to get into detail about this would ruin the book for other people. Let’s just say that nothing is as it appears to be when it’s first introduced. And as the characters arc and grow in different ways throughout the book the reader is in for more than a few shocks he/she didn’t see coming. For this alone, I would recommend this book to anyone.
As a side note, “Dammit” is well written, in Michele’s own style that I love. And as far as quality goes, I saw nothing to complain about. This e-book is just as well produced as any e-book from any large publisher I’ve read in the past year…in some cases it’s even better. The book was published by Seventh Window Publications and I don’t know much about them. But you can get there from here to check out their web site. And I will be checking out more books by them in the future. This prices look good, the covers look good, and it seems to be a simple site to navigate. I’m also hoping they publish more with Michele. She’s an author who loves what she does and it shines through in her work.