Fear & Longing in Los Angeles By Mark Leslie

How’d your love life be like, if you turned into wolf at night and had to fight crime?


Mark Leslie explores this possibility in a entertaining, smooth and unique way blending romance with fantasy and sprinkling it with a good dose of thriller and action.


If you like an unique, well-written romance sprinkled with desire and action, well, this book is your next pick.


It starts off kicking and grips the reader at once with a narrative quite fit for the romance it is, and right before the first page starts, we are like : YEAHHHH! , as expectation of trouble and promises of unseen consequences loom in the near future, because of, YES! You Guessed it! THE FULL MOON!


Fear and Longing has it all, well-written characters with weight and depth that you fall in love with without effort, a perfect style of narrative for a romance, gripping humor, a solid, reality-like plot that doesn’t go overboard in any aspect, and above all, substance.


As the writer explores the romantic interactions of our main character, Michael Andrews with the love of his life, Gail Sommers, you can feel the love they share for one another, the conflicts they are experiencing and you understand, relate and feel bad their pain, their joy and WANT them to, as we say on the memes,: “Kiss now”.

It’s gorgeous, it’s real, it’s cute, it’s PAINFUL, and it helps understand many of the processes of romantic relationships, specially heart-break and the process of loving another person again.

It doesn’t take long for readers to notice what makes this book, and Mark Leslie awesome, as they go for the table of contents, and find funny and curious chapter titles such as: ” Cut Loose like a Deuce, a Super Powerball Bonus Daylight Savings Time in the Night “ // “Just the Flapjacks, Ma’am ” // “I Just Met You. This Is Crazy. Had Your Number, Didn’t Text Youe Lately” // or my favourites, “It’s a Small Skull-Crushing World After All“, “Hide and Seek, Marco Polo, and Whose Lie is it Anyway?”, and “Muggers in the Night, Exchanging Victims”, and it makes you want to read this book even more, so, kudos to Mark Leslie.


(Yes, writers, we do look at things like that)

Humor will not be lacking in any shape or form in this smooth romance. You WILL laugh and smile to entire paragraphs, phrases like: “A thicker mustache would match those thick bushy eyebrows, but I worried if it might fly off his face with the constant rapid motion he made when expressing his instant displeasure to something. ” , and expressions like: “scared the bejesus out of me” , “dang it” and much, much more.

Mark’s authentic way of expressing his ideas and/or the characters’ ideas, makes the characters completely and instantly relatable, something incredibly hard to see these days. I mean, we, as writers, tend to make our characters “perfect”, even in their imperfections, but not Mark. He lets* his characters make mistakes on the first try. They say something and retract because they doubted they were correct, or remembered that what they just said wasn’t acurrate and “talk” to the reader to “cross-out the last part”, which is very nice.

Another great example of the author’s way of “flawing” his characters is Mack’s way of twitching his head sideways when he doesn’t like things. I mean, his brisk manners are the FIRST thing you learn about him, the second, is that head movement that reminds you that he is human, and then Mark, the author, using his main character, adds layers of who Mack is, and we tend to love the guy as much the main character, because we now know his ways and reasons better, IN LESS THAN TWO PAGES, and that’s something to clap for, add that to the fact that there are cuss words in the novel and you get and idea of why this book is worth the read because it adds to the authenticity of the whole experience and contrast to some of the characters.

One thing that captivates us to this book, and the writer himself, is how he “let us know” the consequences of little choices and the affect they have on people, like sincere appreciation and actually noting what other people do and like, and showing them that we notice. It’s something subtle, but very nice to read and learn as one has a blast with this story and THAT’S the thing more authors and writers should aim for. Exemplary, truly exemplary.

This book, and author, isn’t just something that you read and let go. No. The book has substance, it has life-changing messages well woven into it, it has reach and grip. The author calls into question many topics of dire need of discussion that people avoid, such as sexism, emotional traumas, appreciation of other’s deeds, authenticity and even homelessness and the social constructs that reinforce them in America.


It alerts people on the danger lurking the American society as a whole also in VERY specific topics of great current concern, it talks about white-supremacy, the hatred that is promoted by white people in the country driven by delusional beliefs, cults and the apathy of general society towards such matters in a way that blends perfectly with the story and gives even more weight to the whole book. There is an urgent need for messages like this to come across readers eyes in order to educate, and make people realize that inclusion one of societies pillars, and in particular for white americans, that America isn’t white-people’s property, or that colour doesn’t make somebody inherently superior.


The book calls upon humanity – while warewolfing – and it’s BEAUTIFUL, we need more authors like Mark Leslie, and not just because of his exquisite ability of “showing” instead of telling the story folds and twists with his easy-to-love humorous narrative. It is a FINE add to the literary world.


Fear and Longing has become definitely one of my books of reference from now on, and I’ve had fun reading and enjoying this smooth, well-crafted piece of literature, and a fan of Mark Leslie.
Marvel fans, Spider-man fans, nerds and geeks will LOVE this book for sure. I, at least, had a blast.

If you are looking for a good way to add value to your life with nice read then get this book.

Pros:

  • SENSE OF HUMOR!
  • Cusses!!!! Yes!
  • A narrative that talks to the reader and provoques imagination. Very nice.
  • The writer gives off an explicit insight onto how relationships work and the implications of paying attention.
  • Nice fight scenes.
  • Belivability throughout the book, although it has fantasy elements to it, which is hard to come by.
  • Solid plot.
  • GREAT life-changing messages that will provide to be of great help to people going through hard break-ups, or are unable to let go.
  • Good scene suspense build-up fit in the appropriate places.
  • An odd, quirky style of narrative that evoques the personality of characters and brings them to life.

Cons:

  • Sometimes, the writer takes times to continue with a scene. It only happens once or twice, but the delay is there..
  • Michael, the main character deserves some good bitch-slaps from time to time. This can be good at times, as it breaks the pattern of the “perfect man”. But none the less, we needed more Mack in there to slap him.

Favourite Character: Mack “The Knife”


Lesson from the book:

“America has some deep-rooted messed-up issues when it comes to british-americans.”

Cover Rating: 8.4/10

Cover by Juan Padrón Nicely done by Juan. Very neat.

Listen to the podcast episode review about this book

Book Rating: 8.6/10

Get your copy of this smooth read here // on Goodreads // On Author’s Site

4 thoughts on “Fear & Longing in Los Angeles By Mark Leslie

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