Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Review of Talker by Amy Lane

Amy Lane
Dreamspinner Press, 2010

Tate "Talker" Walker has spent most of his life hiding his scars under a bright punk facade, and until he sat next to Brian Cooper on a bus, it worked. But Brian has spent his whole life being the invisible man, and he's used to looking below the surface. What he sees in Talker is a fragile and lovable human being.
Brian is outwardly straight, but Talker is desperate for love, and when Talker's behavior leads to some painful consequences, Brian is forced to come out of his closet—in dramatic fashion. He'll do anything to make sure Talker sees that he's the Prince Charming Talker has always needed.

Genre & Keywords:
M/M, Contemporary, College, Coming Out, Scarred, Music

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Heat level: 2 out of 3 flames

Why I read it:
I received a review copy from the publisher

Talker is a touching and sweet love story about two young guys for whom life hasn’t been easy. Brian is an orphan and Tate is scarred badly because of an accident. Both are rather lonely and meeting each other brings an end to their loneliness as they become best friends and roommates. Tate is the talker while Brian is the quiet type, and Tate is openly gay while Brian seems to be straight.

The story is told from Brian’s point of view, in third person. With the help of flashbacks we learn about how they met and became friends - so the story jumps back and forth between ‘then’ and ‘now’, especially in the beginning. After some initial getting used to it, it’s actually a clever way to give the characters more history and depth without it taking too much time/pages. The character depth and development made this novella stand out in a positive way for me. I really enjoyed these rather unusual characters and their growing relationship.
Love for music did play an important part in it btw and I loved the choice of music. It fitted the characters so well. (I happen to know who had a part in that *cough*Chris*cough*).

Their love story is a Gay For You one. Brian is coming to realize he feels attracted to Tate and with the help of his ex-girlfriend Virginia he finds the courage to come out of the closet he didn’t realize he was in. The interesting part of this GFY storyline is that Brian has not only come to terms with being gay, he also has to work hard to convince Tate that he’s in love with him. Scarred as Tate is, physically and mentally, he doesn’t believe Brian on his word. I like the role Brian’s ex-girlfriend and aunt played in this. The outcome is convincing and lovely because the author did a wonderful job to convey the feelings and emotions of her characters.

I think Ms Lane wrote with Talker a rather unique love story, with intriguing and moving characters, which had me engrossed and invested from the beginning. It’s a well written, character driven novella and entertaining as such. It even made me sniff at one point and I completely and utterly fell in love with these guys. If you’re looking for a sweet and compelling love story with unforgettable heroes, I highly recommend reading this book. And let’s hope that we’ll see more of Brian and Tate in a future book…

Favorite quote:
As he walked out of the bathroom, though, he heard Tate start to sing “And our love would have soared, over treetops over rooftops.…” to himself, and Brian wanted to turn around and hug him just for that alone.
Oh God, he’d missed hearing Talker sing.

Amy Lane’s website | weblog | Goodreads
Buy Talker here



  1. I really liked this one too and I think Amy said at Kris' that she just finished the rest of their story, so hopefully we'll see it soon.

    It was very touching and tugged at the heart strings.

  2. I got kinda sniffly while I was reading this one. Definitely looking forward to the sequel!

  3. *happy smile* I'm so very glad you enjoyed it--thank you so much for the review! (And yes--Talker's Redemption will be out in January.)

  4. Oh, and LOL about the music! :D

  5. I'm always on the fence with novella's but some just hit all the right triggers. Amy Lane impressed me with her Keeping Promise Rock and Keeping promises so with your review I head on over to Dreamspinner Press where my wishlist is getting larger with the day LOL

  6. Very nice review! It made me really curious. I might just move this up to the front of my reading list! :-)

  7. Hi Janna,
    Just heard from Lis that you asked her to come on over and perhaps review :) very nice

    *waves to the wolf* was it big bad, or just bad wolf, must watch some Dr Who. Anyway hi L

  8. @Tam: Isn't that just wonderful news! Can't wait to read more about this cute couple! :)

    @Chris: Me too. And the mentioning of the music is a subtle way of reminding you that you promised me one of your manlove cd's too. ;)

    @Amy Lane: To be honest, you already had me with the dedication. I loved it! The rest was a big bonus ;) I really look forward to Talker's Redemption. I pencil it in my calendar!
    Thanks for swinging by, Amy! :)

    @Leontine: Think about it this way: together with the sequel it won't be just a novella anymore. They add to a novel. ;) I know what you mean with the growing wishlist. Their books are very desirable! :)

    @Blaid-drwg: Thanks, Larissa! I think you'll love this couple. :D

    @Blodeuedd: Hi B, you heard right and all thanks to you, hon! :)

  9. I have now marked that on a post-it - post-its being FAR more reliable than my memory. :)

  10. I really liked this one. Very emotional but not over the top. I'm looking forward to the sequel.

  11. Fantastic review - thank you Janna! I so need to read more of Amy Lane - Keeping Promise Rock blew me away. She seems to write emotional, character-driven novellas - right up my alley *grin*

  12. Thanks for the review. One question... What does "Gay For You" mean?

  13. @Chris: Yay! :D

    @orannia: Thanks, orannia! That's right up my alley as well! :)

    @Jen: Gay For You is when one of the heroes (or both) is straight (or thinks he is) but falls in love with another man and realises he's gay (for him). It's one of my favorite themes in m/m romance, together with the 'friends becoming lovers' theme. :)

  14. @Lily: I almost overlooked you. ;)
    I agree, it wasn't over the top, but touching nevertheless. I'm happy there's a sequel coming out!

  15. I have this on my wish list and have heard nothing but good things. I can't wait to read it. :)

  16. I'll come back when I have read it - I have heard so much about it - I need to find a day to just be quite and sink into it..


  17. @Tracy: I think you'll enjoy it and will be jonesing for the sequel with the rest of us, Tracy! :D

    @EH: You won't need a whole day, just a few hours, because it's not a full-length novel. I hope you can find the time for this cute story soon, hon! :)


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