Color Me

Color Me - Blaine D. Arden *** 2,5 plot hole stars ***

The bad:

The story in itself wasn't particularly good. It had a whole lot of plot points, loose ends and characters, which were crammed in to this not-so-short story.

The story suffers from a "compression syndrome" (yeah, I made that up)... trying to compress a whole book into a short story which leaves the result less desired. A lot of the plot points were interesting, but they left holes all over the story. 

Like the paranormal aspect. Scott has the ability to see color spots which reflects people moods, or aches or even pregnancies! I've read about this sort of ability in another book (can't remember which, though), and I think it's pretty cool. However, it was never explained or used for anything in the story, though, which I kind of expected when one of the MCs has this an ability! The only thing the MC found out about his ability was that instead of surrounding himself with colors to try to drown out the color spots he should go for "black and white" instead. Which happens to be the other MC, who only wears colorless clothes and has a black and white-ish apartment, and didn't have any color spots surrounding him (except the red for his hurt ankle). But why? Why did he have this ability? Why didn't he see any "mood colors" with Jonah? Why, why, whyyy? The paranormal aspect could, and maybe should, have been left out of this story. It didn't add anything crucial to the story, it was cool, but it only raised more questions than it answered.

Sigh, it could have been so much better!

The good:

What I really liked, though, was the description of the deafness. Not only (!) because the subject is close to me, but because the descriptions were accurate. Now, I think that is very important. I don't think a story is automatically fantastic, just because there's a deaf character in it or the story involves sign language. Well, I try not to, anyway. I was going "yes, yes, yes" with the description and I could totally identify.

How can you tell someone is angry? They usually raise their voice, right? How do you know if a deaf person is angry, then? Well, it shows in how they sign.  

Scott's hands moved fast as he signed, yet his movements were shaky, wild. Scott was angry. Jonah must have his a nerve.


Jonah signed, his movements sharp.

When someone for instant, performs something, you applaud them, right? You can even clap harder to make more noise, so you can tell the one your applauding that you really liked the performance.
How do deaf people applaud then? They can't hear the the clapping of hands, of course they can see it, but they can't hear it it, which is kinda the point.

...their hands signing applause.

It's really weird if you're not used to if, but seeing a whole bunch of people waving their hands like that is really amazing! A real visual applause. :D

If you want someone's attention, you say "Hey" or start talking or call them over, right? What do you do to get a deaf persons attention, then?

Scott tapped him on his shoulder.

Which is frikkin' inconvenient when you're at the grocery store and your hubby takes off with the shopping cart and you're standing there with 4 liters of milk, bread, a cheese and whatever other stuff you've picked out which you really want to dump in the cart, and can't call him back, dammit!

Usually the sex scenes in the books I read have the MCs moaning and panting and babbling, and generally being very vocal. Well, how can you tell that the person your doing something to, really likes what you're doing, if you're deaf? No hearing the sounds to judge the reaction, remember?

...he lowered his cheek to Scott's stomach so he could feel his reaction.


Jonah couldn't resist looking up to see Scott's reaction.


Resting one hand on Scott's lower stomach, Jonah bent down and licked the tip again, tasting Scott. He licked his way down to the base and up again, feeling Scott's stomach quiver under his left hand. (...) He licked around the head, smiling at the rumble he felt beneath his hand. Scott definitely liked this. (...) The rumble beneath his hand became more pronounced, as did the quivering. Scott was getting close. 

Oh, and how is the signing after coming, hm? ;)

Jonah's hands moved loosely, as if they were weightless.

The accurately described deafness did not make the story, nor did it save it. The story was too full of holes. And not the fun kind.

Sadly, no.

A short story in the collection "Don't Read in the Closet, Volume Two" from the MM Romance Group Hot Summer Event 2011. 

Click HERE for the story online or  HERE to download the whole collection for your reading device.

Picture and prompt:

Dear Author,

There's a new guy that's just moved into my building. I see him swimming laps in the complex pool everyday in his little speedo-esque suit. I can tell from his tats that he's a bit of a bad boy (my favorite kind), but I'm too shy to approach him. Is he as tough & intense as he looks or is the cuddly teddy bear with an edge that I'm secretly looking for??



Genre: Contemporary

Tags: deaf, tattoo, 'retired' bad boy, paranormal elements, being out in love