Title: Life in the Land
Author: Rebecca Cohen
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Characters: Bobby, Mike
Sub-Genre: Contemporary, Fantasy, Superhero, Erotic Romance
The magic of the Sawyer family’s extremely green thumbs comes straight from the land. But Bobby Sawyer’s expected superpowers don’t become a reality until he kisses his best friend, Mike Flint. That kiss moves the earth—literally.
When he moves to the city, leaving Mike behind, Bobby keeps his green thumb nimble by working in a garden center and uses his superpowers to help fight crime. He’s on a mission when a bomb explodes, leaving him seriously injured, forcing him to return to the family farm—the source of his strength—to recuperate.
While attempting to recover, Bobby realizes Mike is still the love of his life. But Mike is leery: Bobby left him once before. What if all Bobby needs is one more magical kiss?
This was an absolutely wonderful and creative story, quite unlike any I’ve read before. The sheer imagination here made me laugh and gasp. Saving people with agricultural superhero powers, and obscene, foul-mouthed carrots. Brilliant stuff!
Bobby’s whole family lineage is about their connection with the land. The gifts are individual. Bobby doesn’t have his until he shares a kiss with his best friend, Mike. Wanting to stand on his own two feet, however, Bobby leaves Mike behind to make a new life, working in a garden center. But when a superhero task goes horribly wrong, leaving Bobby injured and powerless, he has to go back home to the farm—where Mike still remains. But this time Mike doesn’t trust Bobby’s motives for wanting to get back together.
From the tentative first kiss onward, these two boys are simply meant to be. I liked the way Ms. Cohen wrote them, showing their friendship with a few chosen memories from their childhood, giving them depth and breathing life into their personalities. Their romance is sweet and fragile, like flowers.
And these powers to revitalize the earth? This was such an innovative piece of writing, how the plants hum and wave and get chatty with their caretakers, even wolf-whistling at them. It was pure delight to read about plants getting all uppity with other plants, like rude hedgerows making fun of sprouts, or plants huffing indignant when threatened by, quote, Bobby’s fat arse squashing them, unquote.
Whoever said a short story couldn’t have amazing depth of characters, an actual plot, and soul-shattering emotions, should read this story—and be proven wrong. Highly recommended.
Reviewed By: Susan