Inflori is about two men. One who is used to an excessive lifestyle, and one who is a believer in kindness, zen sayings and the curative powers of tea. Dustin 'meets' Nicolae one day in the street, Nicolae talks about the sun shining even behind clouds, and Dustin can't stop thinking about this strange, intriguing man that gave him something warm and encouraging on a hung over, cloudy day.
I't's hard to describe Inflori other than that. It is a character driven story. There is a bit of suspense near the end, but it never really ramps up, so no big dramas. It's more how a random meeting can leave quite an impression. Plus, both men are from different backgrounds. One wealthier, but isolated. One poorer, but surrounded by a family or sense of community.
The things that worked for me -
The premise was an interesting one -Nicolae, who was blind, could 'see' more clearly than many sighted people. Had a freakish sixth sense. He was Roma and that 'mystery' was played upon. He was also generous, kind of spirit and soul. With a calmness that steadied others.
The way Dustin said the name 'Nicolae' with such reverence. Also how he loved Nicolae's zen ways -
Nicolae, he was soon learning, didn't do anything without purpose. If Nicolae said "bring an umbrella". One would be wise to bring an umbrella. If Nicolae told him to watch his right, Dustin was realising that meant look, react, and figure out what the hell was coming at him from his right.
Nicolae would not just give himself up to sex with Dustin, who was used to no commitment, and quickies in club bathrooms, prior to meeting Nicolae. So Dustin, who wasn't used to someone like Nicolae, didn't think that Nicolae was interested in him -
"I am very interested, no worries of that." Nicolae paused fingers gently kneading. "There were things I needed to know about you first. I told you: I need all of you if I am to have some of you."
"I know," Dustin said.....
"Do you?" Nicolae kissed the top of his head. "Then you know that I am a greedy man. I do not give away that which is mine. And if I have you, if I let you in and you become mine, Dustin, then you will belong to me. And I will never let you go."
Nicolae's dogs - Malachi and Shyla. I'm a sucker for dogs.
There was a quirky quality to the book that I am more often than not drawn to. I'm quirky :)
I liked Christina, Nicolae's friend, who was happy, and caring, and was no M/M female caricature by any means.
I love the cover. It's eyecatching
The things that did not work for me -
Sometimes, I felt the use of language too formal or stiff for the occasion, especially when there was sex.
At times there was too much inner monolgue between when a question was asked and when it was answered; I would have to go back and check the question again.
There were some editing issues - question marks where there shouldn't be, an overuse of exclamation marks, in parts, and there were a few typos. All of these could have been dealt with by tighter editing. I mention them because they do detract from reader enjoyment.
Jewel, Dustin's friend, was not utilized enough, which was a shame, he had the potential for a cheeky, fun character. I liked it when he rang his mum, instead of the police, when he was calling the antagonist's bluff :) Perhaps later for Jewel.
Inflori is an interesting and different book. It has different characters, an interesting premise, and a happy ending. If you're looking for a M/M that is not heavy, is not full of sex, has a small touch of the mystical, and is quirky, Inflori may be right for you. This is a first book for A F Henley. I believe, and I would certainly read more by this writer.