This is not a book review. It really isn’t. So remember, when you read my next words—even though it LOOKS like a book review of a book and character I'm crazy about—it only seems that way. So...since you can't see my nose growing like Pinocchio, I'll continue.
The big focus lately in my writing journey has been on my characters. A lot of thought has gone into whether they’re real, whether a reader will embrace them. Naturally, my mind motored to other writers’ characters, particularly the ones who impressed me the most, the ones who still linger in my mind.
I zeroed in on one specific writer, a specific character. And that is the hero from LA Heat by P.A. Brown. The character? David Eric Laine. Oh, I even love his name. Not just David Laine. But David ERIC Laine.
David Eric Laine is a cop, one of Los Angeles’ finest. He’s a hunky package of testosterone in a not-conventionally handsome package. He’s not classically good looking. He’s big—what? pushing six-foot-four?—pock-marked face, swarthy, curly dark hair. Not a face that would draw stares on the street, but he IS the kind who can knock the knickers off you if you accidentally venture too close to his powerful masculine vortex, his smoldering chemistry. I believe P.A. Brown described him as a young Tommy Lee Jones. In short, MY kind of man. The kind of man I’d want to bed, to do everything to that is implied with ‘bedding’ him. The kind of man I would notice on the street, who I’d throw myself on the floor in front of in a bar.
In LA Heat, we’re introduced to the love of David Eric Laine’s life, the most beautiful man he’d ever seen—gorgeous, blond, well-dressed, classy computer geek Christopher Bellamere.
Since this is NOT a book review, I won’t tell you the story, only that this exquisite creature is the catalyst that brings David out of the closet where he’s been hiding his homosexuality. They begin a relationship that could be a ride at Six Flags—ups and down, hot, cold, crazy sexy, confusing. Christopher Robin Bellamere, in LA Heat, is a serial killer suspect, but his draw on the rugged cop is so strong that even this factor can’t keep them apart.
David Eric Laine refinishes furniture, has a modest house filled with these pieces, owns an antique Victrola, listens to 78’s of Alexander’s Got a Jazz Band Now and Chuck Berry. Diverse tastes. My man.
Laine’s not perfect, which I love about him. Sometimes I even want to kick his ass but then I think about his hairy chest and belly and his fat nipples and I forgive him.
To me, David Eric Laine is real. I believe him. I know him. I can see him, touch him, smell him, make love to him, knock him upside the Tommy-Lee-Jones-look-alike head then kiss him and make it better.
THAT, to me, is the power of writing a character. P.A. Brown did it in David Eric Laine.
Hell, I’ll even reveal a secret about myself that will tell you just how powerful this character IS to me.
Going through a particularly difficult spell of worrying recently with a family illness, I told Pat Brown that David was the kind of man I’d like to snuggle with at night. Not that he could make things go away, but he would at least be a real, solid, warm, cozy shelter to scrunch into. THAT is how real David Eric Laine seems to me. Not being able to think of any real-life men I knew to fit the bill, I instead dragged this fictional character into my mind who—oddly—is as real as any flesh and blood man I know.
I’ll even go so far as to confess that I even, for a fleeting moment—before reminding myself, for God’s sake, this man is make-believe—got jealous of annoyingly beautiful but lovable Christopher Bellamere because my dream man, David Eric Laine was with HIM and slept with HIM. Hmph!
This admission on my part will tell you one of two things: I am certifiably crazy, which may be true. Who knows? Or that P.A. Brown has painted one hell of a good character who the reader has to remind themselves he is indeed fiction. Many other readers, though, can attest to David Eric Laine’s believability and his charisma.
Like I said, this is NOT a book review. I know, I know, it sure looks like one. Why, if this were a book review, Iwould leave a link to LA HEAT and all of P.A. Brown’s books, like THIS link: http://www.pabrown.com/ . And, furthermore, if this was a review, I'd give LA Heat a thousand-star rating. But do you SEE a rating anywhere here? See? Told you it wasn’t a review! It just….well…looks like one.