Book Reviews

Hangover from Hell (Hangover 1) by Zakarrie Clarke at MLR Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Artists/Actors/Musicians/Authors / Erotic Romance / Humor/Comedy
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 12-April-2018

Book Blurb

A Hangover From Hell is exactly what greets rock star Callum Carter on the final morning of an 'On the Road' trip along Route 66, taken with his partner, artist Daniel Flynn. Theirs is a story of fame, lust, laughter and all-consuming love. They met five years ago, when the infamous 'enfant terrible' was commissioned to paint Callum's portrait and have been together ever since. The latter remains a closely kept secret...until the morning they wake up in Las Vegas. Married. Dan has no memory of this miracle taking place, only one thing seems certain; he has somehow managed to pull off his masterpiece of mischief, and inveigled Cal down the aisle.

Book Review

“Once you label me you negate me.” ~ Søren Kierkegaard

The very last thing that Daniel (Dan) Flynn ever thought would happen is that the love of his life, Callum (Cal) Carter, and he would end up at the altar. When Dan wakes up beside him on “the morning after”, he is astonished to find a wedding ring on his as well as Cal's finger. After years of deep abiding love and yearning, shadowed by doubt, pain, and anguish, Dan prays that it's not a cruel dream.

Once Cal is fully awake, his reaction is one of shock; Dan mistakes it for displeasure. Then the memories begin to roll around in his head and the events of last evening come back, a bit fuzzy still, but enough to remember that he did, indeed, propose and marry his beloved husband. As Cal comes to terms with their state of wedded bliss, Dan is terrified that Cal doesn't want this and will, somehow, undo it. After all, Dan has suffered for years, wanting to be with Cal but being shut tightly in the closet for fear that his rock star lover will be found out. The pressure is too much and Dan goes a bit off the deep end thinking that Cal hates the idea and, possibly, hates him as well. His insecurity is understandable, if not realistic. After all, Dan is the only man Cal has ever wanted to be with. After a heart-to-heart talk, and some physical reassurance, Dan is finally convinced that it wasn't a drug induced spur-of-the-moment thing, that Cal, indeed, meant to marry him. The biggest hurdle is going to be when they get back home and face the music that is sure to come from his manager, reporters, and fans.

Although they have been through hell and back, Cal and Dan find a way to stay together. First, Cal has to overcome the fear of being attracted to a man when, for years, he's lived the life of a reckless sex god, who racks up conquests the way others count kills. The last thing he expects is to be so utterly smitten by another male. But this is not just another man, this is Dan, Dan who blew his world apart with his charm, wit, brilliant talent, and utterly uncanny ability to cut through a situation with a clarity his frivolity and devil-may-care attitude, does not normally reveal. Cal does manage to conquer his doubts because Dan is everything he has ever wanted. Cal loves Dan with an unbridled passion that he never could have imagined. Their love, although not traditionally “pure and sweet” is overpowering and inspiring.

I love the poetic, lyrical, 'Shakespearian-style' writing. Zackarrie's way of portraying her men, with all their flaws and foibles, makes them all the more endearing. They are some of the most well drawn characters I've ever read. Although they are often rough around the edges, their love for each other is so brilliantly portrayed that I believe in their sincerity. Since the story is character driven, the dual point of view is particularly necessary; due to the intensity of emotion, knowing what each character thinks is imperative to understanding them. I'm in love with this series, and, of course, with Dan and Cal and can barely wait for book two to be done. This is Zackarrie's first published novel and from what I've read so far, she's done a fabulous job. It's a terrific start to a career and series, that I, for one, will be following closely. If you enjoy rock stars, eccentric artists, hot sex, angst, joy, and abiding love, you may enjoy this book as much as I did. Thank you, Zackarrie, for the all-consuming and satisfying read.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by MLR Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel, 74000 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 09-March-2018
Price $6.99 ebook
Buy Link