Review - "Sauntering Vaguely Downward" by Nessa L. Warrin
Charming and well developed story
Dylan is in Atlanta for Dragon*Con, the annual convention in Atlanta for all things scifi/fantasy/geek/fanboy/girl, but his long time roommate Eric cannot make it at the last minute. Frustrated, he advertised on the boards for someone at the last minute to split the cost of the room with him. Since he plans on being at events, panels, parties and all the general merriment to be had at the long Labor Day weekend event, maybe he will luck into someone who won't piss him off too badly.
Brendan also has his long time roomie Nate also bail on him at the last minute. He too doesn't really want to foot the hotel bill by himself, and when he runs across Dylan's ad, he jumps at the chance to find a roommate.
Unfortunately, Dylan is a bit...anal...about having his schedule adhered to and being on time, and when Brendan is late meeting him on Thursday at 2:30 pm exactly, the two don't start off on the best footing. Never mind that Brendan has to deal with a late plane, the world's busiest airport, Atlanta mass transit and traffic - Dragon*Con waits for no man!
Such a shame too, because Dylan is immediately attracted to Brendan. Too bad the guy isn't gay...and the convention will be over soon and Dylan will be back in New York.
And Brendan thinks Dylan is an ass, but a cute ass. Too bad he isn't gay...and the convention will be over and Brendan will be back in New York.
Will these two guys manage to find some common ground, or will they let an opportunity for something good saunter on southward?
Being an Atlanta native and having been to one of the early early early Dragon*Cons back when dinosaurs walked the earth, I had very high hopes and expectations for this book. And I have to say, I was very happily surprised. Ms. Warin has crafted a fun and entertaining story about two guys who meet under unlikely circumstances and manage to fall into something pretty special.
What I really liked about this book is how the two characters slowly came around over the course of a long weekend, recognized that the setting could be affecting their interactions and judgement, and yet decided to take a chance on love anyway. What started out as the opportunity for just a little weekend fun (and what guy doesn't want to carpe THAT diem) managed to grow over the course of five days into both men wanting to see where it might go.
There was an easiness to the writing of these characters that doesn't show itself often. The fact that both held back initially from expressing their feelings, not wanting to name what was happening and jinx what they felt, was very true to the characters. It sometimes is so easy to compromise the integrity of the characters to move the story along, but I found Ms. Warin wielding a deft hand here, letting the relationship unfold as it should and having the emotional connection dictate the flow and action.
Since the setting required the story take place, at least initially, within the five days of Dragon*Con, the build was slow and sweet. At first, I had some qualms over how much alcohol fueled some of the action, especially with Brendan. But it in no way was outside of the actions that I think would have happened anyway, and didn't compromise the characters or the flow of the story.
Overall, I was impressed with the sweetness of the feelings between these two men and the way they slowly decided to open their hearts to each other. The evolution of the relationship was nicely done. And the epilogue, the nice cherry on this very sweet sundae.
Job well done.