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Jacqueline Carey
Into the Closet: Cross-Dressing and the Gendered Body in Childrens Literature and Film (Children's Literature and Culture)
Victoria Flanagan
Gravitational Attraction - Angel Martinez Gravitational Attraction is an M/M story about retired (for medical reasons) Altairian fighter pilot, Isaac, and the man he finds trapped in a ship that is little more than a floating coffin. Turk is huge, strong and sexy, but he has secrets. Secrets that could put Isaac and the only ship willing to take him on as a comm officer, in danger.

The first thing I loved about this book were the characters. Both Turk and Isaac were damaged, in a way, but it was never ANGSTANGSTANGST. Isaac, though the implant in his brain had gone bad, rendering him unable to fly, didn't dwell much on that. Occasionally when other people around him are flying, he gets pangs of regret, but these are understandable and he pushes himself past it. He's a strong man, since apparently most fighter pilots whose implants go bad commit suicide pretty soon after discharge, and Isaac hasn't (obviously). Turk is traumatised due to where he was found and the events that led to that, but he's strong too. They both grow and change throughout the novel, and I think that's what makes them so good.

But it wasn't just the main characters I loved. All of the side characters seemed real and developed, particularly characters like Rand, Travis, Nidair and even Logan, who was only in the book for a few pages at the most (and who I'm hoping will spawn a sequel!). And the women characters were also well-rounded and real, such as Captain Drummond, and the matriarch of the Drak'tar. This is nice, since sometimes in M/M novels females are very much in the background, are stereotypes or are hated upon.

The second thing I loved about this book was the world-building. The Drak'tar and the Corzin who share their planet were fascinating. The Drak'tar, for a non-human race, seemed to be both well thought out and realistic. The Corzin, though human, have intriguing customs and mannerisms, some of which the other human characters in the book fail to understand completely, or commit cultural faux pas. So, yes, I really enjoyed the world-building. Even if this is, first and foremost, an M/M romance, Angel Martinez has created a rich and vibrant setting in which the romance plays out.

And it's a hot, steamy romance, at that. ;) Though realistic. Isaac fights against his attraction at first, unwilling to be hurt, and Turk himself is wary. But they click, and, for Turk, he is convinced that Isaac is his sol'atenis - his soulmate, his completion. But there's many complications before they can even think of having a happily ever after, not least of which is a amoral, dickweed of an admiral who wants to use Turk as a weapon.

In all, I really enjoyed Gravitational Attraction and would recommend it to anyone who wants drama, action, steamy romance and realistic characters who grab your heart and don't let go until the very last page. And beyond. :) I'm holding out hope for a sequel, and I'm planning on checking out Angel Martinez's other works too. :D