My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Cherry Blossoms and Titanium is part of the free Love Has No Boundaries event on Goodreads.
Jacqs is a hyper-masculine alpha male seated firmly in the closet until a new man on the ship, pansexual Zeke, forces him to look at the world in a different light and come to the understanding that he can be attracted to a specific trait in a person regardless of their gender.
I’m familiar with Firefly/Serenity, but I took this as a story on its own merits and didn’t think of the characters in the show. If you’re turned off by the prompt mentioning the show – fear not. The Only Way Out Is In stands alone and you need no previous knowledge to enjoy it. In fact, the author comes up with a rich world on her own, filled with sexual terminology that is both familiar and alien. I can’t say that I saw this as a fan fiction at all.
I’m usually not the biggest fan of the alpha male type of character, but Jacqs admires talent and dedication and that’s something I could relate to. As the ice around him slowly melts and he comes to accept his new discovery about himself I found myself warming up to him more. The buildup of tension was satisfying, as was the ending.
I was glad that Jacqs’ orientation troubles weren’t as easily defined as being gay and in massive denial. The author actually used a reasonable amount of nuance to create a character that is clearly still attracted to women, but who admires and is attracted to a certain type of man as well. I’m always happy to see bisexual characters in a genre which is often overwhelmingly about gay men.
I have to say that I really enjoyed The Only Way Out Is In. It’s a nice length story, its characters are well-rounded and their motivations well-explored, and the eventual conclusion is satisfying and believable. It’s free as part of the Love Has No Boundaries event, so what are you waiting for?
You can download The Only Way Out Is In at the M/M Romance Group’s website.