Book Reviews

Still by Mary Calmes at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Romance
Reviewed by Christy Duke on 28-April-2014

Book Blurb

What happens when two men who have been together for seventeen years fall out of love? Sivan Cruz, a set director in San Francisco, and Walter Wainwright, a big shot Bay Area lawyer, find out the hard way. Walter loves Sivan with all his heart but rarely talks about it, and Sivan needs to hear the words. The language of the love they have shared for so long, that has enabled them to build a life together and raise two children, stops working. They become—still.

When Sivan asks for a divorce, Walter doesn’t know how to say no. They separate, but while Sivan sees the relationship as over, Walter sees only a temporary setback. He has never lost his passion for Sivan and decides he has to say something before he ends up loving his husband in silence for the rest of his life.


Book Review

I bought this book quite a while ago and, I'll be honest, I've been afraid to read it. Not because I thought it wouldn't be good. Oh no. I'm a huge Mary Calmes fan and have loved every single book of hers that I've been privileged to read. My fear came more from a personal side. Within my family, my brother and his wife divorced last year after thirty-two years of marriage and four children. It was, in no way shape or form, ugly, at all. They are still the best of friends and he continues to be in and out of the house and they're both active with the children. It was such a shock, though, and I hated that my brother had to go through this. My fear also came knowing that as I read 'Still' I would be reminded of how easy it can be to let the relationship drift until neither person is happy or fulfilled, and that concept really frightens me. The author wrote this book with views into the past and the present, much like the movie 'The Story of Us' and it made the emotional journey even more impactful.

"But sex alone cannot save a relationship. It was over-we were roommates with benefits, not even friends, and we didn't have to be. We could afford our own places; we could share our kids and not even have to pretend we liked each other.
I took my ring off to clean the rain gutters six months ago and never put it back on."

From the moment Sivan and Walter met, they ignited sparks off one another. At first, they each believed it to be dislike, but when they realized they'd been in the midst of a finely choreographed foreplay for two years, then it was no-holds-barred heat and intensity. Walter worshiped Sivan's body in a way no one ever had, treating him as so much more than a casual hookup, and tenderly caring for his heart just as much. And Sivan, with his fearlessness, his sarcasm, and his meanness, knocked over Walter's ego and barged right through, not allowing Walter to always get the upper hand. Sivan protected Walter from all of life's hurts and slights, and vice versa.

Sivan and Walter's relationship didn't just begin on a sexual and emotional bang, but a realistic one as well. The night they first got together and Sivan went back to Walter's, they find that Walter's ex-wife was killed in an accident that day leaving Walter as a single parent to their two kids. All of this information was pretty much out of the blue for Sivan, and he struggled to take it all in. But, against the odds, they managed to fall in love and create a family together. They bought a home, they had friends, they raised their children, they fought, they loved, and then, what? It's just over? How does that happen?

“You're so full of shit,” I said angrily. ”'From that first day we were together, I saw you clearly”'
“Maybe for awhile you did, but you lost sight of me again, because you had an image in your mind of what love was supposed to be like”'
“That's not true.”'
“It is true. You thought that if I really loved you that I would do this, this, and this. But I'm not you.”
“So working all those hours, spending all the time away from me and the kids, you thought that your love for us was obvious?”

Oh wow. This was everything I wanted and needed it to be. Walter I completely and utterly fell head over heels in love with. Sivan? Well. Sivan I wanted to smack, a lot, for being so blind and completely obtuse in regards to Walter. I understood the why of it, Sivan was abandoned and thrown away by his family at a young age, but seventeen years of love from a man like Walter should have given Sivan some much needed confidence and insight. None of this means I didn't like Sivan, because I adored him, I just needed him to wake up and see what was in front of him. Luckily, Walter had already woken up to the things he needed to do to keep Sivan and not lose him; to the weaknesses he was responsible for in the marriage. A relationship can't work when one person works, away from the home, all the time. Relationships take work, and they take compromise and every day there's a new challenge.

Thank you, Mary. I loved it.





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Additional Information

Format ebook and audio
Length Novella, 190 pages/41785 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 15-May-2013
Price $4.99 ebook, $14.95 audiobook
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