Velocity (Impulse #3)
Author: Amelia C Gormley
Cover Artist: Kerry Chin
Publisher: Amelia C Gormley
Amazon Buy Link: Amazon
Smashwords buy Link: Velocity
Length: 210 pages
Reaching Optimum Speed
For Derrick and Gavin, the holiday season is filled with the promise of new beginnings. Gavin’s officially moving in, and after the new year, they’ll begin house hunting. But they both know all the talk of gift exchange, whose holiday ornaments go where, and what repairs and remodels will be needed to put Derrick’s house on the market is only a smoke screen.
Before the holiday season is over, Gavin will have the final verdict on whether or not his dangerously delusional ex, Lukas, infected him with HIV. No matter how good Gavin’s chances appear with the three-month hurdle already passed, neither he nor Derrick know what the future holds for them.
The holidays have always been a time of loss and mourning for Derrick, but now he has to stay strong as Gavin’s own fears and doubts assail him relentlessly. And when Lukas returns, unexpectedly penitent amid troubling revelations, Gavin has to ask himself whether he can offer Derrick the future he truly deserves, or whether these first few months of happiness are the best they will ever get.
All the tensions and concerns that have been building through the first two books come to a head here—this is a trilogy like Lord of the Rings is a trilogy, a great big book in manageable sections, with small plot arcs that resolve internally and an overarching arc for the whole. Read the first two—they are good. (Reviews for Inertia here, and Acceleration here.)
Where Derrick has been hesitant and inexperienced, now he becomes a pillar of strength for Gavin. He’s sweating out the final months before he can feel confident that his awful ex hasn’t left him with life-long problems, and he’s having a bit of a problem believing in Derrick’s constancy.
I do love both these guys—they have their places of strength and their places of weakness, and they dovetail so nicely. Watching them work stuff out warmed the coggles of my heart. They do communicate pretty well—fits and starts, sure, but they are talking. Derrick doesn’t always realize that volunteering information would be a good thing—one instance comes back to bite them, but no Big Misunderstandings arise out of silence.
Lukas, the awful ex, is back to yank everyone around. He’s a manipulator down to his toes, and demonstrates how he managed it so well and so long. Watching Gavin jerk around as if his strings have literally been pulled is both painful and fascinating—their relationship would best be described as abusive, and that leaves a mark. Gavin finds his backbone and his strength, so watching him break away from his old mindset, with Derrick and friend Andi’s help, is very satisfying. Some things about Lukas are never quite clear—although short of beating the truth out of him, his motivations will probably never be known.
I was also interested in the bit of Jewish philosophy Gavin mentioned, which helped explain how Lukas could exploit Gavin so thoroughly—in a way, it was using Gavin’s strength and weakness against him. It’s also one of the few stories I’ve read where the Jewish background of a character is more than candles and latkes.
A lingering issue of Derrick’s also resolves, although he’s treating the hockey-related harassment as more of an annoyance than a danger, it’s quite possible he’s really wrong. Neither Gavin nor I were quite as trusting—if you go to a fight it’s possible a hockey game could break out, so the situation devolving into violence seemed far too possible. This section had the one breakdown in the otherwise seamless prose, but one public service announcement in three volumes that could have been one big lecture isn’t a big blit.
Once again, Derrick and Gavin’s friends rally for them. Hannah gets to shine in a subplot, and her husband Devon is a really good guy, even if he doesn’t understand his wife and she’s annoyed how his inner Neanderthal got out again. Their acceptance of Gavin, and his friend/confidant Andi’s reactions show us how the men are blending their lives, as their chosen families expand to include them as a couple. The holiday scenes at the end were very charming.
The sex, as we’ve come to expect from this author, is both very hot and driving the plot. Derrick is anything but the inexperienced man Gavin first decided to seduce. He’s not only following Gavin’s directions, but taking the lead when he wants it, and also when he thinks Gavin needs him to do that. Very hot. There are D/s elements, but not so overwhelmingly so that a non-BDSM reader (like me) is put off. Once scene did make me squirm in a not-good way for a moment, but YMMV on this.
I’ve enjoyed following this work from its beginning two books ago to the last kisses and the promise of a new, joined life for Derrick and Gavin. All three books are warmly recommended for readers who like a layered, character-driven story with some heat. 4.5 marbles