Valentine’s Day might be past us, the flowers wilting and the chocolate eaten, but love much like suspension bondage is still in the air! Sunstone the top-selling book from Stjepan Šejić is back and it’s every bit as touching, funny and just ever so slightly arousing as you remember. Oh and it looks real pretty too!
Relationships are confusing; not a personal opinion, but it’s pretty much the theme of Sunstone Vol. 4. With Ally & Lisa now living together after the events of Volume 3, their relationship has taken an interesting turn. Are they still just dominant and submissive or are they something more? It’s clear to the reader and pretty much every other character in the book (like seriously you’d think they were reading it too they make it so obvious) that they’ve become more, but are just too scared to come out and say it. Of course everyone knows that not talking about a problem is the ideal way to resolve it, right? It’s actually presented in a totally believable way that anyone who’s ever been in the position of either of these women can relate to; just how do you move your relationship to the next level? Regardless if you are just friends, friends with benefits, just starting to date or getting ready to ask a big question, moving on to the next level is scary and sometimes harder than we’d like. That’s what this part of their story is about, what happens when you’re too scared to take that leap and how it just might ruin it all. Breaking up the increasing drama of the main plot is the B story of this volume – Annes continued education in the world of BDSM handled mostly through her finally meeting Ally, becoming friends with her and learning that you shouldn’t believe everything you Google or everything your smutty writer friend puts in their stories for you.
Fantastic storytelling aside Šejić’s art is once again the show stealer. While the writing gives all the main characters their own unique voice, it’s the art that brings these characters that extra touch of believability. Honestly, props should be given to any artist that can draw static characters so well you still get a feel for how they carry themselves in a scene. This trait is evident more so in the play scenes between Ally & Lisa which are done in the more photo realistic painted style over the classic drawn & inked style featured in the rest of the book. This change in style also helps to highlight the intimacy of the act our leads are engaged in and avoid, as Ally would say, “porny exaggeration”.
With one last chapter to come in the tale of Ally & Lisa this story shows absolutely no sign of slowing down in the heart wrenching feels department or the laugh out loudness brought on by the world of snark they inhabit. Despite knowing it’ll be a happy ending, it’s still a compelling, if occasionally frustrating in its familiarity to real life relationships, journey worth taking.