Ebook, 427 Pages
Contemporary/ Romance/ LGBT
By: Alexis Hall
I am mostly a fantasy reader as you all probably know but sometimes I need an escape from real life and I feel Fantasy cannot always provide that and that’s why I read all genres. I was actually reading a heavy fantasy book and decided that I wanted something easier to read and I picked this because it felt like a great choice, I mean it is an adult MM romance written by a male author and you don’t encounter that every day.
So the book revolves around Luc O’Donnell and is told exclusively from his POV. Luc is the son of two separated rock stars and works in a charity and is hunted by the media as you would expect from someone who is peripherally famous. Luc is having a hard time at work and needs to improve his image so he needs a boyfriend. His friends help him to connect with Oliver Blackwood, a barrister and almost the total opposite of Luc. They agree to fake date as it can be benefiting for both of them.
Now I had mixed feelings about this book, I did not expect something that will blow my mind and I was looking for something fluffy and happy. I think I partially found that here but the problem is that were some problems that I couldn’t subjectively or objectively ignore!
Let’s start with the writing which is good, of course there were moments when characters would use big worlds which I found unrealistic and no one talks like that but that’s okay, it was not a glaring problem, just a few words here and there. The other problem relating to the writing style is that it tried to be funny and I am saying tried because for me, the humor did not work most of the time unfortunately. I appreciate humor but I also want something realistic, I want a balance that I don’t think was ever struck here. There were character names and whole events that I saw clearly were added just for a supposedly funny line later in the story.
“I don’t want fine. Fine isn’t enough. Isn’t not about the open fire or whatever other clichés you can conjure up, but yes, I want a connection. I want you to care as much as I care. I want you to need it and want it and mean it. I want it to matter.”
Luc was kind of an annoying character and I appreciate that he does grow throughout the story but for most of the time he insisted on being self-centered and depreciating, he also had problems with his self-esteem and for someone who does have the same kind of problems, it made me think and consider if I sometimes do sound that way to people around me. Oliver was probably my favorite character in the book because I could relate more to him, from being organized to being a reader and someone who loves his job, and who is pressured by his parents, I kind of connected to him. The thing is that Luc and Oliver were relatively well written characters because every other secondary character comes off as stereotypical and cartoonish. Alex who is Luc’s colleague was funny for the first two pages but then he became very unrealistic with his IQ level. Luc’s other friends were also very stereotypical and I think I was particularly annoyed by the trope of the Muslim girl who is basically not a Muslim girl and does not like her religion, see the next quote:
I think if you read the synopsis, you can tell the direction that story will go on without surprises. The story itself is probably too long though. In general, I think romance and contemporaries should stand somewhere around 300 pages and this was like 450 pages long. It had so much going back and forth and some scenes that I think were unnecessary that made me bored at one point. That being said, and although I do have a lot of criticism I did find it gripping and I did finish it in 3 days which explains my still okay rating! At around page 300 I thought the story could have been wrapped up in 50 more pages but we had triple that number of pages left and the story still ended in a cute way but I felt some of the threads were left loose!
“I’m conscious this could be rather burdensome to hear, but you remain the thing I have most chosen for myself. The thing that’s most exclusively mine. The one thing that brings me the deepest joy.”
Summary: I think I kind of had high expectations given that it is written by a male author for a change. I thought the writing was gripping, the characters could have been better and the story could have been shorter. I also felt it was kind of YA/ NA although the characters were 28 but it still was kind of fun and that’s why I went for a 3 stars rating. In your opinion, does the author gender matters when it comes to writing?