Nick is in Europe on a book tour with his grandmother while Tim is frustrated trying to figure out what the rules are for two guys in a committed relationship to satisfy their sexual needs. Unfortunately, he and Nick have never discussed the situation and realize that this is not the time to do it while they’re thousands of miles apart.
Artie’s career hits new heights and takes him out of town more often, leaving other performers to entertain the crowds on Castro Street.
A pair of masked armed robbers hit Cliff’s hardware store, Rossi’s Deli, and several of the gay bars in the Castro.
Tim communicates via the Internet with a teenage boy from London who is coming to San Francisco with an ulterior motive.
LOVE RULES — E.B. Boatner – Lavender Magazine, October 2013
Love Rules brings back Abramson’s Beach Reading crew; clairvoyant Tim Snow, his lover Nick, Arturo and Artie (a.k.a. Artie Glamour) of Arts Restaurant, his beloved Aunt Ruth and others, for a seventh turn around the Castro. But can the center hold? Nick is abroad for several weeks; Aunt Ruth wants to spend time with her new husband; Artie is busy expanding his show-biz career. Throughout, Tim suffers in the throes of a pre-midlife crisis, anguishing over sexual temptations in Nick’s absence. Nick evinces a looser, “Play safe. Use condoms,” attitude, having fewer qualms about the carpe diem perks of Paris. Add a couple of masked robbers, a sexy policeman, a Brit Internet hookup, and even Tim’s clairvoyance offers him no concrete answers. Let love rule?
–Bob Lind, ECHO Magazine
In this, the seventh book in Abramson’s “Beach Reading” series, the gang is in a period of transition. Artie and his lover Arturo are taking a leave from their Castro restaurant for Artie’s comeback singing tour. Aunt Ruth is back behind the bar, helping to keep an eye on things while they are gone, although she would much rather be spending leisure evenings with her husband. And everyone in the Castro is buzzing about a daring series of armed robberies, by a duo that seems to be very good at what they do.
Ruth’s nephew, and the restaurant’s most popular waiter, Tim is missing his boyfriend, Nick, who is away in Europe, assisting his grandmother on a book tour, and thinking they should have had a talk about monogamy before he left. Even Tim’s usual clairvoyant dreams seem to be sidetracked by his libido, with the exception of rather disturbing flashes about a plane crash. Tim’s erotic temptations fight daily with the potential guilt of his actions, and he can’t help but wonder if Nick feels the same way, or perhaps has taken advantage of such situations that have faced him.
I’ve been a big fan of this series since its inception, and it is always good to get to visit with Abramson’s realistic, fully-nuanced characters. I was also happy to see development of some secondary characters introduced in earlier books. Overall, however, I have to admit I found this one to be a bit week in story line, compared to the others, and I hope it is just a temporary misstep. Overall, I still give it four stars out of five.