Books, Coffee, m/m, Reviews, Romance

[Book Review] Seeing Red by E.L. Esch & Gevalia Chocolate Raspberry Coffee

Seeing Red By E.L. EschTitle: Seeing Red
Series: None
Author: E.L. Esch
Publisher: Loose Id
Publication date: July 16th 2013
Page Count: 213 pages
Age Rating: Adult (explicit sexual scenes, mentions of sexual assault, violence)
How I got my hot little hands on it: Won a free copy in a Giveaway

What would you do if you lost five years of freedom? If everything you’d ever known was torn away from you, all because the one person you counted on to save you didn’t come through?

This is the cruel reality for Gabriel “Red” Thatcher, convicted at age nineteen for the murder of his father. Now twenty-five and eight months out of prison, Red has nothing to his name and no one to help him. He is carrying close to him a rage hotter than white flames. Had his sister just testified on his behalf in court, he could have been spared the horrible things that happened to him in the doghouse. Things that’ll make him never look at intimacy the same way again.

Red can’t take swallowing his bitter rage alone anymore. Unable to kill the growing loneliness and ire with time, he heads into the Flower District in search of a gay bar to drown his sorrows. There he meets the bubbly, easy-on-the-eyes Silo Winters.

When Red learns that Silo did three years in prison for an accidental oil fire, he brings Silo home, not so much for a wild romp as to relieve his aching loneliness. Besides if anyone will understand Red’s pain it’ll be Silo, who’s gone through some of the same horrors he has. However, he definitely doesn’t count on Silo becoming so much more than a sexy shoulder to lean on. Now, if only Red can learn to let him in.

My Review

Seeing Red follows two ex-cons, Red and Silo, as they struggle to put the past behind them and build a new life, finding love along the way.

This was an emotional and wonderful story. The hurt/comfort aspect created a bond between Silo and Red that felt real and deep. Silo’s bubbly personality and bright outlook made him a great match for Red, who, according to Silo, is “one of those hard-outer-shell, mushy center kinda guys” – and he really is. Red tries so hard to be tough and act like he’s over the horrible things that happened to him in prison, but he actually really needs Silo to help him to heal and move on.

This book deals with some tough subject matters so I know it’s not for everyone, definite trigger warning here, but I think it’s important to point out that the worst subject (in my opinion) is mentioned in pretty vague terms – nothing really detailed so you don’t have to worry about any graphic prison scenes or anything.  There are some graphic sex scenes however, but they are completely consensual and when one or both of the partners feel uncomfortable, they stop and talk to each other (which is wonderful and speaks well for the future health of their relationship).

Overall, this is a great, gritty romance with a nice, happy ending and I really enjoyed it. I wouldn’t hesitate to pick up other books by this author.

As proof of what a big softy Red can be, and how much he comes to adore Silo, he’s willing to eat a raspberry filled chocolate even though he hates it – it doesn’t hurt that Silo puts the chocolate on his self and asks Red to lick it off  either.  Because of this cute ending scene showcasing just how far the couple comes, I recommend Gevalia Chocolate Raspberry Coffee. It’s a decadently rich and flavorful light roast that smells absolutely divine when brewing.

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