Rating: 5 stars
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Compulsion…I did not start out liking this novel. In fact, this is a classic case of simply believing I was not going to connect with these characters. First, because one was so damaged—hiding from his past and from his needs…and the other, so cocksure, so smooth and seemingly uncaring. Then there was the constant sex…every time they got together—in fact that was all their encounters were about, or so I thought.
And then the genius of Clare London crept up behind me and ensnared me and I found myself racing to the end—needing to find out what happened to these two men, to see how they were ever going to untangle themselves from the mess they had become embroiled in…if their love was going to survive.
Max dropped out of college to follow a man he thought was in love with him. In a matter of months, Max was homeless, addicted to drugs and alcohol, and running drugs for the Medina family. But all was not lost for him. A social worker, Stewart, became his friend and helped him see what he needed to do to get off the drugs, off the street and, most importantly, out of the drug courier business.
Fast-forward a few months and Stewart is dead, Max has fled the scene, and is now living with two former roommates who are a couple, Jack and Louis. They are good guys and are determined to get Max back out into the dating scene. Max, however, is like the walking wounded…and then he sees Seve, beautiful, mysterious Seve, who is the manager of the club, Compulsion, and a member of the Medina family.
They are instantly in lust and the sparks that come off these two threaten to ignite them both. But Seve is the enemy and the drug trade in London has followed Max and is now threatening his very life. There is danger in every meeting and still they continue to drive toward one another, clinging to each other despite the consequences. Both of these men come together repeatedly, denying that their attraction could possibly be love and yet knowing in their hearts that it is indeed just that.
There was so much angst…so much sex…so much doubt and destructive thinking and by all that is holy it worked and it worked well. This novel tears you apart just as it does its characters. Clare London takes us inside the heart and mind of a tortured man and leads us by the hand to the cusp of his salvation. And through it all, she draws us back again and again to this truth:
But things—and people—did change, didn’t they? Whether it was deliberate or not, welcome or not. We all had baggage from the day we were born. And as we limped along in life, lumps of experience bounced off us like tiny meteors, and we gathered even more. But how far did you let it drag back your progress into the future?
Max had a decision. Could his future involve Seve? Did he want it to? Did Seve want it to? Compulsion by Clare London takes us to the edge and dangles us there, pummeling us with raw emotion, smoking hot lust and sex, and the ever nagging question of how can we possibly love another person before we make our lives right, before we rid ourselves of that “baggage” we all carry around.
This novel takes time to read, not because it is excessively long but because it is subtle, even through its action packed sequences it makes you question the motives of every person at each step. This story creeps up on you and before you realize it you are hanging on every word coming off the page. It is an excellent read! Compulsion by Clare London—I highly recommend it to you!