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Rough Cut: Vincent Diamond Collected Perfect Paperback – May 2008

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Perfect Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Lethe Pr (May 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159021109X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590211090
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.6 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 363 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,097,129 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Format: Perfect Paperback
Rough Cut: Vincent Diamond Collected is a collection of 17 short stories all written by Vincent Diamond, of which, 15 are connected and tell the continuing story of recurring characters.

In "Lions and Tigers and Snares" and "Cold Hands, Warm Heart" we are introduced to Byron Reese and Kendall Knight. Byron is a former licensed animal handler turned game commission officer working undercover on assignment at the Patacoochee Wildlife Refuge in north Florida. Byron is trying to solve a case of illegal trade of endangered and prohibited big cats. Kendall is the animal handler and co-owner of the refuge. Kendall's business partner Ricardo Lopez is quite a vile man and Byron is trying to figure out whether Kendall is involved in this illegal trade, all the while trying to fight his attraction to Kendall.

I love big cats - lions, tigers, panthers, jaguars. There is an inherent sensuality in these animals, the essence of which is not only captured but also personified by Mr. Diamond in these two stories. I found sensuality in practically every aspect of these stories. Whether it was in the description of the park environment, the big cats, the movement and activities of the animals and humans, but most of all in the actions and interactions of the characters themselves....

"Take another hit," he said, his voice soft now. I did. I held his gaze this time, while the smoke curled into me. Kendall eased closer. "Give me some," and he opened his mouth, and I breathed some back into him. He took it in and stayed close, his lips against mine, just breathing each other for a few seconds.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa29ee708) out of 5 stars 7 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa44c3168) out of 5 stars Diamond Collection June 10 2008
By Jessewave - Published on
Format: Perfect Paperback
This eclectic collection of stories is aimed at the connoisseur of the m/m reading public. Being my first experience with Vincent Diamond's books I didn't know what to expect and the stories included in this collection gave me a great appreciation of his work and his writing. Most of the background is set in Florida where Mr. Diamond lives and you can feel the sultry, hot, humid heat and air almost like a slow drumbeat in the background.

Every protagonist in his stories would be considered by most to be a man's man - physically strong, sometimes flawed, at times vulnerable and always three dimensional. Almost all of the stories are told in two and three segments making for a much richer experience with the characters that is not typically afforded the reader of short stories. The author makes no apologies for his characters and at times the writing is almost `in your face' because the stories are of people in situations that are harsh and uncompromising. What I'll try to do in this review of ROUGH CUT: VINCENT DIAMOND COLLECTED is give the reader a sense of the stories without being a spoiler


These two stories feature Byron, an agent for the US government working undercover as a pre-veterinarian summer intern at a big game wild life refuge and Kendall who is in charge of the refuge. In LIONS, TIGERS AND SNARES the electricity between Byron and Kendall is immediate but in the midst of getting to know each other a whole lot better a dangerous situation emerges when the owner of the refuge shows up and all hell breaks loose. In the second story COLD HANDS, WARM HEARTS there is a change of pace. I never knew there were so many uses for a freezer and ice. Oh my! Suffice it to say that I will forever remember Byron and Kendall's adventures but I also love the emotion between them.


I was really moved by A COLD NIGHT'S SLEEP and the two main characters who were both damaged, physically and emotionally. Sandy, a former policeman had been hurt during a fire and bore the physical scars; he was living like a hermit when Tanner dropped in on him, literally. The attraction between them grew that night fuelled by proximity until they couldn't hold back. When they made love to each other it was as if they were two halves of a whole and the sex was both tender and raw and it didn't matter that they were on different sides of the law.

In FIRE, Sandy and Tanner meet again three years later - Sandy now works for the Florida Parks Department teaching fire prevention to trainees. Changes have occurred in both their lives but the one constant is their overwhelming attraction to each other. I could feel the emotion and almost smell the odours described by the author, both indoors and out. What was amazing was that two such hard-bitten characters could show such feeling and tenderness. Then it is déjà vu all over again for Sandy - another day, another fire. The sex afterward - violent, sweaty and hot as they make love like animals - helps to heal Sandy's wounds.


These 7 stories, easily novella length at 116 pages, are about Steven, an undercover cop sent by the Jacksonville PD and the DEA to sniff out the department's newest target - Conrad, leader of a crew of ravers and a primary suspect in a meth and ecstasy distribution operation. From their first meeting the attraction between Steven and Conrad sizzles and Steven has a hard time at first with the idea of sleeping with a man, something he had never done before as well as getting in bed with the enemy.

Their first encounter is raw and rough and Steven is on fire; it's as if the world as he knows it ceases to exist and his entire universe is limited to Conrad. From HAUNTED where Steven and Conrad first hook up to TROPICAL DAZE as the story plays out, the sex and lust between the two protagonists burn up the sheets and anything in their way. As they become more and more entangled Steven falls deeper and deeper for Conrad and begins to fear the emotions developing between them and the impact on his undercover assignment. Each story moves into the other and the intensity heightens until it culminates into a number of surprising events. These 7 stories show what a gifted storyteller Vincent Diamond is as he weaves this sultry tale and ratchets up the excitement to a crescendo, taking the reader along for the ride.

The other stories - SHEPHERD, BRUISED, BACK IN THE SADDLE, HORSING AROUND and IRISH CREAM are all excellent but space will not permit me to expand on them. What impressed me the most is the incredible writing style of Vincent Diamond and the wide range of subjects explored in the book which demonstrates his experience, skill and eloquent voice. Mr. Diamond does not avoid any topic in this book and goes boldly where most authors do not tread. He tackles previously taboo topics and many of the stories are about making choices. From a paroled prisoner in a liaison with a former police officer to an investigator at a big cat reserve getting `jiggy' with his potential mark, to another officer deep undercover in more ways than one with his target and loving it, this book explores the seamy and sensual sides of the Sunshine State.

Fans of Mr. Diamond's work and first time readers will love this book and I have no hesitation giving it 5 stars.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa44c3570) out of 5 stars Rough Cut by Vincent Diamond June 7 2008
By Elisa - Published on
Format: Perfect Paperback
Usually I don't like anthologies. The simple reason is that I can't be satisfy by too short stories, and when I like the characters is even worst, since I always felt like they are gone too soon. So it's always with a bit of prejudice that I start an anthology, and the reason why I choose to read it is always different, but usually since there is at least an author in the anthology that I like.

Rough Cut is different so. First of all it's a collection of stories from the same author, Vincent Diamond, ones I had the chance to read and like, especially in the Under Arrest Anthology. One reason more is that, the very story I like in that anthology, was also in this collection and it has also a sequel, so even better, since one of my prejudice falls as I have the chance to read more on two characters I liked very much and way better since the story I read in the past didn't have an happily ever after and I'm a looser for HEA. And finally the big surprise, almost all the stories in the anthology are related one to each other and tell us about the same pair, an ex cops and his bad boy lover, and so it's almost like having a full novel, plus some nice appetizers and desserts.

"Lions and Tigers and Snares" & "Cold Hands, Warm Heart" : Byron is an agent who has to discover an illicit traffic with dying big felines. So he works undercover in a shelter, playing the role of volunteer and looking around. But more than looking to illicit traffic, he is looking at Kendall, the man who leads the shelter and that probably is head to foot involved. But Byron sees how Kendall loves the big cats and he is sure the man can't be the ones who sells them to certain death.

"A Cold Night's Sleep" & "Fire": Sandy is a retired cop. He had a very bad experience during a fire and he still blames himself for the death of a little child. Plus he is scarred by the fire, inside and outside. He prefers to live alone in a cabin with a cat and no one to care who can leave him like his former lover did. Tanner is an ex con who arrives to the cabin during a storm and Sandy offers him a shelter to the bad weather. Also Tanner has his scars, they are only inside, but they are not less painful. And from a scarred man to another, Tanner can see beyond Sandy claims to want to be alone. But probably Tanner needs to set something in his life and it's not time for him to stop with Sandy. And Sandy is not yet ready to forget and move one. Maybe not now, maybe not ever.

"A Cold Night's Sleep" is the short story I remember. In "Fire" Vincent Diamond tells us something more on these two guys, and maybe the romance I thought ended in the first story, could have a "better" end in this second chapter.

"Haunted", "Slide into Desire", "Walking the Blue Line", "Deep Trouble Undercover", "A Question of Taste", "Dangerous Days" & "Tropical Daze": all these stories are about Steven and Conrad. Steven is a undercover cop, he is searching proofs of a drug dealing during the rave parties. Conrad is the man who organizes the raves. It should be a simple mission, not a very dangerous one, they are dealing mostly with young kids, college animals... But Steven cares too much, since he falls in love with Conrad. Conrad is an half spanish half cuban guy, sexy and smooth talking; he lures Steven inside his world and in his bed. Steven is new to all this, he can't even imagine to fall in love with a man, but here he is and in love. But Conrad? it's only sex? and then there is the little problem that Steven should do his work and his work probably will lead Conrad in prison.

I don't want to spoil the story, since probably I will ruin to you the big surprise it revealed me. Reading "Haunted" I almost believed that this one was one of that wonderful but sad story, with two star-crossed lovers condemn to be forever torn apart and instead... read and you will know!

Sheperd: Felipe is a good guy who ends in prison. He is not gay, but two years in captivity could change a man. This is not a love story, maybe it's more a life journey, the surviving tale of a man who sees his world collapse and needs to refocuses his priority and beliefs.

"Bruised", "Back in the Saddle" & "Horsing Around": another pretty long and so very satisfying story. Marcus is a man who has loved and lost. He is still mourning but maybe he is ready to be back in the saddle. David is a vet student who helps Marcus in his horse farm during summer. He is young and innocent and so tempting. He sees and wants Marcus and with his joy of life forces Marcus to live again, to want again, to want David. But David is soo young, and new to real love, plus Marcus is his first man, before him David never thought possible for him to love a man. Family and future seem big handicaps in their ride to life.

Irish Cream: an old man remembers a lost lover, a love born and died when they can't even think for it to last, but if death didn't call, what could be? Now he has only memories, sad and cold, but cherished.

What links all the stories? they are sweet and sexy, but a bit sad. Even when there is an happily ever after, and lucky for me, there is often, I always felt like a suffused sadness. Erotic stories sometimes are like a roaring fire, these instead are like simmering ashes, and maybe it is better, since a roaring fire blasts and ends in a blur, and instead the ashes last longer. So these stories, they spread inside you like a comforting warm, and remain with you long before you close the book.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa44c35e8) out of 5 stars excellent and original Dec 11 2008
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Perfect Paperback Verified Purchase
There seems to be a growing divide between what's known as male/male romance and gay erotica, and it's not often that a book can be found that appeals to both audiences. However, Rough Cut strikes me as such a book. The stories contain the rich description, emotion, passionate language, and, mostly, the sweet endings required by romance readers while maintaining the raw, detailed (but not crude) sexuality preferred by gay erotica fans. The author even alternates between third person (more frequently found in male/male romance) and first person (more common in gay erotica.) A number of the stories are linked, and while a couple story arcs may appear to be low stakes when taken individually (for example, a character is afraid to go in the water or a character learns to ride a horse), the pieces work much, much better here in a collection as the reader can experience the blossoming of the relationships and care more deeply about the protagonists.

The male characters in this book are ultra-masculine whether they're caring for captive lions or putting out forest fires. There's rarely any self-doubt or evidence of the scars left by societal or familial disapproval. In fact, a number of these characters most likely wouldn't identify as gay even though they are not abashed about seeking what they want. The tension often comes from falling for the potential villain, be it a former prisoner or an organizer of illegal raves. This creates an aspect of the forbidden that often, but not always, has very little to do with a confusion or fear of one's sexual identity, but still involves a great risk of vulnerability when the protagonist thinks "this could be the absolute wrong person to love, but I can't help it." Rough Cut will especially appeal to fans of Chris Owen's Bareback and Angel Martinez's Aftermath among many others.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa44c3390) out of 5 stars Diamonds are your best friend May 23 2008
By Sandra Gail Lambert - Published on
Format: Perfect Paperback
Finally - the Vincent Diamond stories all brought together and with a few new gems. My suggestion is that you read every word - from the glowing preface, through the pages and pages of "smut with heft," to the poignant final story about an old man hanging out at a race track and the life he barely had.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa44c3ab0) out of 5 stars very naughty Jan. 25 2009
By O. Long - Published on
Format: Perfect Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are gay and you dont like to read, I dare you to give this book a chance. The only bad part is that it's hard to read with just one hand.