Title: Arsenic and Rio
Author: D.J. Manly
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Website of Publisher: www.extasybooks.com
Genre: Gay, M/M, Suspense, Mystery, Contemporary
Publication date: August 2008
Length: 373 Pages
Beaten, abused and doing whatever he had to to survive on the streets, Marshall Calletti is the type of boy con artist Hal Makin has dreamed of. So the beautiful, old in living- innocent on being loved becomes the crux of the demeaning setup designed to net Hal everything he wants in life. But Marshall isn’t as lamb-like as people think he is and finding out what it means to truly love and be loved puts a twist on their scam which sets up for major trouble; Hal style.
Angelo Farelli was an “out” gay man who was unprepared for the sudden explosion of passion that Marshall set free in his body or the tender emotions it evoked in his heart. Trust didn’t come easy for him, but something about Marshall turned him to a puddle of heat and yearning. But the situation is aggravated by his buddy Hal who seems to hold a dark dominion over the man he’s come to love. When danger hits, it’s from a direction Angelo never expected.
Having read Mr. Manly before I was still unprepared for the depth of reality which is evident in every page of this book. I found it a gritty, brutal and often frightening look at a world while it’s not much discussed, certainly exists. The love, sex and betrayal alsointerwoven throughout only adds to the total intensity of the entire read. While this was a rather down and dirty look at our world it also shows that every one is influenced by love if given the chance to experience it. It’s never easy to read this type of realism, but the way this is put down is an amalgam of the best and worst of all of us and it’s a truly worthy read.