Title: The Enlightenment of Daniel
Author: Eli Easton
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Characters: Daniel, Nick
Sub-Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance, Coming out
Sex in Seattle: Book Two
Business tycoon Daniel Derenzo lives for his work until his dying father reminds him life is short. When Daniel starts to reevaluate his world he experiences a startling revelation—he’s attracted to his business partner and best friend, Nick, even though Daniel always believed himself to be straight. In typical type-A fashion, Daniel dissects his newfound desires with the help of the experts at the Expanded Horizons sex clinic. He goes after Nick with the fierce determination that’s won him many a business deal.
Nick Ross was in love with Daniel years ago, when they were roommates in college. But Daniel was straight and Nick patched his broken heart by marrying Marcia. Two kids and fourteen years later, they go through the motions of their marriage like ships passing in the night. But Nick’s kids mean the world to him, and he’s afraid he’ll never get joint custody if they divorced. If he can trust his heart to an awakening Daniel, they all might find their way to a happily ever after.
Daniel has never been attracted to men. Until now—with his best friend and business partner, Nick. Nick is bisexual, but he’s trapped in a loveless marriage with Marcia, and he has two great kids, Jenny and Sylvan. Daniel goes to a sex therapist to get confirmation about his sexual orientation, and learns he’s as gay as they come. So, he sets out to free Nick from a bad marriage and sad life, to make the man he adores his. But… when are things ever that simple?
The pace here is a bit slow at times, but the writing is so excellent I didn’t want to miss a word. Ms. Easton has an easy, funny flow to her stories which makes them effortless to read and impossible to stop until the end. I was still reading this last night at four a.m.
Daniel has a shark-like quality, yet he’s insecure about how to seduce a man, especially one he has known all his life. Nick, on the other hand, is shier and quieter, the basic nice, kind, and good man. The characters are very different, and their interaction is fluid and realistic. And the side characters are excellent as well, all three-dimensional and true. The older kid, Jenny, especially was a wonderful addition to the story. Who says a thirteen-year old doesn’t know her own style and self?
We get lots of points of view here, including Marcia who reads at times like a cold-hearted bitch and other times as a vulnerable woman equally caught in a life she doesn’t want but doesn’t know how to leave. I was actually impressed that we’re shown how she thinks because she could easily have become a cliché of a vindictive bitch. The end result of all this drama may be a bit sugary sweet but I liked how positive it was. Letting go of preconceptions, hatred, and the expectations of others is what freedom is at its core, and I was glad the people here learned the lesson.
Be warned, though, that there’s a scene in here where Daniel is sexually involved with another man. Briefly and before he gets together with Nick in any sense of the word. If you consider this cheating, steer clear.
So, if you like your friends-to-lovers romance realistic, sensual and poignant, you’ll love this. Recommended.
Reviewed By: Susan