Raincheck, Sarah Madison
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Gay Romance
Tags: Paranormal – Other, Contemporary
Length: 68 Pages
Reviewer: Kazza K
Who would have thought a M/M romance from the perspective of a gargoyle would be a winner. Obviously the author, Sarah Madison. I like something different and I also really enjoyed The Boys of Summer so I thought I would try another by the author. Glad I did.
Rodney is a one hundred and fifty year old gargoyle. He sits atop the Freemont apartment complex and he likes his view out over the Hudson and he particularly likes to people-watch. He also has a little collection of things – a snowcone, some books that he loves to read, little objects that keep him company and help him pass the time. During the day he is set in concrete on the building, but at night he comes to life. On one night an attractive man comes up onto the roof, whisky bottle in hand, and well dressed in a tuxedo but with an aura of frustration and hurt around him. The man’s name is David and he lives in the penthouse apartment. Rodney takes refuge in the air conditioning tower’s shadows and when David is talking Rodney chimes in. Normally it isn’t a problem as no one can hear him. But David not only hears him he talks with him. This is a new development for Rodney. Luckily David is rather distracted that night and Rodney can keep his distance so his form is not made out. David is the eldest son of a wealthy and well known property developer and his father wants him to marry and come fully into the business and family fold. He has a good lifestyle and doesn’t want to rock the boat, but he doesn’t want to marry a woman either. Rodney doesn’t understand why David feels so stuck and offers some rather sage advice to someone in a typical cycle of having money and not wanting to leave it behind, no matter what –
“I might live in a cage, but it’s a nicely gilded one and I don’t see any way of leaving it.”
“Bullshit.” Rodney had to control his anger. “I don’t think you know what the definition of a cage really is.”
“Excuse me?” David had the air of someone who was not used to being spoken to in this manner.
“You heard me. Any cage where you have the key, where the goddamn door is open, only you’re too chickenshit to walk out of it, is no cage at all.”
A friendship develops between Rodney and David because David respects this strangers opinion. Even though David wants to see Rodney he respects that Rodney is obviously worried about his looks or his physicality, so he is happy to talk from a distance. He even brings him a picnic one night and leaves it out on the roof for Rodney. Pretty soon Rodney is watching over David. He can see him through the skylight and he watches from overhead as David goes on his nightly runs – he can fly when in corporeal form and he looks out for his new friend. One night, when David is out for a business meeting, Rodney follows to make sure all is well. When David is mugged, Rodney rescues him and flies him back home. Initially he is worried because David has now glimpsed him in his gargoyle form. What will happen? When people have seen him before they have not reacted well –
Something twisted painfully in Rodney’s chest. Despite knowing that he’d acted in order to save David, it still hurt him bitterly to know he’d just ruined his only friendship by revealing his true appearance to David.
But mostly he is concerned about David. He organises help so David can be checked out. There is a funny moment when Sadie, the older, semi-visually challenged, gun toting neighbour of David spots Rodney trying to sneak unseen into David’s apartment –
“You should tell your friend to put on some clothes, David. He shouldn’t be walking the halls with that great big schlong hanging out like that.” Sadie waved a hand in irritation toward Rodney.
Raincheck is a not a long read at 68 pages, but the characters are developed really well. The mood of a lonely gargoyle who finds friendship, desire and love for the first time in his long life is so tangible. There is more to the story – Rodney’s perch above the Freemont is breaking away and he believes his time is now coming to an end, and just when things have become interesting for him and he doesn’t feel lonely anymore. Another gargoyle Rodney knew disappeared and he never did know what happened to him. From what Rodney knows a gargoyle crumbles to dust when in corporeal form. When in stone, they will smash if they fall from a height. Will David care for Rodney as much as Rodney does for him? Is Rodney’s time now up?
Raincheck is incredibly sweet and very well written. I really liked both of the main characters so much. Rodney was a delight and he’s definitely a GILK – gargoyle I’d like to know. Interestingly, the sex is well written when it occurs. Sarah Madison is a good writer and fast making it onto my favourites list. This book and The Boys of Summer could not be more poles apart premise wise, but the commonality is the strong, passionate writing that helps you identify with the characters, that makes you want to see them happy.
Highly recommended for those who like a beauty and the beast theme, M/M contemporary paranormal, sweet writing and good characters all within a shorter read. And that is a wonderful cover!