Sunday in the Park with George is the third book I have read by AJ Llewellyn. The story follows Lucas Addison, a world champion chess player, and Kevin Morgan, a former movie and stage star who has fallen from public grace. From the beginning, the attraction between Lucas and Kevin is clear. Although they do not have an easy ride on their journey of getting together, Mr. Llewellyn draws the reader in by providing protagonists with relatable thoughts, feelings, and lives.
As the two characters slowly draw closer together, we become aware of the fears and insecurities each possess along with the roots of those troubles. The family dynamics, the cast of characters, the tight geographic location of the story setting, all help to create a sense of deep immersion into the lives of Lucas and Kevin.
I have come to characterize Mr. Llewellyn's style as one that provide fantastic characters who are fully fleshed and developed into complex, real, and likeable people who I could see myself being friends with. Their problems are ones I have grappled with and I enjoyed the messages that were conveyed as the story unfolded. It was a wonderfully positive tale that demonstrated the power of family, a good attitude, and love.
With that being said, Sunday in the Park with George did not impact me with as much power as other books I have read by Mr. Llewellyn. Being a shorter story, the action takes place over the course of five chapters. Some of the plot development lacked that connective tissue that seamlessly moves the story from one point to the next. I would have enjoyed watching Lucas's feelings play out as Kevin ran hot and cold. The sex, when it happened, was awesome, but it felt like it came on kind of suddenly. If the build-up had been stretched out and filled with more angst, the final moment of connection would have been even more enjoyable.
In writing this review, I'm cringing, hoping that Mr. Llewellyn doesn't feel that I did not enjoy the story. I did. This is a wonderful quick read that is perfect when you want something that extends beyond a short story, but is not a full-fledged novel length saga. The emotions, actions, relationships, sex, and messages are relatively upbeat and provide a sense of lighthearted pleasure by the conclusion.
Once again, I find Mr. Llewellyn has demonstrated he is a consistently talented writer who provides entertaining stories that readers can relate to.
Warning: This book contains male homoerotica.
Lucas Addison's life is all mapped out. A rising chess superstar, he is an orderly, fastidious kind of guy whose reputation as a jerk precedes him. He's resigned to a career–filled life until he spots fallen movie idol Kevin Morgan in the crowd watching him play chess in a tournament one cold, but sunny afternoon in Central Park. Kevin's exquisite good looks and haunting eyes tear at him. What happened to this guy and why did he walk away from the world? And why does Lucas think he can…and must save him?
Lucas becomes enthralled by the actor who walked off the stage in the middle of a benefit performance of his one-man show on Broadway the previous year. The one time million-dollar-a-movie man appears to be homeless and rebuffs Lucas's attempts at friendship, hurting Lucas's feelings. All Lucas cares about is that New York is still in the grip of fierce late winter storms and the nighttimes are below freezing. Can he get Kevin inside, out of the cold? Could they possibly become lovers?
Things start to defrost between them when Kevin accepts his invitation to see a matinee performance of the classic play, Sunday in the Park with George…