Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Christopher’s striking green eyes and handsome good looks didn’t buy him happiness, but he learned to survive off of them to maintain his expensive lifestyle. Now, after he has nearly destroyed himself, he’s in the fight for his life…
When Christopher Parker checks himself into the Watermeadow Rehabilitation Center, he was frightened for his future and what was to become of him. Haunted from his past, he knows that he has to take this step in his recovery or face his likely death as the alternative. He never expected to find his social worker, Jason Calhoun, incredibly attractive. Christopher dreams of finding a man to love and who will treat him with decency. Although Jason does fit the bill, he knows that this relationship is strictly professional. Completely out of reach for a failure like himself.
Jason, who is a hopeless romantic, is in the endless pursuit of Prince Charming. Always unlucky in love, but finds solace in the care of his patients. He loves being needed and having patients that depend on him. Jason comes to realize that the guys he dates always need to be rescued, much like his patients. A strategy that he’s learning is a poor choice.
Jason discovers that Christopher has become tangled up with a famed billionaire. As a billionaire, he can afford anything he wants, which seems to include even the ability to buy true love. Suddenly, he fears that everything he has worked so hard for, both romance and career, is being threatened by his new nemesis.
I thought this story was sweet and showed promise but I had a hard time getting into the characters and story. I think that while you could understand the character’s problems and history, the manner in which it was “told” and the way in which his alcoholism and subsequent rehab were handled kept me at an emotional length.
Let me give just a few examples. Christopher Parker has led a charmed existence excerpt for the fact that he felt he couldn’t come out to his family and there was a traumatic event in his past that drastically changed him…inwardly at least. It affected his relations with his family and led him down the path of self destruction. However, in a matter of pages, it gets cleared up over tears and a few hugs! Years worth of drinking, little to no self worth, blame…gone. And no, I really didn’t believe that as you can tell.
If you want a reader to get behind a character’s angst driven behavior, build a solid foundation, Give it gravity and don’t tear it down by making it all better with a Snoopy band aid. The sort of past Christopher describes, the emotional darkness that leads to blackouts and rehab isn’t solved that quickly. That certainly takes a more gritty approach than is offered here.
I think that’s what bothers me. A lack of grittiness and reality. We keep getting told things. Christopher yells at people. But its the bark of a puppy. Hard to take it seriously. Same with Jason. I would have put him on report for his inability to remain objective with his patients and be a professional. You need a boyfriend? Don’t go searching for one among your patient lists. Smh! I can’t tell you how wrong his behavior is and on how many levels. Power imbalance, trust, vulnerability…etc. Uh no. True things really heat up after rehab but still it starts there.
There’s more coming about Christopher’s past and that pesky billionaire…not that it made much sense.
More romance after rehab, more attempts for Christopher to get his life straightened out. I just couldn’t get invested in this couple and just checked out of the story emotionally. But others will find this just a sweet romance and that’s all that will be required. For them, this might be the perfect way to spend an afternoon. I’ll leave it up to you.
Cover art: Jennifer Craig, nice but nothing out of the ordinary.
Book Details:\A Contemporary Gay Male Romance – Newly Released 2nd Edition
Kindle Edition, 218 pages
Published February 16th 2017