An Exaltation of Larks
Release Date: November 22, 2016
The paths of a married couple and a male escort cross in Suanne Laqueur’s fifth novel about the price of love.
“We’re so alike, you and I. It’s no wonder we kept finding each other.”
September 11, 1973: Eleven-year-old Alejandro Penda watches from his apartment window as Santiago, Chile falls to a military coup, destroying his family and his childhood. Arriving alone in America, he’s taken in by the Larks: a prominent family in the town of Guelisten. Though burdened by unresolved grief for his disappeared parents, he becomes fiercely loyal to the Larks, eventually marrying one of their daughters, Valerie.
September 11, 2001: Javier Landes watches from his apartment window as New York City falls to terrorism. As one of Manhattan’s top-paid male escorts, this professional lover has never lacked for company and is loyal only to himself. But in the wake of 9/11, Jav is named guardian for an orphaned nephew in Guelisten and must open his carefully-guarded heart to pain he’s long suppressed.
Alex, Valerie and Jav meet first in their twenties, with a sudden attraction each finds strange and compelling. When they meet again in their forties, they discover not only is their bond still strong, but their life experiences are strangely similar. All have been shaped by separate 9/11’s, and their unfinished business from the past will change everything they know about love, loyalty and friendship.
“Life has rules. You cannot come in the middle of the night and take what we agreed isn’t yours.”
Across three decades and two continents, An Exaltation of Larks explores the unpredictability of sexual attraction, how family ties are forged, torn and mended, and how love’s downfall can turn to exaltation.
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“My heart beats with yours. Wake up to hear my heart one day. This day. Every day.”
All the stars for ‘An Exaltation of Larks’!! My words cannot do justice to this epic story. A richly woven tale of love, family, marriage, sex, loyalty and friendship. Not to be missed!
At its core, this book is the story of three intertwined lives: Javier, Alex and Val. The author paints an incredibly detailed portrait of their lives, following them through their childhoods and later on into adulthood, complete with families, relationships, broken hearts and very rich, full lives.
Alex comes to live with the Lark family as a child, orphaned by the terrible war in Chile. He is taken into this big, beautiful family. His childhood memories never, ever fade and continue to haunt him the rest of his life.
“As images of Chile faded and curled at the edges, the photo album in Alex’s heart began to fill with new family snapshots, all with his sleek, dark physique set like a black iris in the Lark bouquet of daffodils.”
Constantly fighting and arguing as children, Alex and Valerie Lark later fall madly and passionately in love. Their love is a tight bond that cannot be broken and they are each other’s soulmates.
“Seeing her was a key turned in a rusty lock and now all his gears were churning. She’d been the missing link around here. Hers was the action he craved, the fight his nails wanted to dig into. He couldn’t wait to talk and tell stories, to laugh and tease, to bash the bathroom door down and push every button. Val was home, and it was on, baby.”
Parallel to their story is Javier’s, whose teen years are painful and terrible and traumatic. But he carves a life for himself as a young man, a lonely and loveless one until his path crosses with Alex and Val’s. Their lives become intertwined in many different ways. Their experiences are skillfully woven together by the author through many years and many life-changing events. Every page, every word in this story is meaningful, perfect and beautiful.
This gorgeous story proves how fluid and unpredictable and messy love can be. The bonds of friendship, family and marriage are tested. When Javier’s path crosses again with the Larks decades after they first meet, no one’s life will ever be the same.
“The sunlight through the glass intensified and Jav remembered this was a woman who kicked in the bathroom door to get back what was hers. He imagined Alex came to America with a half-dozen barricaded doors in his heart, and Val either bashed them down, took them off the hinges or picked the locks open. She’d let nothing come between her and her man.”
I think I highlighted this entire book. Suanne Laqueur’s words haunted me and I can’t stop thinking about this book. I think Javier might be one of the most heartbreaking characters I have ever encountered. He has built a fortress around his heart and all I wanted was for him was to love and be loved.
“Let me come in. Let me stay. Let me touch you. I want to come home and talk about it.”
I never imagined in a million years that I would love a book as much as ‘The Man I Love’. Suanne Laqueur has written another epic story of love, sex, friendship, romance and family that is simply breathtaking. This book spoke to me on so many different levels! It is not to be missed.
“Are you in? Are you breathing this breath? Walking this walk?”
(ARC provided by the author in return for an honest review.)
Suanne Laqueur’s debut novel The Man I Love and its follow-up, Give Me Your Answer True, won gold medals in the 2015 and 2016 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards. Both were finalists in the 2015 and 2016 Kindle Book Awards, and Laqueur was named a gold medal Debut Author with Feathered Quill Book Reviews.
Laqueur graduated from Alfred University with a double major in dance and theater, and taught at the Carol Bierman School of Ballet Arts in Croton-on-Hudson for ten years. An avid reader, cook and gardener, she started her blog EatsReadsThinks in 2010. She lives in Westchester County, New York with her husband and two children.
With her Fish Tales series, Laqueur has gone from choreographing dancers to choreographing words. Her goal is to create a new kind of emotionally-intelligent romance that appeals to all readers, crossing gender, age and genre. Visit her at http://suannelaqueurwrites.com. All feels welcome. And she always has coffee.
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