The Wine-Dark Sea

A.J. Llewellyn's The Wine Dark Sea Is the story of an unlucky in love gay writer set amongst the backdrop of French architecture and cuture. Daniel,our love-lorn author, finds himself in one ill-fated relationship after another, learning valuable lessons and eating and drinking his way through the streets of Paris. (more about the gastronomic element of this book later)

There is a bit of a plot intrigue involving an art crime, a narcissistic lover and a mishap with a vaginal dilator, but in the end boy gets boy.

Llewellyn's writing is deft but I failed to be hooked by the storyline which at times seemed to be more a travel guide about French customs, architecture and food than it was about the romance.  In fact, the characters ate so frequently I had indigestion just reading about it.

The erotic element began slowly but grew more courageous as the story developed. Don't expect romantic hearts and flowers, or lingering kisses. The sex is man on man, foreplay be damned.

The title The Wine Dark Sea seems to be plucked from a hat, as it bears little, if any, relationship to the story told. 

Llewellyn's writng style is quite elegant and above much of what is common to this genre. I do wish there had been more development of the characters, and less of the travelogue.

Book Blurb for The Wine-Dark Sea

Daniel is an elegant chair…
He’s a handsome Englishman. A successful writer living in Paris, writing guidebooks that help people discover the secret delights of the city and country he loves. As for discovering the secrets to navigating the treacherous Paris social scene, Daniel himself relies on a book, which imparts some unusual advice—be an elegant chair, seen and not heard. And he’s getting a lot of practice. His last lover, Alain, is undergoing a tremendous transformation that he didn’t confide in Daniel. His current lover, Francois, is a celebrated artist, as arrogant as he is amorous. Their needs and dramas overshadow everything, including Daniel.
He is a very elegant chair…
Against a backdrop of the world’s most romantic city, between rounds of sizzling sex and sensational betrayal, Alain and Francois teach Daniel about passion and pain, loss and lust, gentle humor and poignant heartache.
It will take someone else, someone unexpected, to teach him about love.

Night Owl Reviews Jul, 2010 3.00