My favorite book of 2015. Just read the damn book!
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 brings a gun into the theater, the story is forever changed. Daisy is shot and left seriously injured. And Erik finds himself alone in the aisle, looking down the muzzle of a pistol and trying to stop the madness. He succeeds, but with tremendous repercussions to his well-being and that of his loved ones.
Traumatized by the experience, Erik and Daisy spiral into depression and drug use until a shocking act of betrayal destroys their relationship. To survive, Erik must 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 comes to grips with his role in the shooting, and 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 and gunfire. Now they are haunted by the refrain of a Gershwin song and a single question: is leaving always the end of loving?
Spanning fifteen 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.
Author : Suanne Laqueur
Title : The Man I Love
Series : The Fish Tales #1
Release Date : June 16, 2014
Genre : Contemporary, Romance.
I have set you in my presence forever. I uphold you. You’re in my skin. And I’m not leaving.
It’s for experiences like these that I’m grateful for the romance book community. One day I stumbled upon a friend’s review of The Man I Love by Suanne Laqueur and I knew this book could possibly be a game changer for all the romance books that would follow on my TBR.
It took me some time to actually decide to start the book, you could say I was dreading the feelings I most likely knew where waiting for me. I also told myself that I was indeed an emotional reader but not a cryer, so I should be safe from the unraveling emotions I could witness from my reader friends.
Let me stop right here, I WAS WRONG. This book made me a flat out a liar. A crying liar.
The Man I Love is without a doubt the best and the most beautiful book I’ve had the pleasure to read in a long time.
The writing is exquisite, the similes of pure beauty and you want to highlight each sentence and put it on a pedestal. Author Suanne Laqueur is a fantastic storyteller!
As poetic and light the writing was, the feelings and matters at stakes here were raw and brutal. You’ll be knocked out by the intensity of all the feels this story has for you.
You’ll care for these characters like you would your best friends or family.
Suanne Laqueur did such an astonishing job with character development, you cannot NOT feel connected to every character.
Even the ones you’re supposed to hate? You’ll love.
The story of Erik and Daisy—I should say : The story of Erik, Daisy, Will, Lucky, David, Opie, Melanie, Kees, Francine, Joe and many others…— was a pure delight to read. Every word. Every detail. Every joy. Every sorrow. Every hope.
You’ll feel it all, and you’ll want more.
I laughed so hard at the easy banter between the characters, I fell in love right along with them, I fell hard for Erik, but kept room for Will and John/Opie. David had his moments, he was mostly an asshole but I actually loved him too.
I don’t know how to explain the connection I felt with all the characters, everyone of them. You’ll feel it too. Thanks to the author astute and sharp writing. It’s in the little details, you know? Word after word she made me part of this group and I think I truly bonded with fictional characters. This is pure magic writing here.
The more she gave, the more he wanted. He had never wanted so much.
He wanted all of her. Her thoughts, her words, her silences and her stillness. He wanted her skin, her smell, her taste and her noises. He loved to make her come, could not get enough of the sound she made when he was bringing her around. Or rather, it was the absence of sound.
This was a fascinating love story, spanning out over 15 years time, a young love exploration, a revelation in love and contentement, a riveting downfall to perdition, and a second chance at love. One of the best I’ve ever read. If not the best. I can’t even think past or prior this book.
Now, you know how I roll, I don’t like to give too much about the plot, especially when I loved a book—I prefer to talk about what I felt, my experience with the story, sort of. Enough is said in the blurb and I don’t want to spoil it all.
A lot is happening in The Man I Love and I could not possibly try to tell this tale without butchering it. It won’t do the book justice by just enumerating the play by play.
Poised on the lip of his own desire, he pushed further into her as he slowly wound the line tighter. Listening for it, feeling it, waiting for her edge to touch his. It was almost there. Just right there.
I believe the best way to enjoy this book is to follow your guts and dive in as blind as you can. This was a true emotional rollercoaster and by reading reviews you could be afraid of all the feels. So my advice would be : don’t read too much of them, just listen to your book friends and try this book!
If you are like me and read The Man I Love but cannot say goodbye to its characters, hurry up and grab book 2, Give Me Your Answer True, which tells Daisy’side of the story and more. And no, it doesn’t remotely feel like you are experiencing the same book again. You’ll learn a lot of things, you’ll end-up loving them all a little more and it’ll leave you dying to get your hands on book 3, Here to Stay, which should release this January 2016.
Staring into her eyes without speaking was making love. Being buried in the heat of her frustration was making love. Wether her kiss crashed into his mouth, or just brushed it like a passing dream, he could taste her love. And nothing could top it. Nothing could surpass it.
For all the reasons mentioned above, The Man I Love sits now #1 of my 2015’s favorites.
I’ll end this with a open question : Why is this author not more OUT THERE?
Let me explain, I’ve read a lot of books. I’m consuming them. I read okay books. Good books. Great books.
But then I find this GEM, this little place of haven, and I’m wondering why isn’t this book on everyone’s shelves?
I know, I know, different strokes and all that… But really, this book deserves to be shared, to be read, to be experienced, and I would be eve so grateful if you could share about your own experience reading or simply keeping recommending to your entourage. And if you are still undecided about it, I’ll just ask to take a leap of faith and try it. Just like I did.
It’s not too late. And I’m ready if you are.
“The Man I Love” by Suanne Laqueur. ©
Excerpt “The Man I Love” by Suanne Laqueur. ©
In the wake of passion, time and space reassembled. Erik held tight to Daisy, rocking her in his lap, stroking her head on his shoulder. He could feel her heart pounding against his, the last little trembles of love making her body twitch.
“I love us,” she whispered.
He smiled, feeling the world to his bones. “I love us, too.”
“It’s so good.” She ran a hand back from her forehead, gathering her hair up and away from her damp neck.
“Happy birthday,” he said, running his mouth along her throat, tasting her scent.
She took his face in her hands and kissed him. “Being twenty rocks.”
Carefully he helped her down to her back, pulling a pillow into place, pulling up the covers and tucking them around their bodies.
It was their anniversary as well. “Two years,” Daisy whispered. Curled up to him in the warm glow of the Christmas lights, she was unbearably beautiful. Sometimes she looked at him a certain way and his heart reset itself, closed up coyly just for the pleasure of opening to her again.
Fingers twined, Erik set his mouth against her wrist, feeling her pulse beat. “Twenty-four months.”
He loved her. Sometimes it was just part of the world, like air and water. Other times, like right now, he looked at Daisy and could not get his mind around the emotion he felt for her. “Love” didn’t seem an adequate word anymore. It was bigger than the world, beyond everything he had imagined love could be. Even the phrase “making love” had morphed out of context. Lately he was struck by the literal idea of making love. Not just a sexual expression but a creation-ary one. As if with each conversation, each shared experience and each time their bodies came together, they were assembling something larger. Adding bit by bit onto some magnificent structure. A cathedral within their private universe.
“I love you so much,” he said. You can’t know. You’ll never know how much. I’ll never be able to say it all.
He put his head down next to hers. Her lips brushed his face, her hand stroking the back of his neck.
“I don’t know where I stop and you begin,” she said. Her voice had the slurred and sultry rhythm which meant she was growing drowsy. “Everything I am is so woven in with everything you are. It’s like… I can’t explain. I can’t explain love anymore, Erik. It doesn’t mean what it used to.”
Erik moved closer against her as a great bell in the cathedral began to toll.
Suanne Laqueur’s debut novel The Man I Love won a gold medal in the 2015 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards. Its other accolades include the 2015 Beverly Hills Book Award, a gold medal at the 2015 eLit Awards, and is a current finalist in the 2015 Kindle Book Awards.
Laqueur graduated from Alfred University with a double major in dance and theater. She taught at the Carol Bierman School of Ballet Arts in Croton-on-Hudson for ten years. An avid reader, cook and gardener, she started her blog EatsReadsThinks in 2010. She lives in Westchester County, New York with her husband and two children.
With The Man I Love and its companion novel, Give Me Your Answer True, Laqueur has gone from choreographing dancers to choreographing words. Her goal is to create a new kind of emotionally-intelligent romance that appeals to the emotions of all readers, crossing gender, age and genre. Visit her at www.suannelaqueur.com.