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Turquoise and Leather (Collared)

Turquoise and Leather - Kim Dare Instead of writing a review on all of Kim Dare’s books, I’m just going to comment on “Turquoise and Leather” as I think it exemplifies her writing.Her stories are short. Many of them are just a sampling of a “Day in the Life” taken of that precise moment when a Dom and submissive first get together.In some author’s hands these would become boringly repetitive. But while the themes are repeated, her characters are so different they’re all worth reading. Each book has a “point” to it.She starts with a surmise. What wuld happen if character A and character B got together in circumstance C? Well, in the case of George and Eric, a lot.In just a few words of dialogue, Kim can draw a completely rounded believable character. Once you get to know them, her characters react and say things you’d expect them to say. However you could take the dialogue out of each book and compare them and no two would sound the same.Take this as an example: Eric tried to step past him. “Sorry, I've never really liked heights, well, depths really. I don't mind looking up at high things, it's drops that do it to me. It all started when I was little. I fell off this really high slide in the play ground and—”Eric is one of those rare lovable characters you find in books. A bit like Sunny in Heidi Cullinan’s “Special Delivery” or Joey in K.A.Mitchell’s “Collision Course.” In this case, he’s a chattering geologist (you don’t find many of those in books!) who has a mind of his own and is wary of losing it. Eric looked at the untouched bottle in front of George. “Maybe you've drunk enough already. I don't know what you're on, but the only person who owns me, is me.”George is the perfect foil for Eric. Half amazed at himself for getting involved, but instinctively knowing he’d be a fool if he passed up on the opportunity.Kim’s writing is fluid with no wasted words, no unnecessary backstory, no superfluous description. The conflict is all internal, not “over the top” angsty, just enough to carry interest and make you want to turn the page to see what comes next.She follows the adage that a romance is a series of scenes between the two main characters. If action occurs off-stage it is reported on between the two characters rather than breaking the flow of the tension between the two. Take this great bit as an example:“Cool—you found my note. I figured that contraption would be your first stop—you seem kind of over caffeinated. Do you always have breakfast naked? And did you know there's a really great café round the corner? Really sweet girl works there, her name's Lucy. She's studying for a degree in business administration.” He put all his purchases on the kitchen counter and stole a quick kiss.“Lucy?”Eric nodded and peered into the box. “I wasn't sure what kind of coffee you'd want, so I got the three that seemed most likely.”“Lucy?” George repeated.Eric smiled, distracted by the imminent prospect of breakfast and obviously bemused by George's persistence. Then he laughed. “In case you haven't noticed, George, I'm gay. I'll go along with not screwing anyone else, but you're not going to make me feel guilty about chatting to a waitress. Anyway, she's getting married next year. His name's Garrett. They're a cute couple.” He turned his attention back to the bakery box.A lot of writers would benefit from following that formula. You get a great chance for the two characters to inter-act and show both of their personalities in just five quick paragraphs.Kim has also written a G*A*Y series, again with different circumstances, characters and pairings. Each story has something different to say. Some may be warranting four stars rather than five, but overall, her ability to draw quick scenes, great characters with believable motivation and dialogue are what sets her books up there with the best.If you want a quick, easy read with a bit of hot loving then I'd definitely recommend any of her m/m books. I’ll be interested to see how she fares with a full length novel.