Author: Eli Easton
Narrator:: Michael Stellman
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Run Time: 7 Hours and 55 Minutes
At a Glance: The book and audio are hot, the characters are well developed, and the narration is spot on. I recommend it heartily.
Reviewed By: Kathie
Blurb: Everyone admires Michael Lamont for being a nurse, but his part-time work as a gay sex surrogate not only raises eyebrows, it’s cost him relationships. Michael is small, beautiful, and dedicated to working with people who need him. But what he really wants is a love of his own. He spends most of his time reading science fiction, especially books written by his favorite author and long-time crush, the mysteriously reclusive J.C. Guise.
James Gallway’s life is slowly but inexorably sliding downhill. He wrote a best-selling science fiction novel at the tender age of 18, while bedridden with complications of polio. But by 28, he’s lost his inspiration and his will to live. His sales from his J.C. Guise books have been in decline for years. Wheelchair bound, James has isolated himself, convinced he is unlovable. When he is forced to do a book signing and meets Michael Lamont, he can’t believe a guy who looks like Michael could be interested in a man like him.
Michael and James are made for each other. But they must let go of stubbornness to see that life finds a way and love has no limitations.
Review: The Mating of Michael is a great book and a phenomenal audiobook, and I connected with so many of its characters. I felt the pain and anguish when James cried out, “Momma, my legs don’t work.” I could “live” his sense of frustration at having to depend on others in the care facilities his Mom placed him in. I found myself celebrating his feelings of accomplishment as he built a life that depended on no one but himself. Control over our own lives is a powerful feeling. A skilled storyteller does that for their readers, allows us to “live vicariously” through their characters.
Michael has the strong desire to care for others. While doing his internship at a VA Hospital, he came to realize that patients need the human touch, not in a clinical way. The turning point for Michael was a patient at the VA, a gay man who’d lost a leg and suffered from PTSD. Michael instinctively knew that this man, needed to be reminded “that being alive meant the possibility of great pleasure, not just pain.”
After Nursing school, Michael became a certified sex surrogate, working for Expanded Horizons Clinic. He also worked for a company called Happy at Home, caring for patients who want to be home but need extra care to stay there. Eli Easton introduces us to one of Michael’s patients, Marnie, the eighty-nine-years young, former burlesque dancer. Listening in as Michael is painting Marnie’s fingernails a flaming red—“Red lips and red nails, cock you hip, it never fails.”—is Marnie’s secret to how she attracted the men. What a hoot she was. She never failed to make me smile.
Eli Easton made the characters come alive, from descriptions of what they looked like to the reactions they had to rejection and attraction. I loved following Michael and James’s journey of new love, broken hearts, powerful and detailed lovemaking (thank you for that), and a happy ending. Oh, how I love a happy ending. But not just any happy ending! A happily-ever-after where I have been fully drawn into a story by a writer, and a story that has that AW! factor.
Michael Stellman gifts to this audio was his uncanny ability to develop and portray all the characters of this story, giving each one a unique voice and a personality. His performance of The Mating of Michael adds to the story, brings the character to life, and above all, complements Eli Easton’s talent as a storyteller. The book and audio are hot, the characters are well developed, and the narration is spot on. I recommend it heartily. Don’t miss it!
You can buy The Mating of Michael here: