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Veiled Security by Carolyn LeVine Topol

Veiled Security (2009)

by Carolyn LeVine Topol

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Recently added bypfodge, elisa.rolle



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I believe that this is the first novel by this author and in a way, it's like the author grew with her book. The story is a mix of originality and common situations that take unexpected twist; the style is, at first a bit tentative, some dialogues, especially between the lovers, aren't so smooth, but this feeling soon vanishes, it seems like the author took confidence in what she was doing, like a sixteen years old with his new license and car, who discovers at the first highway that he likes to run and that he is better than a Nascar pilot.

There is a bit of Great Expectation, of La Bohemme and Romeo and Juliet, all mixed together: Del and Joey met at college and fall in love; they behave like two good boys and ended college but now they want to have their chance in life, Joey in writing songs and Del in singing them on stage. Del is a mix of bohemmien innocence and practical heart: he is from a very wealthy family, he could have a simple and perfect life at home, but he decides to go living in a one room apartment in NYC with his male lover. But he is not so reckless to not knowing that they need money to live, and so Del is also accepting a job in the financial world of Manhattan.

The first months are both wonderful than stressful: Joey and Del are playing little house, with Joey in the role of the small wife... and here a bit of the light humor that permeates all the novel comes out, Joey is at the opposite of the perfect housewife, more he is the dominant lover in the relationship, and so seeing him playing the role of 'wife' is at the same time sweet but also comic. Then there is the contradiction that is Del: by day a white collar worker, by night a female impersonator by the name of Venus; basically Del is still trying to really coming out, and Venus serves him to stay a little more in the closet. Dressed as Venus he is altered beyond recognition, and so maybe he can also lie to himself, pretending that he is not the gay son who crashed his parents expectation.

The parents are another nice element of the story, and one of those unexepected turns I was saying; I don't want to give up the story, enough to say that, instead of the usual angst evolution, with a lot of tears and guilty feelings, the author decides to give them a nice push towards a light resolution of the issue. Pay attention to the father and how his role evolves, or maybe, how the different perspective can read the same man in different ways.

As I said, the second part of the novel is probably better, and one of the reason is that probably Joey comes out; he was always a nice character, but he was not 'strong' enough. He is the one who tries to set the rules of their relationship, but in the end he always follows what Del wants, it's enough for Del to pour a tears or two, and Joey is more than willing to step back from his firm position. In a way, even if Joey is the dominant lover, who really is the center of their relationship is Del. Lucky for the reader, and also for Del, Joey has the chance to be stronger, strong enough also for his lover when he needs him. Maybe also the chance to see their dreams of success come true, serves him to gain confidence.

For a first work, Veiled Security is quite nice, and I think that the author has the potential to write also some good comedy: even if this one was mainly a drama-contemporary romance, what I liked best was that, maybe unwilling, light side of it.

  elisa.rolle | Feb 24, 2010 |
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With warmest love and gratitude for the ongoing support of David, Jenn, Adam, and my wonderful critique group.
First words
Del stood in a sea of scarlet red caps and gowns, receiving congratulations from professors, friends, and acquaintances,his eyes searching for the one dark-haired, muscular figure who meant more to him than anyone else.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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From Dreamspinner Press:Del Mathers and Joey Dixon have settled in the West Village of New York City, trying to launch their careers at a local and well-respected drag club. Del is balancing his devotion to his lover and his desire to perform on stage; his drag queen alter-ego, Venus, a bold and sultry chanteuse, exists to mask his identity because he's not out to his family. Joey, a gifted musician and lyricist, treasures Del as his inspiration, but he has his own frustrations and is hiding behind a series of conditions, throwing roadblocks into their uncertain path to complete and unconditional commitment. As if dealing with a faltering relationship and Del's overbearing parents isn't enough, Del and Joey face danger when a group of homophobic vigilantes starts targeting the gay community. All it takes is a moment's carelessness, and everything they have struggled to build could be destroyed. 
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