Yesterday, I read “Unwrapping Hank” by Eli Easton. This was the second time I read it. (I often read books multiple times.)
I like the cover, for the most part. The color scheme and magical effect, the Santa’s pack and Grinch, the bull dog, are fun and representative of the story. The model for Hank is attractive, but he looks too old and too built up, in my opinion. I would also have loved to see Greg pictured, but maybe with the dog included, it would have been too much….would have lost some of the feeling of Christmas lights and magic suggested by the background.
This is a story of two college students, a freshman (Greg Sloane) who is, and has been, out and another somewhat older student (Hank Springfield) who is an enigma in many ways, including his body building, his course of study, his conservative outlook, and his atypical living habits.
The story begins with Hank’s older brother pairing the two up to plan a holiday party for their frat. The friction-filled interactions as well as the underlying currents of sexual attraction make this a really fun read. The mystery of Hank, as Greg investigates him, keeps the reader turning pages….that and the quest for the happily-ever-after.
I really enjoyed this story and the character interaction. Eli’s characters are always sympathetic and even when they’re kind of “out there” like Lilith and Karma, they’re not caricatures.
I can see room for a sequel with Hank’s older brother, Micah. He was curious and admitted an attraction to Sloane (as they often called Greg.) I’d love that, because he was an extraordinary person. I’d like to see what else happens in his life and, maybe, at the same time, see a little more epilogue on Hank and Greg.
Next on my reading list: “Bowl Full of Cherries” by Raine O’Tierney. I’ve read it before, but want to read it again.
I’m also listening to “Blue Lily, Lily Blue” by Maggie Stiefvater. I love, love, love the series, The Raven Cycle. When I tell people I love it and they ask me what it’s about, I have trouble describing it. The stories are about multiple characters who are each incredibly well-developed. It is about a young man who almost died as a child, but didn’t, and his quest to find out more about the how, the who and the why of this. It is paranormal. It is a mystery. It is unique. But most of all it is its characters and the reader’s pressing journey to see if Gansey, the central character, will evade death a second time. It is the story of a love that cannot be without utter loss, but whose bittersweet realization adds depth to the strength of that love. The storytelling is brilliant, the characters incredibly rendered, and the mysteries compelling. I realize, I’m being too superlative, but that’s part of the story’s magic.