Genre: Contemporary; Western
Publication day: August 31, 2016
Length: 285 pages
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Dustin Marston, wannabe professional bull rider, cannot stay on a bull for the required eight seconds. Suffering from sinister flashes of suppressed memories from his childhood, Dusty has a panic attack during a hazardous sexual encounter that lands him in serious legal trouble.
When he proves to be uncooperative, his health counselor, Diana, turns to a colleague for assistance—only for the to learn that Joe was once the boy Dusty loved when they were kids, and who was lost to him twenty years ago. Then Joe proposes a highly unorthodox treatment to save Dusty, a treatment that wakes old nightmares and threatens any chance they have of a future.
My View: Eight Seconds is a very complex novel with a series of dark and challenging topics. Even so, the author did an excellent job balancing the flow of the story. It never got too angst or difficult to read. There are small scenes inserted allowing the reader to see that hope was within reach. All these said, the story has perhaps too much happening; too many twists and turns for each subplot.
The characters are the salvation of this story. They’re easy to fall in love with and hope for the best. Wanting to learn more about their future kept the reader engaged and allowed them to see beyond all the darkness. Every single one of them had a reason to be there and added to the overall plot.
My main issue with this book and the reason I’m not rating it has to do with Joe’s therapy approach. I don’t see how he can be a renowned doctor and act the way he did. His methods are more than questionable; especially due to their relationship. Also, Dustin’s secret seemed unprovable and how easily Joe found about it felt unrealistic. Just like Joe’s background and connections.
This novel isn’t a romance, but a gay fiction story with romantic elements. We get a reunion after twenty years but is more about their friendship and their support for each other.
What I liked the most: Dustin’s and Joe’s relationship.
I wanted more: In this case, I wanted less of everything.
Who should read it: Fans of gay fiction.