We've all had friends whose problematic love affairs just seem to go on forever. In Immortal Quest, however, author Alexandra Mackenzie takes it to the extreme. Postulating a secretive cabal of immortal sorcerers in England exercising great power behind the scenes–sort of like a magical Bilderberg Group–Mackenzie raises the problem of what happens when one of them falls in love with a mortal, one whose spirit is reborn lifetime after lifetime and must be found again by his immortal lover in each new life.
I dislike most "etiquette experts." These self-appointed, self-important poobahs tend to speak "ex cathedra" - to pontificate condescendingly as if they are superior beings to whom alone has been given the revealed truth of which fork to use for the fish course and how to dress for weddings and funerals. I often disagree with them and am always irritated by them. Steven Petrow however, is the exception to the rule in Complete Gay & Lesbian Manners.
Every Monday morning Alex (not his real name) and I met for breakfast at our favorite dive in Harvard Square. I would notice visible bruises and cuts on his face, arms, and legs, but assumed the black and blue marks were simply par for the course for a guy who enjoyed the rough- and- tumble adrenaline high that come with playing weekend scrimmage football. I don't recall a time when Alex didn't have a knot on his head, a cut on his lip, a bite into his skin, welts on his arms or stitches.