Review - "Behind Iron Lace" by Mercy Celeste
Wonderful, multi-faceted characters make a strong read
Darcy is the editor of an online magazine, newly moved to New Orleans from Oregon. The heat is wilting him, his love life strangling him, and his best gal pal/part time lover is jerking him around. And not in a good way.
Caleb is a recognized artist and photographer, home in the Big Easy to see his mother through her last days. Caleb lives hard, loves hard and gets what he wants.
When he sees Darcy and decided he wants some of that, a little thing like Darcy being straight won't stop him. Will it?
This book is at hot and steamy as the city in which it is set. (Right - like you didn't see THAT comparison coming.) A native of the South myself, I know how these men can be, especially those Bayou boys. And Ms. Celeste gets them exactly right. The attitude, the accent, the sexiness - all down to a "T".
And Darcy - what a nicely drawn character. He is the perfect foil to Caleb's steam - all coolness and control and restraint. But you know what they say about still waters...
When these two come together, it's magic. They fit together very nicely and I was rooting for them from the beginning. At first I thought, Oh no a GFY (gay for you) story. But Ms. Celeste went below the surface here and delved into Darcy's unhappy relationship status and Caleb's hot love em and leave em ways. The backstories are as interesting and involved as any I have seen recently. I like that she took the time and care to make us see these two charming, interesting men through many different lenses. Where Darcy could be shrill, he is complex and deep. Where Caleb could be all glitz, he is murky and tangy and spicy and hurt.
What shows through in both of these men is the wounded hearts both have. Both are walking wounded, numb, and hurting. They don't even know they need each other as badly as they do.
I was impressed with the chances Ms. Celeste took towards the ending also. There was no neatly wrapped up with a bow ending - that would have been too easy and obvious. She took the time to be true to the characters, and gave them an ending that rang very true to each man.
Great work, and VERY highly recommended. I can't wait for her next work!