Here with the third of five reviews!
This was a great first chapter. I feel like you did an excellent job at walking the line between giving the reader enough of a grounding of what the story is about to get them interested while still holding back enough information to keep them intrigued. I really love this kind of story, because it leaves me with two questions: what happened, and what's going to happen? That's not such an uncommon theme for the first chapter, but what's special about this is that you executed it so well. The opening sequence started out so romantic and sweet, and I was not at all expecting it to turn into something so dark so quickly.
And what I really liked was that you had Connor made an appearance. This wasn't just a "Hugo has unresolved feelings about some guy." It was, "Hugo has unresolved feelings about some guy that he works with" and "Connor has been ignoring him" and I feel like I'm not being very eloquent, but the point is that this is much, much more interesting!
I did find that with this, as with Lights in Heart and Sky, I couldn't always tell which "he" you were referring to. If I tried hard enough, I could generally figure it out, but it jerked me out of the flow of the story a little. I also felt like a couple things were a bit too exaggerated - Hugo hadn't looked at the photograph in three years? He had the same nightmare every single night? It just seemed a little unrealistic to me. The story as a whole wasn't, but there were a few details that just gave me pause.
On the whole, though, this was a great start to the story, and I'm really interested to see what you do with it. :)
Author's Response: I seem to be good at mystery (all different types of mystery apparently); people keep telling me. :D LOL. Everything seems to end up dark when I write, I'm good at dark. Thank you, I wasn't sure that came off well when I wrote it.
Yes, Connor is here straight away; you know who it is Hugo has hurt. There's a whole big connection between the boys, work and everything in between. In the next chapter you find out what it is; how it all starts.
Yes, as I said in the last review, I'm still working on it, I'll fix it. The reason he hasn't looked at the picture in three years is because he refused to, he hates what he misses, which he has to see every day when he sees Connor; that's why it's stuffed in the bottom drawer of his desk at work and not at home. Connor reminds him too much to be tempted to look at the picture. But he had to look at it today; he has a plan. ;)
Hopefully, it won't seem as unrealistic as the story continues; where they are the nightmare changes, though, what stays the same every night is the "back-stabbing", the blood. Which will make sense. :)
Thank you for the review!