The Coil by L.A. Gilbert
Sandwich-maker Mattie Green has one goal: escape San Diego, move to New York, and attend art school. But to make this a reality, he needs to get his GED—not easy, since he can’t read or write. Until he can, he’s stuck working at the diner and selling himself on the side.
Mattie’s legitimate job isn’t without perks. Every day the quiet, sophisticated Simon Castle comes by to work on his latest book. Mattie wants more than to pour Simon’s coffee and make his lunch, but he’s sure Simon is out of his league—until suddenly he’s not.
Simon Castle’s life is complicated, built around his career and a son who requires a lot of time and attention. It’s not a life well-suited to the inclusion of even a part-time prostitute, so he resolves to keep his relationship with Mattie casual. However, the longer he knows Mattie, the deeper his feelings become. The idea of him with another man tortures Simon, but he can’t ask Mattie to be his alone and jeopardize Mattie’s hopes for New York—no matter how much he wants Mattie to stay.
All right one thing niggled at me from the start…Castle? Really? *sigh* Anyway, Mattie is a struggling artist. Struggling moneywise but not only, he grew up in a bad environment and dropped out of school. Mattie is illiterate. This is not something that most people are aware of becoming a greater problem in the US. Mattie is improving himself. Determined to get into art school in New York, he is taking courses and getting his GED so he can reach for his dream. Simon Castle is a writer. He goes into the shop where Mattie works everyday while his Autistic son is in school. He can’t help but notice Mattie but Simon has been hurt before and doesn’t want to risk himself or his son’s fragile world.
I have a cousin that is a high functioning Autistic. Just like Simon’s son, Jamie, my cousin has his own quirks. Unfortunately because he was high functioning my cousin wasn’t as lucky to be diagnosised as young as Jamie. I can see why Simon was so protective though. It is such a helpless feeling for parents when they can only do so much for their child. I do think that Simon took it way too far though. He used Jamie as a crutch. At times in the story I really didn’t like him. Mattie always seemed way younger than he was supposed to be. I really think that was overplayed as well.
I loved the story itself. I thought the author did a very good job with tackling some difficult subjects. As I have mentioned though the characters were a little off. I have a hard time with a lot of Mattie’s behavior fitting how his life worked. I also thought that the author flipped him around too much. One moment he is talking with horrible grammar and the like and the next he is all mature sounding. I didn’t care for the flip-flop. Simon was better though I wasn’t sure I liked him.
I did like how the author used both main characters POV’s. I think it helped add detail that would have been sorely lacking if there was only one. There wouldn’t have been the vibrancy to the writing without both. I didn’t much care for the Prologue though. It really gave a spoiler effect to the whole of the story.
So how to wrap up all of this? While I liked the story, I had a harder time with the characterizations and the use of the Prologue. So while the story is rich and vibrant with a wonderful undercurrent with social issues, it didn’t quite hit the mark for a five rose review but not so bad for a 3.
Posted on Monday, September 30th, 2013, in Book Review, Contemporary, Four Roses, M/M Romance, Novel: 150 pages and above, TJ and tagged Dreamspinner Press, Four Roses, L.A. Gilbert, M/M Romance, Novel. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.