TW: homophobia and anti-Sementism
After reading The Long Way Home and hating it with the passion of a thousand fiery suns going supernova simultaneously, I was hesitant to pick up another ZAM book. A challenge I'm doing requires a "Second Chance Author" so I picked this book based on a recommendation from a friend.
Verdict: I liked it. It didn't wow me or blow me away. It was a quaint-ish little historical M/M novel, and it had the typical insta-like and "I love you"s in under a month. It didn't ignore the setting of the time, 1955 in Los Angeles. There were first rate jerks and first class heroes and everyone in between. The MCs were products of their time, so they were very much in the closet and remained that way, with no real hope they'd ever get to be open about their relationship. I really appreciated that ZAM didn't do that thing that some M/M writers do and try to write historical characters with modern-day sensibilities and attitudes. And of course there was Mooki, who was the star of the show. :D
I did have issues. The whole subplot with Ben's work partner was predictable and conveniently wrapped up. I'm still trying to figure out how Rafe has blond hair and blue eyes. Even Eddard Stark figured out that was impossible (or at least highly improbable) and he's not exactly the brightest light bulb, ya know. I didn't really feel the chemistry between Rafe and Ben.
Overall, this is a good story, and a vast improvement over the first ZAM book I read.