"There's something different about you, Dylan. Something I can't put my finger on, but I feel differently when I'm with you. It doesn't make a lot of sense when I say it out loud."
Well, Tristan, honey, let me tell you that it doesn't make much more sense when you silently read about it either.
Both MCs, or as I like to think of 'em as "The Coward and the Creep", annoyed the ever-living fuck out of me!
Dylan is a married man and a father to three kids. At the same time he's been secretly gay his whole life and is still a gay virgin at 37? Ok, fine. I guess that sort of thing could happen. Like if you're a deeply religious guy and living in an Amish community. An Amish community with women only (besides you, of course). Other than that, I'm only willing to buy this premise if the writing and the characters can deliver it. SPOILER ALERT:
As a gay man myself, let me tell you that there is no way, NO WAY, that you define yourself as gay in your late teens/early 20s and you live through your 20s and most of your 30s and NOT give in to your sexual desires. Dylan even had his wife's consent to hook up with other men but doesn't act on it. Because an anonymous hook-up in a dark alley or in the backroom of a gay club would endanger his children's college future, while he himself would get caught in a tornado filled with sandpaper and poison. Or something. I dunno.
Oh, and get this: HE DOESN'T EVEN WATCH GAY PORN because "it’s something I can’t have, so watching’s almost like a punishment.". What. The. Actual. Fuck??
And don't even get me started on Tristan. This creeper takes the word "pushy" to the next level.
When he wasn't occupied with keeping Dylan drunk enough so he would make out with him, he talked Dylan's wife Teri into sending him pictures of Dylan or showing him a sleeping Dylan via webcam. Nice intrusion of privacy, Teri & Tristan!
But my favorite part was a particular sex scene, which basically went down like this:
Dylan: “I see myself as more of a top.”
Tristan: „Do you trust me?“
Tristan: „Ok then. Here, have a few drinks.“
~10 minutes later~
"When he heard the soft snores, he smiled and began to knead the firm round globes of Dylan's ass, sliding his hands toward the center crevice. He reached out for the lubricant and condoms, dripping some on his fingers before he decided to switch up his strategy. He parted Dylan's ass cheeks and bent in, sliding his tongue along the rim. That stirred the sleeping man. When he pressed his tongue inside Dylan's ass, the deep moan that came from above let him know he was doing something right."
Just lovely! SO nice to initiate ass play with a man who just minutes ago declared himself a top and just passed out because you got him drunk. Aww, so romantic.
Now imagine this scenario in an M/F book.
Besides their mutual declarations of how hot and sexy the other one was (which became very repetitive, very cheesy and so very, very old, so very, very fast), there wasn't anything even remotely deep or interesting about their relationship. And I guess even the Kindle Alexanders gave up at one point to create any palpable chemistry between the MCs and just went with insta-love, not even bothering anymore to explain their connection besides their mutual physical attraction:
"The conversation they were having now and what it meant, the depth of his desire for this man he'd known for all of a few days...none of it made sense."
NONE of it!
The big confession and Dylan's coming-out to his children at the end of the book was just utterly and completely ridiculous, unbelievable and 100% unrealistic.
Ok, now just picture this: you're a 16 or 18-year-old kid, and one night your parents, which you've known all your life and who you think were very much in love, call a family meeting and tell you that their marriage has been nothing but a big sham for all these years. And that your father was gay and that your mother was pregnant by another man. How would you react? Well, according to this book, a perfectly normal reaction would be
"Are y'all still paying for our college?"
GUYYYS, this book was so, SO awful. Terrible. Bad, bad, BAD!
I'm giving this author (duo? trio?) another chance, but I’m afraid the Kindle Alexanders will end up at the „authors everyone loves but me“ table, right next to Mary „so bad, it’s not even fun to hate-read“ Calmes and Josh „only a dysfunctional relationship is a good relationship“ Lanyon.
One star for the cover, bonus star for an entertaining hate-read BR.
Thanks to Julie for the BR!