The Spiral Down by Aly Martinez
The Spiral Down isn’t new by any means, but it was recommended to me and it definitely deserves a review. So here we are.
Full disclosure though, I didn’t actually read this one, I listened to the audiobook. Also, I was delirious with fever parts of it, so that may have affected my perception of the story.
The Spiral Down is a very, very sweet M/M romance well worth reading/listening to. It’s an altogether feel-good story of two damaged men learning to trust and love again. It also has that super important component of humor which lifts it from severely angst-y to fun, sweet and entertaining but with severe undertones. Which is exactly my speed.
The main characters appears to be polar opposites. Henry Alexander is a music superstar, openly gay and cripplingly afraid to fly. Evan Roth is the pilot who loves the sky and who has sworn off ever dating a man again. When Evan is forced to stand in for Henry’s regular pilot, something sparks between the two. Which is the start of a complicated relationship going from boss and employee to maybe friendly to more. Henry loves the chase, but Evan has no intention of ever getting caught. Not for real anyway.
I’d say that the smut-factor of this story is a bit below average. And that’s somewhat of an achievement considering the attraction between Henry and Evan, and their meetings, are the sole focus of the story. The book revolves completely around their hook-ups and strangely secluded interactions. Meaning there is very little world-building going on. That doesn’t have to be a bad thing though, and Martinez totally gets away with it, but still. With a bit more inspired sexytimes and some expansion on the side-plots that are mostly just hinted at, this story could have been awesome!
But either way, I truly enjoyed this story. And the narrators Teddy Hamilton and Aiden Snow did a terrific job of bringing it to life. However, I must bitch a little about a certain aspect of the book that had me quite annoyed. You know how they say that feelings can never be wrong and you have the right to your feelings? Well, that may be true, but when those feelings manifest in utterly stupid ways, I’d say I do have the right to be irritated at least. Both Evan and Henry carries emotional baggage. I get that. It wouldn’t be an interesting story otherwise. But – spoiler alert! – when that baggage makes Evan act like a selfish jerk in bed, it’s not the best of times being a reader. Or when Henry’s insecurities has him freaking out over Evan not being straight. That’s silly AF! So. That lowered my overall enjoyment of the story.
But when all is said and done, this is a beautiful story by a talented author. Perfect when you’re looking for a light romance and some pick-me-up.