Slow Dances Under an Orange Moon is the fourth book in the Colors of Love series by V.L. Locey. Kye and Davy grew up in a tiny Maine town as friends who discovered they were both gay and became secreted teenage lovers. Despite the promises they made to each other about the future, Kye left town at eighteen for a twenty-year professional hockey career with the Pittsburgh Panthers. But in those twenty years, he never returned home, never came back to see Davy, who was plagued with grief. Flash forward twenty years; Kye is preparing to retire and returns to his hometown to take care of his crotchety, ninety-year-old grandfather who is living in a derelict house and struggling with dementia and limited mobility. Kye plans to plead his case to Davy and see if their relationship can be rekindled.
Poor Davy is so conflicted. Initially, his anger rules and he wants nothing to do with his childhood sweetheart. He’s very, very slow to forgive, and even more hesitant to forget, but eventually, Davy understands that coming out would’ve been a career killer for Kye. Homophobes are not kind to pro-athletes, and as a result, these men lost twenty years of their lives together. Nonetheless, Davy’s still leery and makes Kye work for it. Davy needs proof that Kye is planning to put down roots and stay in the hometown.
Kye: “I’m trying to woo you, but you’re being unwooable.”
Slow Dances Under an Orange Moon is a book I didn’t want to put down, not because it’s suspenseful or full of passion, but because it’s so enjoyable. I loved reading about Kye’s memories of teenage love: the kisses, touches, sharing sandwiches, reading comic books, sleeping in tents, and other more lustful activities in tents. They lost their virginity to each other.
There is plenty of conflict, but Locey handles it in a lighthearted manner, resulting in low angst. Can Davy forgive Kye? Will Kye be able to win back Davy? Will Davy’s job as a Wildlife Conservation Officer cause too much strife in Kye’s life? Kye wants to come out of the closet, but is he able to unburden himself of that secret after so long?
Max [Davy’s childhood dog] kept our secrets and took them to his grave. Man, I did not want to end up like Max, my chest filled with secrets as they tossed dirt over my casket.
Locey is a prolific writer and her tight editing is proof of her skill and attention to detail. The story flows nicely with a combination of humor and a few harrowing scenes. The book is quite funny, particularly Kye’s internal dialogue, which we are rewarded with frequently since the book is told entirely in his first person POV. The pace slows through the middle, but not enough to lose my interest. In keeping with the tone of the story, the sexy times usually involve some humor, but still convey that their strong chemistry has survived the years apart.
There are affable secondary characters, as well as a few villains, in the novel. If this were a movie, Kye’s grandfather, Dunny, would be played by an award-winning character actor. Dunny is the guy who’s hilariously rude and offensive, but gets away with it because he’s ancient. The other fantastic character is Sampson, the goose who is as entertaining as all get out. Dunny and Sampson almost steal the show.
Locey has written another winner here, which makes it easy to recommend Slow Dances Under an Orange Moon.