This continuation of the story of a developing love between teacher Michael Cassidy and his student Dominic Butler, started in Acclamation, picks up right where the first book left off, with Dominic and Michael in a London hotel room just moments after learning of the death of Dominic’s father. Needless to say, all thoughts the two had of consummating their love are quickly forgotten as Michael rushes Dominic back into the arms of his family. Grief and forced separation puts a strain on the relationship, causing the first real rift between the two men.
The spat is short-lived, but as Dominic’s sexual preference becomes ever more the subject of gossip and speculation in the village, how much longer can these two carry on? And how much longer can Michael keep a lid on the ghosts of his past?
As with the first book, “Reclamation” unfolds at a measured pace as significant days in the affair are recounted by Michael in great detail. There is a little more outright drama in this book, as opposed to the internal angst of the first book, but note the emphasis on little. The lovers’ quarrel - which happens early enough I don’t think I’m spoiling by mentioning it - as well as a visit by the mother of Michael’s former lover both serve to bring the inner conflicts of the two lovers to the surface. But the story still manages to avoid descending into overwrought melodrama.
In addition to a little more drama, we also get a little more sex. The two guys spent a lot of time in the first book making out - snogging - and things progress in this second book, with Michael introducing Dominic to more and more pleasure, and being more and more surprised by the wantonness of the the good Catholic boy. Of course, things never go quite as planned for these two, and the road to spending the night together is not without a few detours, some of which they place there themselves.
“Reclamation” isn’t so much a sequel as a continuation of the story started in “Acclamation”, so you can’t really read this book unless you’ve read the first one. And, if you like the first book, you will almost certainly like this second one. There are, I believe, two more to go, and it’s still hard to see where the future will take Michael and Dominic.