Author: Lucy Hale
Page Count: 312
Format: Full Size
Color cover by K9
Available From: Agent With Style
Price: $39.00 (US) * $43.00 (Canada/Mexico) * $45.00 (overseas)
This wonderful 300-plus-paged novel by Lucy Hale focuses on the brand-new relationship between Rafe and Simon, but features all the wonderful characters you know and love from the show! Not everyone agrees with Simon and Rafe's love, and the men themselves have their own insecurities to deal with. Between laughter and tears, Lucy tells a tale you'll dive into head first and not want to come out!
A little update here: Thanks so much to Serena for providing a much more informative review than I managed. Gee, did we even read the same 'zine? LOL! Please be sure to read her review as she provides many warnings you may wish to be aware of before buying and/or reading the 'zine.
I decided I didn't take the Rafe torture as hard as she did because, though I love to look at him, he's not a fave character of mine and I wasn't as hard hit that "my guy" was being tortured. Rather, I was much more disturbed by Jim's characterization. Still... I think if you are prepared mentally for this, you can thoroughly enjoy this 'zine.
First a few comments on format, etc. Nice double column format! Spiral binding and plastic cover. All things I like in a 'zine. The color cover by K9 you may recognize. It was previously featured on the cover of the AngelWings Press 'zine Whispers of the Heart III. As I understand it, this should not have happened. But, hey, it did. So I shall rejoice in the fact I have not one, but two 'zines graced with Rafe's buff bod!
Important Note: Well, okay I can make light of the cover situation since all I have to do is drool over Rafe, however I'm aware that this can cause many problems for lots of people. AngelWings Press is the only one authorized to use that cover as per the artist. Since K9 has requested all the covers featuring her art be removed from the 'zine Anything I can't say just what a future 'zine might look like! So all you Rafe Babes, if you order a copy and you don't see a toned -those abs!, buff -that chest!, boxer clad... um, where was I.....
Lucy writes wonderfully! She really kept my interest in Simon and Rafe's part of the story, but I had a lot of trouble with Jim's character. He was, um, I don't really know if "homophobic" would be the right word. But he never could reconcile himself to Simon's and Rafe's choice to be together. Though he was eventually supportive of Simon and Rafe during all their trials, I got the feeling it was from a feeling of duty to their long friendship rather than that he was happy for them. Jim declared right up to the end that Simon was making a mistake with Rafe, or maybe not Rafe himself, but the decision to love a man. I was significantly upset by this characterization and that there was no J/B. However if you are a Simon/Rafe fan, you are in for a mega treat! Simon will literally do Anything for Rafe. And he does. There're lots of owies, torture and angst here, but love wins in the end. This is really a beautifully written 'zine. Did I mention the angst?! First time S/R. Quite the tome and if you begin the story reconciled to the fact there's no J/B you are going to be in for a Simon/Rafe fest that will stick with you for some time.
Anything by Lucy Hale
I hear the "Bare-chested Rafe"-cover (K9) is being replaced soon by artwork from Ann Walton. Don't mistake Anything with Whispers of the Heart III.
Lucy Hale is a terrific writer who managed more than once to create a colorful world of fanfiction. This zine contains five stories, stand-alones, that are connected through the undeniable affection and adoration Rafe and Simon feel for each other, glued together by "interludes" that give the reader a sense of the timeline used.
I loved the plots of the stories and the sex between Rafe and Simon, so devoted to each other, is really fantastic, creative and loving, a joy to read. And yet I was barely able to finish each of the stories. Rafe gets beaten, raped, suffers from childhood abuse, is humiliated by an ex-lover and is forced into non-consensual sex, before he is beaten, shot at and has to suffer through the abduction and beating of Simon. It is a sea of hurt the reader has to wade through until (s)he gets to the good parts - the plot and the sex... LOL
No warnings are given in this zine. I stumbled into this world of pain without knowing what to look for. And this is not a good thing for me.
As to the major characters, who are minor characters in this anthology: I was not quite able to grasp Jim's character and the interaction between Blair and Jim - maybe that's because they are so straight (ptuuui, dirty word), maybe because "my" Jim is loyal to his friends, even though they are depicted as being corrupt (we've seen it in Deep Water, where he didn't believe Pendergrast was dirty till he could prove the man's innocence!) and wouldn't turn his back to a man he had known longer than Blair just because said man discovers his homosexuality.
So I'd say: If you don't mind that your very favorite character (Rafe, for those who hadn't guessed till now - snicker) has to suffer through the whole zine, it is a great read. If you are - like me - "faint of the heart": Beware.
Why you should buy this 'zine: We rarely get Simon/Rafe stories, or any supporting character stories, of this quality and magnitude. Get it while you can!
Why you shouldn't buy this 'zine: No J/B :-(
Miscellany: Be sure to read Serena's review for some important warnings!
Review: Write to Submit