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13 March 2009 @ 11:07 pm
Drawn Together by Z.A. Maxfield  

Another fantastic story by Z.A. Maxfield! Rory is a big fan of artist Ran Yamane. So much so, that he fancies himself in love with the girl. When he finds out that the love of his life will be in California. He embarks on a cross-country trip from Louisiana to California to meet her. Upon arriving in California with no plans and little money, Rory faces an unexpected truth; Ran Yamane is a man, a slight, eccentric, amazingly beautiful man. What follows is an entertaining adventure full of yaoi goodness. I loved every minute.

 

If you are looking for a realistic contemporary, stop reading now. If like me, you love stories about “impossibly beautiful men cast in highly fantastical or dramatic situations”(1) this book was made for you. Drawn Together has the highly visual quality that I love about yaoi. It plays in the mind’s screen like the best anime movies. It is fast paced, colorful, entertaining and sexy. Yaoi purists be warned, Z.A. turns the types for seme and uke on their head in this story. I loved the twist!

 

As with Z.A. Maxfield’s prior work, the main characters are masterfully developed. In fact, in typical yaoi fashion, the characters are larger than life. Even the secondary characters are jewels waiting to be discovered along the way. In the beginning Rory is lovable, but also a little pitiful in his blind devotion for Ran Yamane. Yet, as the story evolves, Rory evolves from reluctant hero to fearless knight, all the while proving himself a true southern gentleman. He has a history of being a het player, yet he is not completely appalled to find himself attracted to another man. The fluid sexuality and perhaps even a bit of “gay for you” themes in the book are m/m staples that Z.A. executed very well.

 

Yamane is a great character. He is attracted to Rory like a moth to a flame. While he is afraid to get burned, he can’t stop himself from getting close. He wants to be self-sufficient, but he knows that he needs Rory to survive the dangerous situation he suddenly finds himself embroiled in. Yamane is unapologetically gay. He is comfortable in his skin, and has grown used to the expectations associated with his appearance. With Rory, Yamane experiences a level of connection, a depth of feeling, that he has not experienced before. It scares him. That fear leads him to behave in somewhat contradictory ways at times, adding a bit of yaoi angst to the story.

 

The villains in the story are absolutely fabulous. While the main villain is a truly scary, psychotic piece of work, it is the “secondary” villain that steals the show with his very human flaws. Not good, not evil, he comes across in many shades of grey and at times, even manages to steal the show. I liked his depth. Is there a story in there, somewhere?

 

Drawn Together is a story not to be missed, an excellent addition to an already notable body of work by one of the best m/m authors publishing today. I suggest buying it now. ;-)  I'll be waiting for the paperback so I can put it in my keeper shelf.

Learn more about Z.A. Maxfield and Drawn Together at http://www.zamaxfield.com/ 

 

(1) Katrina Strauss posting about yaoi at The Phade, 9/13/08 ( http://z3.invisionfree.com/The_Phade/index.php?showtopic=1367&view=findpost&p=2843116 )
 

 
 
Current Mood: bouncybouncy
Current Music: Eve 6 - Inside Out
 
 
 
Z.A. Maxfieldzamaxfield on March 15th, 2009 02:22 am (UTC)
Ohmygoodness, thank you so much! I love that you get the yaoi part of this, it really did stem from my love of those beautiful bishonen characters. I wanted to set two of them loose to spin across the country with a crazy set of problems and see what happened. I had the notion that it was a real love story set against the backdrop of a screwball road comedy.

Thank you so much!
~ZAM~
AAboylove_addict on March 15th, 2009 02:30 am (UTC)
"I had the notion that it was a real love story set against the backdrop of a screwball road comedy."

That theme does come across. It's an awesome book. Above all it is mighty entertaining. Just what I needed this week!

PS: I posted this at The Phade too.
Z.A. Maxfieldzamaxfield on March 15th, 2009 02:47 am (UTC)
SWEET, thank you!
kobbink on March 17th, 2009 05:39 pm (UTC)
Oooh, I was just oogling the bishies in "Viewpoint" this weekend (yes, again!) and this sounds like just the ticket...plus I'm a junkie for P.L. Nunn artwork as well as a total romantic!
AAboylove_addict on March 17th, 2009 05:40 pm (UTC)
This is an AWESOME book!