Limbs: A Love Story – Tim Meyer
Reviewed by D.K. Hundt
Tim Meyer is the author of In the House of Mirrors, The Thin Veil, Less Than Human, Sharkwater Beach, Kill Hill Carnage, The Switch House, The Demon Blood series, The Sunfall series (co-written with Chad Scanlon and Pete Draper), Worlds Between My Teeth; a collection, and the novel featured in this review, Limbs: A Love Story, published by Grindhouse Press. Meyer lives in what he calls a dark cave near the Jersey Shore, he’s a husband, father, podcast host, blogger, coffee connoisseur, beer enthusiast, and explorer of worlds. Meyer writes horror, mysteries, science fiction, and thrillers, although he prefers to blur genres and let the stories fall where they may. As you read Limbs: A Love Story, you will note that it’s a blending of horror within a mystery, and in the middle of it all, an unfolding love story.
Thirty-two-year-old Ray Bridges, the main character and narrator is an acrotomophile; a paraphilia condition in which the sight of a woman’s amputation, usually an arm or a leg, sexually arouses him. In fear of being labeled a freak, Ray pretends to be someone he’s not to meet women who can satisfy him sexually, and in his mind, he’s helping these women, who have recently lost a limb in a horrific way, feel better about themselves. On the surface, as Ray will tell you, what he’s doing looks bad, but as you get further into the story you will see that his deceptive ways, to some degree, bother him as well. In truth, Ray wants to one day get married. ‘Have kids. Live the American Dream, white picket fences and all.’
‘[F]or me, it was never about manipulation. It was never about the sex, per se. Sure, it was, to some degree, but also, it was something much more than that. It wasn’t about using them, tricking them into believing me to be something I wasn’t. It wasn’t about luring them into the bedroom . . . It was that I found them beautiful.’
Ray can’t control who he’s physically attracted to any more than he can control who he falls in love with, and that person is one of his co-workers at Best Tronics, Twenty-five-year-old Kayla Marlowe, the only problem is, she has all her limbs, and he doesn’t find her sexually attractive.
‘After our first date, I didn’t love Kayla. Least I don’t think I did. But there was something there. Something tugged at me, something crawled inside my bones and made me feel funny things. Something in my heart made it beat just a little harder. Faster. Slightly out of tune with the rest of my body. Butterflies in the stomach when I was around her and all that.’
As this love story unfolds, twisted thoughts go through Ray’s head as he struggles with whether to tell Kayla the truth about his acrotomophilia, break up with her even though he loves her; someone he isn’t physically attracted to, maintain the lie and try to fix himself, or, perhaps, fix Kayla.
There’s a scene that comes to mind where I have a little issue with the method used to treat, in my mind a gushing wound, which didn’t feel believable and pulled me out of the story a bit. I think adding a little more detail would create a build in tension and take this scene to a new level.
Limbs: A Love Story is the first book I’ve read by Tim Meyer and one I enjoyed reading. I didn’t immediately care for Ray Bridges, the main character, because I couldn’t get past the way he lies to women, and later, the thoughts that plague his mind. However, as the story progressed, I found myself empathizing with Ray as I put myself in his shoes, felt his fears, watched as he fell in love with a smile on my face, and cried with him.
I highly recommend reading this book, a heart-warming love story you won’t soon forget.
In closing, if my review or the synopsis of Limbs: A Love Story sparks your interest, then, by all means, take a bite, and delve into the creative mind of the author – you may be surprised what you find lurking within.
I am not a monster.
Ray Bridges, a professional electronics salesman, is looking for love in all the strange places. He spends most nights sneaking into support group meetings for the disabled in order to satisfy his deepest, darkest desires—to hook up with unfortunate, down-on-their-luck women who’ve recently lost a limb. There’s a name for Ray’s preference; it’s called acrotomophilia, a paraphilia involving amputees.Conflicted, Ray wishes he could change. But he can’t. His body won’t let him. Nor will his mind. He’s destined to live this life, forever. That is . . . until he meets the perfect girl. Falls in love with her. Only problem: her arms and legs are attached.Unable to find her attractive, Ray embarks on a dark, twisted journey of self-discovery, one that will force him to make an impossible choice: abandon his pursuit of true love or find a way to make it work, even if that means getting the girl of his dreams to shed an appendage.
Weird, comedic, and often raunchy, Limbs is the craziest love story ever told.
D. K. Hundt is an American writer with a BA degree in Creative Writing from Southern New Hampshire University. When she’s not writing contemporary fiction and horror/supernatural stories, she likes to spend her free time working as a volunteer in her community, being a minion for her cat Simon, warding off carnivorous spiders, and throwing herself into and around the dark alleyways of Stephen King novels in search of inspiration. D. K. resides in California with her husband, and she is currently working on a horror novel titled, Cheveyo–a story about a young boy who goes to live with his grandpa on a reservation, and soon discovers that the malevolent creatures that lurk in the Okanogan Forest aren’t the only deadly secret the locals are hiding.
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