Book Review: The Man I Love by Suanne Laqueur

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Title: The Man I Love (The Fish Tales #1)
Author: Suanne Laqueur @suannelqr
Reviewer: Grace
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 483 pages
Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis
As a college freshman, Erik Fiskare is drawn to the world of theater but prefers backstage to center stage. The moment he lays eyes on a beautiful, accomplished dancer named Daisy Bianco, his atoms rearrange themselves and he is drawn into a romance both youthfully passionate and maturely soulful. Their love story thrives within a tight-knit circle of friends, all bound by creativity and artistry. A newcomer arrives–a brilliant but erratic dancer with an unquenchable thirst for connection. And when this disturbed friend turns violent and vindictive, the story is forever changed, the circle is broken and a shocking act of betrayal causes Erik to leave school and disconnect from all he loves. He buries his heartbreak and puts the past behind. Or so he believes.

As he moves into adulthood, Erik slowly heals the most wounded parts of his soul. But the unresolved grief for Daisy continues to shape his dreams at night. Once those dreams were haunted by blood. Now they are haunted by the refrain of a Gershwin song and a single question: is leaving always the end of loving?

Spanning 15 years, The Man I Love explores themes of love and sexuality, trauma—physical and mental—and its long-lasting effects, the burden of unfinished business and the power of reconciliation. Through Erik’s experience we reflect on what it means to be a man, a son and a leader. A soul mate, a partner and a lover. What it means to live the truth of who you are and what you feel. What it means to fight for what you love.

Grace Review

This book is more than a love story.  There is friendship, death (I’ll get back to this), drugs, betrayal, fear and recovery.  This is a story of two souls who were meant for one another, but circumstances out of their control and the inexperience on how to deal with the pain after, tore them apart.

The story itself is broken into two parts: Erik and Daisy’s love story, and Erik and Daisy’s separation.  Erik and Daisy have an insta-love type connection between them, but I promise you, they don’t rush things.  While the attraction is there from the get-go, Erik is very slow on his approach with her, not sure if she feels the same way, and utterly confused by the depth of his feelings for her.  When he learns those feelings are mutual, he is patient with her, not pushing her to move too fast.  But when that final barrier is broken between them physically, they can’t get enough of each other.

“You said you were waiting for the one.”
“I think I was waiting for you.”

The passion and love these two share is unmeasurable.  It is all consuming.  They are in-separable and their love for each other doesn’t lessen in any way, even after tragedy strikes.  If you are curious about the title, it is based on a song that Daisy dances with Drew when the tragedy occurs.

I’ll be honest, I bought this book a while ago, and either I didn’t read the synopsis close enough, or I simply forgot, because I was not prepared at all for what happens around 30%.  Gutted!  It’s bad enough reading one book with this theme in a year.  Now I’ve read two.  *sobs*

As I was reading the tragedy and the aftermath, I kept thinking, this is what will drive them apart. And in a way, it did.  But it wasn’t immediate.  The anxiety and fear builds slowly between Erik and Daisy, creating new barriers between them.  Already recovering from reading this part of the story, I wasn’t prepared for Daisy’s betrayal.  I WAS LIVID!  And I totally understood how Erik reacted.

“I feel alive when it hurts.”

From there were are led to the second part of the story, as the two spend 15 years apart (don’t get your panties in a twist, that information is in the synopsis).  It’s strange to say this, but I liked this second part of the book more.  The first part was so loving, it almost bordered on sappy.  This part of the book is much deeper, more introspective.  I really liked how Erik learned about himself.  He spent so much time being angry at everyone, driving them all away, where he doesn’t truly get to recover from the pain.  And that pain stays with him.  I loved his emotional growth in this book as he’s away from Daisy.  It’s not overnight.  It takes a lot of therapy, and some further heartache, but it felt real and honest.  I felt sympathy for Melanie.  Everything she told him was the truth, although maybe not delivered in the nicest of ways, but I get it, she was hurting.

I left the penny behind and leaned into the joy, and now he’s making me pay.  This will always happen when I lean in and trust the moment.

This story touches on so many sensitive topics and doesn’t gloss over them.  I liked how everyone came to admit their part in the messy direction their lives took.  Well, everyone but David.  His little sayings, “Fishy fishy . . .” I think were meant to be cute and funny, but they creeped me out.  And I don’t feel like I ever got closure from him.  Maybe in the next book . . .

Although this book ends in a better place, it is an abrupt ending, making me want more, while not being a cliffhanger.

– Grace

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Comments

  1. Thank you so much, I’m thrilled you enjoyed it!

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