Equilibrium - Katey Hawthorne
Hansen is gay and secretly in love with Sam. Sam, on the other hand, is involved with his current girl and seemingly is not interest in dallying with the opposite sex. However, much like electricity, love sparks at the unlikeliest of times, and once set aflame can rarely be contained. Will it consume Sam or Hansen? Or will an outside force bent on their destruction intervene before the spark can burst into flame?

It is my delight this week to review the five novels currently in Katey Hawthorne’s Superpowered love series. Today, I begin with Equilibrium and the story surrounding Sam and Hansen, two “awakened” and gifted men. While Ms. Hawthorne hints at a world in which there are “sleepers”—those without powers and, therefore, dangerous to those with them—and the “awakened”—those with varying degrees of gifting and skills—the author never fully fleshes out what this world is like or what other super powers may exist within it. Rather, she gives us just the beginnings or framework with which to hang future installments onto and slowly builds the world as she sees it.

Along with that, she gives us two gorgeous men whose awakening love for each other becomes the real reason they must harness Sam’s abilities before it is too late and he unleashes such a force that would being their world tumbling down around them. When he exposes his gift, not once but twice, and drags Hansen’s out into the public eye as well, both men realize they need help in containing the raw energy inside Sam. With Hansen’s family to assist, Sam gets a crash course in how to dampen down his electrical tendencies, and the boys hope they can resurface in town without drawing unwanted attention.

Meanwhile, their love for each other deepens and grows stronger, much to Hansen’s despair. He is still not certain that Sam is really attracted to men, and that any feelings he has may just be a passing thing. Throughout the story, we see flickers of Hansen’s inner turmoil and of his growing love for Sam. There were times when I wanted to wrap Hansen up in a hug and reassure him all would be well, but the author played this one close to the vest and keeps us dangling till the very end as to how this relationship will play out.

The characters were strong and compelling and left me wanting more of their story. While the world was left much to the imagination, it was obviously modern day with an established underground network of supernatural abilities that were merely hinted at. I think it was this lack of clear setting that kept me from giving this story a 5 star rating. There was certainly a good plot line rife with tension and danger, as well as gorgeously written main characters who were three dimensional and well beyond just your typical heroes. I felt that the novel would have benefited from just a bit more explanation of where the awakened had come from and how they fit into society. I look forward to the next installment of the series to perhaps shed light on that very question.

Reviewed by Sammy at The Novel Approach