Review by Taylor
Author: Julie Lynn Hayes
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Sometimes Sonny Scrignoli forgets he’s Tim Mansfield’s ex. He waltzes in and out of Tim’s apartment like he still lives there, driving Tim crazy. Is it really so hard to remember they’ve broken up? Then again, maybe Tim should quit having sex with him. When Sonny disappears for two weeks, Tim can’t help but be concerned. A strange phone call and a mysterious cry for help leads Tim on a desperate search for his ex. Sonny’s in big trouble, and it’s Tim to the rescue! He’s the only one who can save his ex from a fate worse than death. Bumbling gangsters, a thick-headed former boyfriend, and secretive FBI agents lead Tim and Sonny on a merry chase full of laughs and quirks.
I requested this book because it sounded like a fun, little caper book and when it initially started, I thought everything might be OK. One of my initial thoughts, though, was that the tense was throwing me and that the humor and narrator felt a little forced.
Tim is a likable character, in that sometimes his frustration amused me, and I could see how much he cared for Sonny. But he was written in such a way that he seemed frenetic. Only 15% in to the book, and he completely exhausted me.
The tense also added to my exhaustion. On one hand, the present tense kept the pace of the story up, but that and Tim’s one-liners proved to be too much for me to handle.
I don’t honestly know what the plot entailed as I was so disturbed by the characters (more on that in a bit), that I think there were FBI agents kissing wailing grown men, there were spiders and screams, taquitos at gas stations, interrupted sex acts, a Bates motel, and two estranged lovers on the run. It was never boring, I’ll give the author that much.
I can overlook all of that, though. Really. What I couldn’t get past is the depiction of Sonny, and in some ways Dale. It was clear to me that Sonny was mentally handicapped in some way, but the book never addresses it at all. So the whole time I was reading, I kept thinking am I some giant asshole who is
thinking this? This is not a man with an adult brain and adult actions. I conferred briefly with another reviewer who also read this, and she thought the exact same thing. Listen, I’ve worked for many years in special education and speech pathology either in schooling, or volunteer work. That’s not an issue, but because it wasn’t addressed, I didn’t know what I was supposed to think of Sonny. He honestly appeared like he had the mind of a 6 year old. The idea of a 6 year old having sex with a grown man and licking his dick child-like disturbed me. Screaming and having tantrums and giving Tim little boy smiles while calling him “Tim-tim” also creeped me out. Even Dale seemed to have some mental deficiencies and I just never got what the author was going for in this book.
Because of all of these factors, this book was really just not for me.