BJ on Author Lia Black
With the plethora of competent m/m authors around these days, we fans have a daunting variety to choose from. I’ve sampled and enjoyed a book or two from hundreds of authors, but there’s only a handful whose books I just can’t seem to get enough of. Their books call my name the second they’re released. Lia Black is one of those authors.
She’s published five m/m novels to date, and I’ve devoured every single one with relish. All were five star reads with one exception that I rated 4.25, not because of the writing… oh, wait a minute, maybe it was the writing. Because what else was it but her brilliant writing that got me so thoroughly invested in (or should I say in love with?) the two main characters that I just couldn’t stand it when they were separated for a portion of the book? The frustration of that separation made me want to scream. And that right there is a key to why she’s one of my favorite authors.
Lia Black’s storylines suck me in; her characters fascinate me; and her writing always works its way deep down into the recesses of my neglected, dusty, middle-of-nowhere heart and plucks at my emotions. Hard.
Lia’s writing is a bit hard to pigeonhole. Her goodread’s author page states that her work is fantasy, sci-fi, LGBT romance. But that doesn’t quite tell the whole story. You see, Ms. Black does tend to live up to her name. There are dark parts in each and every story I’ve read by this author. Sometimes very dark indeed. So, if you want light and fluffy with a cherry on top, you should probably look elsewhere. But if you’re okay with a story that can make you gasp, that can smash your heart into the gutter and step on it, then ever so tenderly and exquisitely rip it to shreds before putting it back together—read on. You won’t be disappointed.
This author’s characters are sometimes broken yet not angsty, glamorous yet sad, weird yet beautiful, extreme and even gross yet still awesome and cool in their own right. Some of them even have long hair (well, what can I say, long-haired men are a thing for me so I had to mention that!)
And her writing makes me feel… a lot. Sometimes that means quivering in disgust and wanting to roll into a ball like a pill bug and hide but being too entranced to put the book down and do it. Sometimes it means aww moments when my heart wants to melt in my chest cuz I’ve just fallen in love with a character she breathed such life into that I have a clear picture of them in my head, not of a generic sexy man that could fit for a character in any number of stories I’ve read, but someone I feel like I could pick out in a crowd… one I could pick up my paint brush and paint a portrait of except I usually don’t, because I wouldn’t do him justice since I paint dogs and not people.
Lia Black’s stories leave emotional paper cuts on my heart. They’re by turns exhausting, frustrating, horrifying, amazing, fascinating, and touching. But always riveting, and always, in the end, healing. Deliciously dark stories that somehow light me up inside.
I think this excerpt from my review of Fidelity sums it up well: “Not for the faint-hearted, one particular scene at the beginning took my breath away with its grisly, shocking cruelty. But amidst the bloody battle scenes, there is humor, small joys, and sweet tenderness. Amidst the dismantling, I was put back together. The ride to get there was gut-wrenching, heartbreaking, and painful to read. I absolutely loved it.”
So if you’re looking for something different, something to expand your boundaries or to touch on places that maybe you haven’t explored, something to make you feel and not always in a fluffy, sweet way—look no further. Read Lia Black. And if you need help picking which of her books to start with, check out the links to my full reviews below.
Oh, I have one other thing to say about her writing, and I really hope she’s reading this. I desperately need to read more.
About The Author
Lia Black tends to do everything the hard way; beginning with being born backwards into the world and now raising a teenage daughter by herself in conservative Upstate NY. Her career choices are no less extreme, including occupations of fine artist, computer geek, firefighter, and mortician’s assistant— just to name a few.
A fellow Author describes Black’s mind as “a glorious kaleidoscope of f*ckeduppery”; she loves the challenge of writing about people who probably have no business being together on the same planet, and who occasionally deal with questionable sanity/morality. It’s fun to glue broken things together and try to make something interesting and new.
–She especially loves broken boys who have lots of fascinating pieces.
Her characters often suffer through the worlds she creates for them, which leaves them a little cranky and sometimes less lovable than others in a romance genre. Yet Black swears that someday, “there will be comedy.”
BJ’s Reviews of Lia Black’s Novels
Goodreads Link BJ Review Link