Amy Lane, Dreamspinner Press, Ramblings

A Review…Sort of… Dex in Blue by Amy Lane

“Love is when one person knows all of your secrets… your deepest, darkest, most dreadful secrets which no one else in the world knows… and yet in the end, that one person does not think any less of you; even if the rest of the world does.” – Unknown

Excuse me while my thought train runs off the rails for a bit. Happens more often than not. My youngest has ADHD, and I know exactly whose genetic jackpot he tapped into to inherit it. ::raises hand:: This is why I read so much; because when I’m reading, my brain is in constant motion while the rest of me can practice being still. I have something to focus on and can do it in near total silence, as the rest of the world and all its sensory overload disappears while I get lost in the words and worlds an author has created. Put me in a seat in a movie theater and I can guarantee near constant fidgeting and time checking. At home? Fuhgedaboutit. My family has learned not to bother pausing a movie and waiting for me anymore, because I’ll likely never come back from whatever it was that distracted me in the first place.

See? Now I’m rambling. This will end up a review of sorts at some point, I’m sure of it.

So, I’ve been doing some thinking recently about what makes a book infinitely re-readable. Why is it that with some books, a single read is enough, while other books I can read over and over again until I can nearly cite the text verbatim? And sometimes it’s not the entire book but a single scene that I’ll go back to, because it’s the point in the lives of the characters where everything comes home, settles in and makes sense, the defining moment in which all the stars and planets align and create that brilliant burst of, “Aha, I get it now.”

I don’t know, maybe it’s just me. Is it? I’d like to think I’m not alone in this.

So, what’s brought on all this rambling and randomness? It’s Amy Lane’s Dex in Blue, the story of two men whose lives have been filled with a series of perspective altering moments. David Worrall’s transformation began with the bliss of surrender to his best friend Dexter Williams’, but the hairpin turns and stop-sticks that fate loves to throw in the road to happiness quickly threw David into the living hell of surviving the death of first love. It was an event that drove him from his Montana home to California, where he became…

David became the Dex that never was and would never be. He became the man who denied his Self because there would never be another Dexter Williams in the world against which David could measure his emotions. He became the man who supported himself in gay-for-pay porn. He became the man who finally was able to confess the pay wasn’t the component at all in the gay part of his life’s equation. He became the man who, for all his complicated secrets and painful past, learned that sometimes the black and the white of it all can be as simple as simply being.

Carlos Ramirez would never describe himself as a smart man, but that doesn’t mean he’s stupid either. Carlos merely sees things in their simplest possible terms because to complicate things by borrowing extraneous variables from multiple sides of an equation simply doesn’t make sense to him. No, Carlos adds up to a man who doesn’t try to be obtuse; he’s just a man who has to measure the degrees of any given situation until they form an angle he can understand. For Carlos, there is right and there is wrong, there is good and there is bad, there is truth and there is lie, and rarely is there ever a tangent in which the lines blur into a gray area of uncertainty. Carlos simply is.

Or was, until he became Kane and began having sex with men for money. Then he became the man who would do whatever he had to, to keep his sister away from her abusive husband, to protect her and his niece, to pay that niece’s medical bills when Leukemia threatened to ravage her tiny body. For Kane, there was no question. It was simple: sex=money. And that was right, even when it left him homeless.

Or it was simple until Dex came into Kane’s life (or Kane barged into Dex’s) and complicated something so simple that it was up to Kane to simplify something so complicated as love and need and want and the sure and unquestionable knowledge that together was good, apart was bad, and that one plus one plus one plus one plus one…equals the family that you make because the one you didn’t choose has erased you from their existence.

And then sex isn’t just sex anymore because losing the one you place above all else is a price far too high to pay, and you come to realize that your body isn’t mere collateral and your worth can’t be pawned off as a byproduct of your job, because your worth is exponentially expanded by your value to someone else, and your secrets become not-so-secret anymore, but it doesn’t matter in the end because the character of a man is measured by the sum of all his various parts, not the rare and individual negatives that are themselves negated by all the positives.

And so is Dex in Blue, the sum of all its various parts that add up to a bright and beautiful love story, one that I’ll become lost in again and again because, like Kane in his simplest form, stuff makes more sense when I can feel it.

Buy Dex in Blue HERE.

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