Swim teams, pagans, and mysteries, oh my! Hollyâ€™s young adult novel follows Tip Trencher, a high school senior in a rural Oregon community, as he seeks to discover the reason for the mysterious disappearance of his two older brothers 15 years earlier. On a fluke, he gains access to their locked bedroom and starts to unravel a mystery that puts his brothers in a gay pagan group at odds with the small townâ€™s conservative values. As Tip is drawn into his brotherâ€™s journals, he begins to explore his own sexual awakening with two fellow seniors on the swim team. This story of the awakening of new youth and old rituals is an enjoyable erotic romp.
While the story was engaging and moved quickly,Â the novelÂ has some problems. The weakest section of the whole book by far is the first 20 pages with some clunkily-worded passages that may put off readers.Â In addition, some word choices may distract the reader because of their oddness. For instance, reading about a movement described as â€œwiddershinsâ€ had me scrambling for a dictionary.
The dual nature of the narrative is a double-edged sword for Holly that sometimes aids and sometimes hinders his story. While the introduction of the journal provides needed backstory (and a fast-track to erotic material), the constant bouncing back and forth between present day and the past can make the narrative feel disjointed
A Portland (OR) native, Holly is a prolific author of gay erotica and romance.Â His stories can be found in the anthologiesÂ Nice Butt, Erotica Exotica, Black Five,Â andÂ Historyâ€™s Passion.
The Moonâ€™s Deep CircleÂ is recommended for libraries that cater to the general public and that seek to meet the personal reading interests of their clientele, including an interest in explicit language and sexual content.
Reviewer: John Mack Freeman