Author: Charley Descoteaux
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Pages/Word Count: 189 Pages
At a Glance: This is a complex story of very diverse characters who somehow seem to be able to come together and work as an unconventional unit.
Reviewed By: Sadonna
Blurb: Sometimes letting things get complicated is the best way to figure it all out.
Mick Randall is on the run, from the biker culture he grew up in and his impossible vision of love. Alaska should be far enough to escape his old life—until he rolls into a wrecking yard and gets lost in a pair of pale, bottle-green eyes.
Scotty Bell has spent years learning to channel his fiery temper into the heat of a welding torch. His sexual heat has always been slower to ignite, but one look at Mick rouses confusion alongside desire. In all his life, he’s only been attracted to one other person—his best friend, Mercy Taylor.
Mick lands a temporary job at the yard, and finds an uneasy crash pad at Scotty’s place…where the ragged ends of his emotions get tangled up in Scotty and Mercy’s relationship.
But when Mick hears a Harley engine from his past bearing down on him, his first instinct is to go back to the half-life he’d been living. Lest his secrets destroy the only two people who’ve ever made him feel whole.
Review: This is a difficult book to review without being very spoilery since not a lot is revealed in the blurb. Mick is on his way to Alaska from California, and he needs to make some money so he can keep his vehicle running. It seems Mick is running from something as well—but we aren’t let in on the specifics of that aspect of his life for a while. He’s good with motors and parts, and he ends up getting a job at a wrecking yard. Scotty, the grandson of the yard owner, works there as well. Scotty’s life has a few complications as well, mostly in his complete loser of a father and his best friend, Mercy.
Mercy is the epitome of complications—for Scotty, for Mick, and for herself and her family. Mick decides to stick around for a bit, but he’s worried about his attraction to Scotty and about Scotty’s relationship with Mercy. Scotty tries to convince him that his desire for Mick isn’t a problem for him or for Mercy. Mick isn’t easily convinced, but he sure does lust after Scotty.
There are a lot of problems that fly at this group of people in a pretty short span of time. Scotty’s dad shows up, wreaking havoc; Mercy’s family causes big trouble for her and for Scotty; then Mick runs when he thinks trouble from his past has found him. Scotty has to play the peacemaker and bring everyone around to a point of view that might lead to some sort of peace and a viable relationship for the trio.
Torque is truly nothing like I expected, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. My only complaint would be that it tries to incorporate so many different characters and their issues that I wish it had been longer so that we really get more development. There are a lot of different sexualities and personalities in this story, and I really would have liked more time with each of them.
Mercy is a very complicated character, and I felt like only the surface is scratched with her. Mick’s motivations are probably the most transparent after he works things out with his past and can move on without the fear that has paralyzed him. Scotty’s issues are not easily discerned from the action on the page, and we have to rely on Mercy to explain some of his personality traits.
I am a fan of Charley Descoteaux’s writing and I liked many aspects of this book. I like that the characters don’t fit into neat little boxes. The unconventional relationship between these three people is interesting. Personally, I would have liked the story to have been a bit longer just to satisfy my own curiosity about the characters and their lives. I hope that we get more stories involving other sexualities and gender identities because there really aren’t enough in the books that I see promoted regularly.
You can buy Torque here: