Title: Oscar Down Under: Part One
Author: Jack Ladd
Length: 211 Pages
Category: Gay Fiction, Erotica
At a Glance: I absolutely want to know more about Oscar and how he gets from where we leave him in Australia to the not-so-distant future of the first and final chapters in this installment. Go check this one out, folks!
Reviewed By: Jules
Blurb: Oscar Down Under: Part One is the first in Jack Ladd’s series following Oscar, a tall, dark and handsome thirty-something who’s got it together: good job, great body and amazing boyfriend.
Or does he?
Once a manipulative and jaded party boy who didn’t know how to love, Oscar is now older and wiser, navigating the waters of romance with a deep understanding of himself as his sails and an unshakable core of honesty his compass.
But, forced to reflect on his past, Oscar must discover if his sails are strong enough and whether his compass will point him in the direction he desires.
Oscar Down Under: Part One is the story of why Oscar the boy became so closed and uncaring and how, in a land far, far away, Oscar the man learned to open his heart.
Review: I wasn’t quite sure what to make of Oscar Down Under: Part One when I first began it. It starts out with a lovely prologue which uses surfing as a metaphor for life and love, the different types of waves signifying the different moments and turning points in one’s life. Really beautifully done. Then, in the first chapter, it jumps to the “not-so-distant future” wherein, over dinner and drinks, Oscar is asking someone to consider making their relationship permanent and building a life together. Also engaging and had me wondering what was to come. THEN, in chapter two, we jump back fourteen years to when Oscar was offered a chance to change his life, and jumped on it. Here is where we really begin to get to know our title character. As much as I didn’t know what to expect in the beginning, I became more intrigued and invested with every page I turned.
The Oscar we meet in chapter two is a verrrrry different Oscar than the one we meet in the following chapter. Fourteen-years-earlier-Oscar is a hot mess. And, I mean a really hot mess, you guys. In the first chapter, he tells the man he’s wanting to make a commitment with that he was a completely different person when he was his age. Unrecognizable even. He tells him he was a liar and a manipulator. That he believed men were only good for their bodies and/or whatever he could get out of them, be that money or drugs or a place to stay, and, throughout the rest of the book, we learn just how true those statements were.
Oscar was definitely a partier and a user. He would do or say anything to get what he wanted. And, he probably thought he was happy for a while. Or, at least, he didn’t think there was anything else out there for him except for jumping from hookup to hookup and wondering what his next high would be. London was slowly sucking the life out of him, though. So, when David, his last-resort Grindr hookup for the night, tells Oscar he’s heading home to Australia soon to tie up loose ends with his ex, Oscar gets it in his head to convince David he should take him along. His plan works, and soon Oscar is on a twenty-one-hour flight, about to completely change his life.
I initially liked David a lot. In fact, for most of the time I was reading, I was just waiting for Oscar to break his heart. Heh. You’ll have to read to see what happens, but I think other readers will also find themselves completely engrossed in Oscar’s story. There is a lot that goes on over his first couple of days in Australia. Some of it surprised me. Some of it didn’t surprise me, but I still wanted to shake Oscar and say, “Whyyyyy??? What the hell are you doing?!??” Oscar wasn’t the only character I wanted to shake, however. There are multiple people behaving badly in this book. Haha.
I’m super interested to see where Jack Ladd is going to take this series. I know he has said that Oscar Down Under is based on true events, and I have to say that it felt autobiographical. It really did feel very real and honest. I absolutely want to know more about Oscar and how he gets from where we leave him in Australia to the not-so-distant future of the first and final chapters in this installment. Go check this one out, folks!
You can buy Oscar Down Under: Part One here: