There's a way she phrases something that echoes a construction a couple of other reviewers have also used--the SCIFI.com reviewer in particular. What I'm talking about is the attempts I've seen to define the novel as slash, or yaoi, or something, because one plot element is a m/m love story, kind of bothers me. *****
It's just a love story.
There are two of them in the book.
One ends better than the other.
That's all. It doesn't, to my mind, need to be categorized any differently because one of the love stories is same-sex and the other is opposite-sex.
Yanno, when I said earlier that some of my books have sex scenes and others don't, I was maybe a little disingenuous. Because I don't write romances, really* at least, not in the HEA sense. But I think every novel length book I've written contains some kind of love story. A love story isn't a romance, in a technical sense.
I was bothered by the assumption that the Jenny books were some sort of polemic for polyamory, and I'm bothered by this description of Carnival as slash. Not because I have any problem with homosexual erotica. But I dunno, if two page-long m/m sex scenes turn a 120,000 word book into slash, then that's suspiciously close, to me, to the "one drop" criteria of determining race. And it seems to me to reveal a pretty profound heteronormative assumption--and I suspect it's a societal assumption rather than one that's particular to these two readers. Because I think if Vincent had been a girl, say, and there were as much relationship content in the book as there is, nobody would be calling it a romance.
But, yanno. I'm guess I had better get used to it, as I knew when I was writing it that people were going to worry at that particular thread, and Whiskey & Water is going to get Teh Gay on people too**. (OMG! LESBIANS!)
...okay, so those lesbians are the only sane and healthy couple I've ever written. And all the actual smut in the book is hetsmut.
****Well, I mean, I think Angelo and Vincent are interesting people, especially in comparison to Lesa and each other. Their sexuality doesn't have much to do with why I find them interesting, though. I like the ways in which all three of them hide and reveal themselves.***
*****And god, I Spy slash? Oh, god, no. The concept of Bill Cosby with his pants off is a little too much like finding out your grandparents had sex for me.
*a few things come closer than others--I mean, okay, "Follow Me Light" is a Lovecraftian category romance. But I'm using the romance tropes to dissect some of the ickier racist implications in Lovecraft.
**although not as much as Ink & Pen will. Or, dog help us, A Companion to Wolves. And the Eddas. La.
***and I'm still really sad I didn't get to make Angelo eat a caterpillar. Because I was gonna, and it was really the worst thing I could think of to do to him.