Friday, April 27, 2007

Sean_Michael, Pâtissier_Extraordinaire

Sean Michael - Jarheads series
1. Don't Ask, Don't Tell - Jarheads 4
2. Personal Leave - Jarheads 6
3. Three Day Passes - Jarheads 1
4. Tempering - Jarheads 2
5. Out of the Closet - Jarheads 3
6. All Roads Lead Home - Jarheads 5

Note: I've listed them in chronological order rather than released order. Also, I've linked each book to Fictionwise, however they are also available directly from Torquere Press.

Series Category: Crème Brûlée - My All-Time Moan-Out-Loud Favorites. (A+)
Flame Height: 9" out of 9" (actually 12", but that would make me a size queen wouldn't it?)

I’m spotlighting Sean Michael’s Jarhead series, but the fact is that I’ve yet to read one of Sean's books that wasn’t beautifully written. Sean has a unique voice. He doesn’t give us much physical description of his characters, but somehow paints an emotional picture. We get to know them through their words and actions. In another author’s hands, I might feel that the characters are less than three dimensional because, as a reader of Romances written mainly by women, I’m used to those detailed character descriptions that aid my development of a picture of the characters in my mind. But Sean might mention hair color in one chapter, maybe eye color in another, and height in yet another. Yet, even without that complete physical picture in my head, I still feel like I KNOW these men. That is the beauty of Sean's writing, he creates real, living and breathing men.

The Jarheads series is my favorite of Sean's. We follow the relationship between Rock, a Marine sargeant, and Rig, a flight nurse. In Three Day Passes, they are joined by Dick, a Marine private. But it is Rock and Rig's relationship that is at the the center of these stories. I grew to love and adore these boys, particularly Rigger, who is the heart and soul of the series and someone I'd like to count as a good friend in real life. I have to admit that I never quite developed a strong attachment to Dick. For me, he was a way for me to see just how strong the connection between Rock and Rig was. And even for the men, it was Rig that held the three of them together- I'm sure there would never be a Rock and Dick without Rig. And that damn Rock! Every time I was convinced he was nothing more than a self-centered, selfish sonofabitch, he would do something to or for Rig that would make my heart melt.

Now, to be honest, there were times that even I wanted to say "Enough with the sex, already! Get on with the story!" But, oh how I was completely caught up in the lives of these extraordinary, lovable and loving men! In Don't Ask, Don't Tell, we learn how Rock and Rig met and the amazing leap of Faith our redneck cowboy, Rig, makes. Even though we already know how it turns out, I still couldn't help feeling nervous and holding my breath with him. In Personal Leave, Rock and Rig's relationship is firmly established and we get to see the extreme contrast between their two families. As I said before, a triad is formed when Dick joins them in Three Day Passes, which was the first Jarheads story released. The events of Tempered left me horrified and outraged. How could anyone hurt our Rigger?! This is a life changing book in more than one way. And Out of the Closet is a complete emotional roller coaster ride. Happy tears one minute and sobbing for Rig's pain the next. Now that they are free of their commitments to Uncle Sam, they are all free to live as they please, but their happiness is tempered by heartbreaking events. All Roads Lead Home is fairly short, but I consider it Sean Michael's gift to his Readers. A way for him to let us know that our beloved boys are still together and doing okay. Thanks Sean!

For a beautiful sampling of Sean's artistry with words, try his anthology Bus Stories and Other Tales. And, in addition to a rather lengthy list of his own books, Sean has stories in several other anthologies over at Torquere.


Sair said...

Hi Bev,

I loved these stories too.
I had that enough of the sex already moments, but if you had skipped you would miss such delights as the piercing chapter.

What I found unconventional was that conversation was not a big part of the books, and what you get from them is to be savoured as it is so important.

Without the talk, they still developed a wonderful relationship, full of trust and love, which makes this a very unique journey for a romance.

Great blog Bev,

QB said...

SAIR!!!! You're here!!!!

Yep, Sean breaks most of the rules for character development- he even breaks most of the Romance rules, too. So I hesitate to even call the Jarheads a Romance series because of the expectations usually associated with that term. It's more like Sean's magic let's us become a part of the lives of these (as I said above) real, living and breathing men.

John said...

Great site. I will be returning often.

QB said...

Well, thank you, John! Come back whenever you like, my "door" is always open! :D