5+++ ‘standing ovation, magnificent’ stars! A TBB 2017 TOP READ!
Please note: We strongly advise reading An Exaltation of Larks before this book – currently on sale for 99c/99p!
A profoundly moving story of survival, strength friendship, compassion and love.
Ex-escort Javier Landes is asking for his third chance at love. And the third time is the charm. He meets an art therapist named Steffen Finch and what starts as casual deepens into a passionate relationship—everything Jav has ever wanted, and everything he fears losing.Stef’s business card reads Curator & Sailor. His creativity and insightful nature have made him into a talented therapist, the one to call for tough cases. His professional success can’t conceal a deep need to connect with someone, but Javier Landes is the last person Stef expected.
Geronimo “Geno” Caan is Stef’s most challenging case. To cope with his ordeal, he’s allowed an alter-ego called Mos to make decisions, and now lives a double life within a web of lies. Under Stef’s navigation, Geno uses art to express what Mos forbids to be spoken aloud. But as Geno’s attachment to Stef gradually extends to Jav, the boundaries between professional and personal begin to blur.
Over the course of a year, Jav, Stef and Geno form an unexpected and unconventional triangle, revealing how men make love in times of war and how love is a great wisdom made up of small understandings.
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Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny
‘I know you, he thought, wounded. I see you. I was born tangled with you. We started as one cell before becoming two.’
‘He felt nothing but conviction he was right. This was how it had to be. He knew no other way to survive what couldn’t be understood, other than to have it happen to someone else.’
A Charm of Finches by Suanne Laqueur was a masterpiece which we will never forget, our hearts may never recover but we wouldn’t want them to. We honestly have no words for how intensely overwhelmed we feel about this vivid and emotional story of high importance. Incredibly well written; this is a story of survival. Of tragedy shaping futures, of friendship, understanding, compassion and acceptance. This is not a romance in the ‘usual’ sense of the word rather this is a story of the ugly side of life and how friendships and soulmates are the true thread that binds us, giving the cloth of our humanity love, strength and methods of survival.
‘Just let me come home. Give me this chance. Please let me live to find out who I really am.’
The topic of this story is very –very- real and what we truly admire about this Author is how she writes about the harrowing soul destroying psychological as well as physical after effects whilst highlighting the truth that many turn their backs on: men get raped too. This is not something we often come across in the books we read and we applaud her wholeheartedly for it.
‘I am looking for you. Breathe in the air. Can you smell me? Do you taste me? If you do, then you are mine.’
Suanne Laqueur highlighted the disparity between the perception of female rape and male rape for both the victim and in regards to societal beliefs. Yet what she manages to do is weave hope and inspiration into the dark, gritty and quite frankly soul destroying reality. It was a heroic journey that left us exhausted.
‘She brought in a tall stack of blank, white masks’… “The way one fits snug on top of the other…We don’t just wear one mask, we wear many. First the mask we show to the outside world and under it, the mask we put over our feelings. Under that…”
Not a word was written purely for the purpose of creating a dramatic effect, of that we are adamant and convinced. This is a story that has indisputably been researched to the ninth degree making every single character and their individual as well as combined stories come alive in front of our eyes making us feel like we were part of their story. We became the story and the story became us. This intense feeling had us crying till we couldn’t breathe whilst feeling the shivers, shakes and despair, the hopelessness, the fear, the anger and the pain. As hard as this was, we wanted to feel it, we wanted to take every single step alongside the characters.
“Do you believe everything happens for a reason?”
“I do…but not everyone gets the privilege of liking the reason. Of feeling the reason was worth the ordeal or experience.”
Oh the characters; Geno, Steffen, Javier, Micah, Stav and the rest of the heroes; the survivors of atrocities and circumstance each with their own story and part to play; heavily entwined in an account of life with such depth and detail. We took them all to heart; we came to know them, experienced their stories and struggles, whilst rejoicing with them in their moments of beauty and bliss. Steffen Finch, this man became our North Star, a man we will never forget. A man like no other. We haven’t cried over so many wonderful yet pain tormented characters in a very long time; every tear and aching heartbeat belonged to them.
‘I’m on guard, little brother. You fought hard and brave. Rest your heart now. Don’t be afraid. I’m here. They’ll have to come through me to get to you this time.’
In the overwhelming darkness we were able to see the stars, the hope, the purity, the inspiration and the light. The gift Suanne Laqueur gave us is quite simply astounding, masterful, confronting, exhausting and one of the best we have ever received as readers. She obliterated our hearts and we thank her for that. We forgot to breathe – Suanne Laqueur slayed us emotionally. There are not enough stars in the sky to give…..
‘You are here and nowhere else. Nothing else exists. No other thought. No other feeling. No other moment in any other time but now. No other man but him. No other love but his.’
AN EXALTATION OF LARKS – BOOK ONE – ON SALE for 99c/99p
A 5 ++ deeply emotional, heartbreaking, uplifting and moving exploration of love.
Across three decades and two continents, this novel explores the unpredictability of sexual attraction, how family ties are forged, torn and mended, and how love’s downfall can turn to exaltation.
“We’re so alike, you and I. It’s no wonder we kept finding each other.”
September 11, 1973: Eleven-year-old Alejandro Penda watches from his apartment window as Santiago, Chile falls to a military coup, destroying his family and his childhood. Arriving alone in America, he’s taken in by the Larks: a prominent family in the town of Guelisten. Though burdened by unresolved grief for his disappeared parents, he becomes fiercely loyal to the Larks, eventually marrying one of their daughters, Valerie.
September 11, 2001: Javier Landes watches from his apartment window as New York City falls to terrorism. As one of Manhattan’s top-paid male escorts, this professional lover has never lacked for company and is loyal only to himself. But in the wake of 9/11, Jav is named guardian for an orphaned nephew in Guelisten and must open his carefully-guarded heart to pain he’s long suppressed.
Alex, Valerie and Jav meet first in their twenties, with a sudden attraction each finds strange and compelling. When they meet again in their forties, they discover not only is their bond still strong, but their life experiences are strangely similar. All have been shaped by separate 9/11’s, and their unfinished business from the past will change everything they know about love, loyalty and friendship.
“Life has rules. You cannot come in the middle of the night and take what we agreed isn’t yours.”
TBB ALSO RECOMMENDS by SUANNE
THE FISH TALES SERIES – A TBB 5 Star Series
This series isn’t a read. It’s an epic, emotinonally charged journey. An experience you do not want to miss!
(Please Note: The synopsis for Books #2 and #3 contain spoilers for Book #1)
THE MAN I LOVE BOOK ONE
‘Loving her felt like creating something. A cathedral. Spires and stained glass and bells. But she broke one window and I indiscriminately tore the whole thing down…’
“Like it or not, she made you the man you are. And you never got over her. You just left.”
The man is Erik “Fish” Fiskare, a student of technical theatre at a Philadelphia university. At twenty-two, he is the lover and soul mate of Daisy Bianco, a beautiful and talented ballerina. His best friend is William Kaeger, Daisy’s charismatic, free-spirited partner.
While deeply in love with Daisy and astonished by their physical passion, Erik is fascinated by Will’s bisexuality. But when Will embarks on a disastrous affair with a dancer named James Dow, it pushes Erik’s tolerance and trust to the limit. Rejection soon pushes James over the edge of sanity, taking Will and Daisy with him and leaving Erik in the ruins.
The young stagehand soon discovers that in the face of heartache, grief and betrayal, love is not always enough to make you stay. And sometimes, it’s the only thing that can bring you back.
Spanning fifteen years and following a man’s thrilling emotional journey back to the truth of himself, Laqueur’s debut novel explores the complexities of sexual passion, the dark side of devotion and the futility of running from one’s past. The Man I Love is an epic tale of love and forgiveness that will linger long after the last page is turned.
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GIVE ME YOUR ANSWER TRUE BOOK TWO
“I can’t breathe without you.”
“What I feel has no name…”
Suanne Laqueur’s award-winning debut novel The Man I Lovethrilled readers with its memorable characters and depth of emotion. Erik Fiskare’s journey of love, recovery and forgiveness captivated hearts but also left questions unanswered. Now Daisy Bianco has a chance to tell her story.
It’s been three years since a single lapse of judgment cost Daisy the love of her life. Erik was a conduit to her soul but now he’s chosen a path of total disconnection, refusing to speak to her or acknowledge her betrayal. Alone and shattered, Daisy attempts to take responsibility for her actions while building her career as a professional dancer in New York City. But Erik’s unforgiving estrangement proves too much for her strength. Plagued by flashbacks to the Lancaster shootings, she falls into a dangerous spiral of self-harm, cutting into her own skin as a means to atone. Only the timely appearance of an old friend, John “Opie” Quillis, saves her from self-destruction and gives her a chance to love again.
Laqueur skillfully weaves flashbacks to the college years with Daisy’s present life. Supported by John’s patient affection, she works to separate her evolution as an adult from the unresolved guilt and grief of her youth. As her professional accomplishments lift her out of depression, Daisy learns to hold onto her accountability without letting it become her identity. Years pass and she builds a beautiful life filled with dance and friends. Lovers come and eventually go, leaving her on her own with the old thought: Come back to me.
In this parallel narrative, Laqueur peels open the beloved characters from The Man I Love to reveal new and complex layers of vulnerability. The scars from the shooting are deep and pervasive within this circle of friends. Like Daisy, they are trying to evolve without being fully resolved. But when questions from the past go unheeded, you alone must find and give your answers true.
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HERE TO STAY BOOK THREE
“Love can bring out the best and worst in us. We’ve all been a jackass for love. But love makes us do amazing things. And if love drives us away, love is what brings us back. Love makes up pick up the phone. Love makes us listen. Love makes us say I’m sorry. Love makes us forgive. Love makes us better. Love makes us our best. “
“You can’t sort of do this, Fish. Draw a line and get on one side or the other…”
Love is never so sweet as when it receives a second chance. In the sequel to her award-winning novel The Man I Love, Suanne Laqueur continues the story of Erik Fiskare’s romance with Daisy Bianco. Though separated for twelve years, the extraordinary bond forged in their youth has endured. But when your soulmate has caused you indescribable pain, how easy is it to forgive? How much trust is needed to place your heart back into the hands that once broke it? How much faith does it take to ask the question, “Do you still want me?” and believe in the reply: “I still want us.”
Erik and Daisy commit to creating a new life together. They are separated by geography, loyal to career commitments and burdened with lingering pain from a decade spent apart. Yet despite the challenges, Erik knows Daisy is the best thing to happen to him twice.
Slowly Erik earns back Daisy’s love as well as the trust of his incomparable friend, Will Kaeger. Both relationships grow deeper and more complex, as do Erik’s ties to the past. Unexpected contact with distant cousins offers new insight to the cruel childhood desertion that shaped so much of Erik’s adult life. With Daisy at his side, he travels back to his hometown to meet his people, explore his family’s history and learn about the men who wore his heirloom necklace before him.
The cathedral once burned down is rebuilt. But a love affair is never a finished thing. Life is never without its tragedies. Daisy and Erik soon face a threat more harrowing than gunfire, more sorrowful than the lost years. With Will at his back and family close by, Erik must fight for the things he once walked away from and prove his love is here to stay.
Available to purchase below: