I'm a fan
I have to admit that I'm a fan of Michael Ampersant since I read his first book, Green Eyes (which is also posted in INKITT). This Is Heaven is a sequel, and fully lives up to the promises of the Green Eyes, which were a finalist in the prestigious Lambda Literary Awards: it's funny (first and foremost), erotic, wise, at times hilarious, and has political edges that most authors, even sworn liberals, would shy away of. We have the lead character, Alex Iglesias, who's typically too smart, and too beautiful for his own good. Then there's John Lee, his sidekick (or shall we say lover), the narrator of the story, who has issues, to put it mildly. Lazy is he, bipolar, extremely shy, oversexed, handsome, and "given to fits of secondary cockiness," as he puts it himself.
Read the story now
The first book was something of a romance, replete with the perfect HEA (happy ever after), and so this book starts with John saying: "Let me think. 'The happy ending is over now, I think,'---the reason being that him and Alex get involved in yet another threesome in the dunes behind the gay section of the beach of Georgia Beach GA. (a fictional town, apparently). Haha. (The first book starts with a threesome as well.) And then we work from there. Here, three examples:
(1) Let me think. ‘The happy ending is over now,’ I think. I look askance at Alex’s rippled abs (he’s still holding the tank-shirt in his hand), let my eyes travel to his pelvis region, then back up along the sleekly muscled torso, the strong neck, the clear, boyish profile. He has grown an inch or two since he woke up. He feels my eyes on his Latino skin, I know.
“The happy ending is over now,” I say.
“Don’t say that,” he replies. “Happy endings can’t end.”
“I wish it were true.”
“It is true. It’s true for the best of reasons.”
“I’d settle for any reason.”
“The power of subsumption.”
“Happy endings can’t end since endings ended already.”
“Sheer semantics,” I say.
“Exactly,” he says, “sheer semantics. Rooted in meaning of the word ‘end’.”
“Well, you know what I mean.”
“Okay,” he says and hugs my shoulder. He’s conceding the point, for once.
Well, no. “The power of subsumption,” he reiterates, and gives me this new look with his emerald eyes, the post-felo-de-se-look that signals the defeat of his depression.
(2) We walk in lockstep. It’s getting busy on the path along the beach—this is Sunday, with all the weekend folks added to the holiday crowd. People look at us. He hums again.
“Don Henley?” I ask.
“Never look back, you can never look back,” he hums.
“Your brown skin is shining in the sun.” I say.
He laughs as if he’s been told an off-color joke. “This is heav-en,” he says.
“You mean it.”
“Yes, I mean it.”
“There’s something in you that seems to remember your de-pression, something that feels relief.”
“That would be my brain, wouldn’t it, or what’s left thereof. The anoxia, tell me, I had been dead for how long?”
“The lack of oxygen. How long?”
“Almost four minutes.”
“I’m lucky I can still think. You are lucky I can still think.” He double-checks with his grip on my shoulder. “Well, no, let’s re-tract.”
“Well, I am lucky,” I say.
“Let’s retract nonetheless.”
“Sounds arrogant. What I’m saying.”
“It’s true, though.”
“Okay, we don’t retract, but we apologize. Let me apologize.”
He slows his steps, hesitates on an introspective note like a TV-chef over an involved sauce. “There’s something in me that knows this won’t be my last apology today,” he says.
“This sounds even more arrogant.”
“See, I was right…so let me apologize again.”
He pulls me closer. He’s about to give me a kiss. He’s not seri-ous. People take notice. A lonely lady eyes his crotch.
(3) “Did you listen?” Alex asks. I nod evasively. “You weren’t happy with Albert,” he says, “At one point you looked like you were being force-fed. Even though it was the other way ‘round.”
“Stop it,” I say.
“Is this normal? Morning threesomes in the dunes? Is this the thing I do?”
I could tell him that our first encounter involved a morning threesome in the dunes. Well, I told him on Friday, but skipped Maurice’s part.
“You know we met first in the dunes, I told you, right?” I ask.
“So, I do this all the time?”
“You do it sometimes, you told me.”
“Sometimes…” he muses.
“Did you like it?” I ask.
“It was a success, at least at the physiological level.”
“You mean we came?”
“We came, yes.” He wavers: “Perhaps I should apologize again, but, you know, life at the moment, with my amnesia, it’s like enter-ing an alien restaurant. On Mars. Or in San Francisco. You read the menu, you don’t understand. You ask the waiter. ‘You’d love it,’ she says, so you order Shishito peppers, Macapuno, Ube, and Lang-ka. Albert orders Shishito peppers. Sure, you think, let’s serve Shishito peppers.”
“I got somehow mixed up here. You get the gist.”
Well, this is just from the first chapter. Inkitt has published 13 chapters, and it's a fun read, well--written, engaging, the ideal beach book for everybody who likes erotic thrillers.