Many many years ago, in a galaxy far far away… stop Sue! You need caffeine! Still, my story begins twenty years ago in Gettysburg. My ex-husband and I were on a flydrive holiday in America. By the time we reached Gettysburg we were exhausted. We only had a few hours to see the sights, but were so tired that we promised ourselves fifteen minutes and a cup of tea in the hotel room before we moved again. I switched on the TV and we sat down to watch a few minutes of a film I’d never seen before. Two hours and several cups of tea later, my ex and I looked at each other. We’d sat, entranced, for the whole of the Princess Bride. A film we’d stumbled across quite by accident is still my favourite film of all time.
I stumbled across Stolen Summer by S.A. Meade by accident, but I’m really glad I did. Like many people I am bad about reading new authors, but I got given a handful of books, and this was among them. One day I picked it up for a quick skim through and a cuppa, and didn’t put it down until I’d reached The End. Then I read it again. With a nod to Princess Bride, it has romance, and fighting, and explosions and kissing, villains and heroes, and love, twu love. S.A. Meade is going to shoot me soon.
I wanted this blog to be about what Stolen Summer means to me. Really, it’s about how it makes me feel. You see, I can understand Evan and Colin’s tale. I think it was one of the first books I read that was based in England, and that was a shock. Nearly all the books I’d read thus far were set in America. This had nods at Oxford, Cardiff and London – home settings that I recognised. The banter between the two men was familiar and so were the references. Chip shops, the corner store, the attitude of the journalists. I read this story and I feel I’m at home in their world. The twist to the plot, Evan is taken hostage in Pakistan, and the emotional aftermath as he recovers, is topical even today.
If you like friends falling in love, if you like well written stories, if you like stories based in England, if you like love stories, this is for you. But this isn’t an advert for Stolen Summer. It’s the way it made me feel. At home and yet being privileged to watch a relationship develop. In my head Evan and Colin are real, and isn’t that the mark of a good book, to be invested in the characters? Twenty years on, I am still invested in Buttercup, Westley and Inigo. Now I am invested in the relationship of Evan and Colin. Do I long for a sequel? Well, yes, but it doesn’t need a sequel. It’s a perfect encapsulation of their love.
I love Stolen Summer. It is my all-time favourite gay romance story, and I’m going to tell S.A. Meade that over and over, until she chases me away with a large stick.
Sue Brown xx
Sue can be found at her website, http://www.suebrownstories.com/; her blog,http://suebrownsstories.blogspot.co.uk/; Twitter, https://twitter.com/suebrownstories; and her Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/suebrownstories.