Lichen Craig: Gentlemens Game

Incredible wit and charm There seemed to be nothing wrong with both characters which to me made the rape come out of left field Yes Jack was going through a difficult time yes he had trust issues but the lack of forewarning and the way he unleashed his demons left me baffledThe rape scene as horrible as it was was one of the best parts of the book The writing was simple but to the point and it was easier to get immersed in the emotions of Grey The pain the humiliation the despair It was palpable and horrifyingWhich made me all the angry for how the author resolved the issueview spoiler My main problem is that the whole thing happened in an alcohol induced black out Jack the day after is completely unaware of what he s done He doesn t remember even one second of the horrors that have transpired No sights or sounds trigger any memoryI felt he was let off the hook that way Not only did this alcohol induced amnesia lead to the fact that the depth of traumatization was limited I also felt it was a way of relieving him of responsibility Does he remorse the fact Yes Does he try to atone for what he s done Yes But when Jack says he s a changed man I can t believe him Afterall his acts were an aberration and incident which never would have happened under normal circumstances Or so his friends sayWe get to see a great part of Greyson s physical recovery I loved the attention to detail when it came to Greyson trying to get his body in normal working order But what about his mind I felt like it was completely overlooked Nightmares sight and sounds triggering extreme fear No PTSD There were several scenes in where Greyson was confined in a small space with Jack That should have triggered physical and emotional responses Anything from flinching away to a full blown panic attack But it didn t happen Anger yes Some fear yes But that s it The guy was raped and tortured for God s sakeGreyson might still be wanting Jack but with trauma cases it s a matter of body over mind You might want to like and trust your aggressor but your body won t let you It takes a long time to feel safe again to condition the natural responses of your body and mind So even if it s 10 months after the fact for Greyson to go down on Jack outside the restaurant was ridiculous For Greyson to take part in a foursome in Jack s penthouse wasn t much better And for him to waltz back into his torture room ridiculous hide spoiler This book was truly lovely It contained such a nice combination of romantic activity and true love It had such a nice plot I was never bored for a single second I don t particularly like gory sex activity but here the love scenes fit right in and I didn t even have to close my eyes or skip over thos parts The characters were real peopleThank you for the chance to read this book Reviewed on Hearts On Fire I was given a copy of this book by the author to read and review I must say as a preface to my review that the blurb on Goodreads written by the author I assume was very deceptive This book contains a very graphic and very violent scene of rape and torture so readers beware I have enjoyed many BDSM books but this one left me bothered mostly because I did not now I d be reading BDSM The story begins with big time realtor Scott becomes friends with the young playwright Greyson Scott is intrigued by Greyson and invites him over to his place for dinner where he seduces the lonely naive Greyson Scott tells Greyson that he and a couple of straight friends get together regularly to play cards have dinner and what amounts to an orgy All three men are married wealthy and consider themselves straight because it s only sex Greyson accepts an invitation to their next get together where he meets and eventually falls for millionaire Jack Jack is in a loveless marriage with a cheating wife yet Jack doesn t see his own cheating because again it s only sex Jack files for divorce when his teenage son walks in on his mother screwing another man Greyson has it badly for Jack and the two are planning a future together when Jack gets drunk flies into a rage over his wife and rapes and tortures Greyson I really liked the well fleshed out characters of Scott Greyson and Jack The story was well written and flowed beautifully I would like to say that I felt sorry for the tragic character Greyson but he brought most of his trouble on himself It was also than a little difficult to believe that these men saw themselves as straight I did have some trouble with Jack being angry over a cheating wife yet feeling fine over cheating on his wife The ending of the story was a little surprising and definitely not HEA I d recommend this book to anyone into hardcore BDSM OMG I LOVED the story LOVED it very muchThe first time I read the book blurb I was hooked Ms Craig is a new author to me and I was so pleased that I gave the book a try It turned out to be one of the best book I have read in the past year The writing is very good very poetic Although my English is bad I am still able to tell if I like one s writing or not It s just like listening to songs I don t now how to read notes nor play any instrument But I can appreciate the nice melody This book just sang to me WOW I don t want to go into details of the story without giving any spoilers I can assure you that this is a very powerful and heartbreaking story filled with romance and angst The characters were very realistic Oh There were some steamy scenes too NoteThis story consists menage married guys rape physical abuse with a HEARecommend to anyone who loves a roller coaster ride. Drawing him into the dangerous game three millionaires play in secret But Jack's personal life is complicated and his demons are many and as they strengthen they threaten to destroy all that Jack holds dear including Greyso.

I believe in this story and in the characters Life is messy people do things they shouldn t terrible things Other people find ways to forgive them without sacrificing their own integrity I hope that is what this book is about Really enjoyed this very different novel that doesn t fall easily into one genre Marking it as MM romance isn t accurate as it is a story about a bond of friendship as well as love which just happens to be about men together The author uses a very engaging style with characters that are both likeable and flawed Without giving away major plot points the mid section of the novel will surprise and shock but it will also make you stop and think about similar relationships you have heard of within heterosexual couples Love like so many other emotions doesn t now gender nor does it always prove rational or safe Lichen Craig has developed a story that makes you think without judging and that is the mark of a gifted writer Merlot with oysters shrimp and scallops These men are supposed to be sophisticatedThe descriptions of masculine opulence are not describing what I would term that to be Floral fabrics are not generally thought of as masculine And in the yacht jewel tone floral fabrics are definitely not masculine Tiffany style lamps do not necessarily go with ornate European style antiuesWriters I suggest a subscription to Architectural Digest that should give you a good picture of high end sophisticated designOn the plus side the coming out to Jack s family where the glances nervousness and uncertainty between Greyson and Jack was perfectly pitched and felt very real The sharing of feelings about each other to others for the first time and before expressing it to each other is both brave and foolhardy And very well doneThe conceit that a man is not gay when he is fucking another man and getting fucked by himsaying I love you and wanting him to care for children I see this in real life too but what are they thinking By saying they are not gay they are being homophobic themselvesview spoilerFrom the rape scene on I could not put the book downI was not expecting the force of the rape Nor did I want to believe that Jack could do it I think the author gave the right clues to his personality I had just identified with Grey so strongly that I found it hard to fathom Having read rape scenes in other books probably prepared me for this However the graphic details from Grey s care at the hospital were unbearable Easy to make Jack into a monsterThe wife giving up her sons in the middle of the night seemed a little implausible For me it needed background as to whyThe slow melting between them was well done The scene where Jack has the table turned on him was freaky but very necessary for him to truly understand what Grey feltEpilogues are sometimes necessary evils I came to love these guys all four of them as well as Lisa and Ross So I did want it to continue and find out what happened I could have used some actual family building with the sons and some much needed relationship building between Grey and Jack A burning uestion did they ever come to terms that they are now gay hide spoiler Gentleman s GameLichen CraigReviewed by Nan Hawthorne4 out of 5 starsThemes of love guilt denial and forgiveness are woven together in this often upsetting novel of two men s love for each other This is not a sweet book though it does have lovely moments and most readers will find it challenging If you are a reader who expects novels to be Morality Plays where the good are rewarded the bad are punished and everyone lives happily and uneventfully ever after don t buy this book It is way over your headWhen wealthy business man Jack Miles meets playwright Grayson Foster at an all male cards dinner booze and sex party at his penthouse he is due for a surprise the love of his life Jack and two other men have been meeting for their gentleman s game to let off steam on the downlow All three of the men see themselves as heterosexual two are happily married This is where some readers will insist this makes them all bad men Were life that simple Let me tell you you are not reading the book to be reassured about the faultlessness of the characters choicesBack to the synopsis Jack begins to court Grayson and though neither of them have ever identified as gay they fall in love and become a couple While Gray seems to accept that he had the capacity to love a man now that he does Jack is a sink of various conflicting influences His wife is in unblinking terminology a slut and a bitch She finds out about Gray and uses the information and her social and media contacts to use the relationship to Zu schnell keep Jack from getting custody of theirids whom she has had little interest in until they became useful pawns This stress and the habit of humiliation by his wife works on Jack until he in an alcoholic blackout unleashes all his rage on Gray It remains to be seen at this point in the story if Jack is repentant if Gray could ever forgive him and trust him again if Jack even entirely gets what he has done and whether Jack will face the conseuences Again without spoiling the story let me say if you want easy morality think againThe cover image a pair of hands has meaning in this novel Besides the uestion of whether a writer can work without his hands and fingers there is the emotional impact of Could these hands have inflicted so much pain where they have formerly caressed and worshipped The two hands are palms up not touching bereft of what they long to touch and hold They are an elouent emblem of how isolated. When young playwright Greyson Foster agrees to attend a party at the penthouse of a millionaire he has no idea how profoundly it will change his life His journey will take him into spaces in his mind he never new existed bri.

We all can find ourselves without love trust and yes forgivenessCraig s writing is overall uite good uite skillful but she has a tendency to step into the story and explain the various characters motivations I was puzzled in the first few chapters that so much of the story was told in the two main characters self reflections These are issues she will need to consider in her next books The freshness and unapologetic look at the complex nature of love and need overcomes these mistakes however Even the groan and roll your eyes But I m not gay I just happen to love a man is confronted frankly in this novel Is there really an us and them Or is sexuality fluid harder to pigeonhole More importantly what does it matter when you are talking about two individuals Maybe Craig is suggesting we all just butt out and let these guys work it out for themselvesMore reviews at GLBT Bookshelf Just finished Gentlemen s Game I don t now how I feel about it The escapist in me loved it The realist was thrown for a loop The thing I loved the most was the dynamic the four gentlemen had with each other They were what they were and they were true to themselves and the group It s one of those books you talk about debate about and re read it and it sticks in your head I will read Lichen Craig s next book have no doubt I LOVED the first half of this book Even as I was reading it I thought this book is aces I am giving it one million stars It s about a gorgeous purportedly straight playwright who accidentally falls in love with an also purportedly straight billionaire I enjoyed it so much I was even able to put aside my irritation with the clumsy exposition on sexuality really it was like gay who me no no never I just have sex with men okay sexuality is complicated but the characters were protesting so much it was almost a bit homophobic I even managed not to roll my eyes too much at the it isn t cheating on your wife if you sleep with guys thing which apparently the author thinks is a real thing But then The Thing happened and seriously stop reading this now if you haven t read this book yet and it all fell apart view spoiler Look I don t drink so I don t now if a person s personality can in fact do a total 180 when drunk but I had a hard time accepting what Jack did The rape and torture of someone he was supposed to love was beyond reprehensible Okay okay I now this is MM rape and torture is basically the bread and butter of the genre and usually that doesn t ruin a book for me But this time it did Why WHY I don t understand why the author chose to include that scene it ruined everything that came afterward and tainted every subseuent interaction between the characters I usually root for the main couple and I can forgive a lot if you re cute and gay But not this time I actively wanted to dissolve Jack in a vat of acid How Grey could go back to him after was utterly utterly beyond me And that leads me back to the drinking problem I don t have Jack was by all accounts a fantastic guy but then he gets a bit tipsy and has a serious Mr Hyde moment out of the fucking blue What The Fuck I need someone to explain this one to me hide spoiler Well I wanted to like this book I appreciated the author s effort to handle difficult subjects like infidelity m nage and rape But the end result left me confused and with an array of conflicting thoughts and emotions with indignation predominatingI had some minor and major issues with both style and contentsConcerning style I m not a big fan of omniscient third person narrative And I thought there was a lot of telling instead of showing in the beginning But my main problem was the prose Whereas another reader described the author s style as poetic I think of it as flowery Combined with the formal speech of the characters I sometimes felt like I was reading a historical had it not been for the occasional mentioning of cars phones and laptops That same formal speech made some conversations come off as contrived and lacking an emotional intensity where most needed Saying It has troubled me greatly that you might fail to realize my concern and affection for you when being confronted with the outrage of a friend doesn t sound very realistic or current for that matter Concerning contents I felt the story was unbalanced and lacked nuanceThe blurb talks about the journey of the main character Greyson Foster and how his life changes as he gets tangled up in the lives of 3 fortunate men Jack Miles in particular But what the book really is about is the rape scene which happens around 60% of the book I felt like everything else I had read up to that point was a plot device to get the rape to play out The insta love between the two characters the evil ex wife with no redeeming ualities the soap opera esue sudden battle over ids who haven t been in an unhealthy environment for years complete with PI s and talkshows and the way it got resolved for no apparent reason It was all a set up to that sceneI was expecting a slowly unfolding relationship between the Grey and Jack Friendship tentative romance expectations manipulations and trouble in paradise But the men pretty much fell for each other upon meeting one another There was little reflection into how two supposedly straight men would want to be together despite the overabundance of internal monologues in the beginning I felt like as a reader you were hardly allowed to uestion the sanity of the two characters because both were described as perfect Beautiful Greyson with his uiet modesty but strong resolve and powerful Jack with his. Ng him face to face with needs he never new he had and challenge him to travel to the precipice of lust revenge and love From their first meeting the powerful and charismatic Jack Miles weaves an enticing web around Greyson.

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at the GLBT Bookshelf at which she interviews movers and shakers in the GLBT world of literature and the artsLichen lives at the foot of the Rocky Mountains with three large dogs She spends a lot of time thinking about the nature of relationships sexual choices and the rapidly changing moral world in which we live You can visit her website at