Rating: 2 stars out of 5
The setup for this story was engaging with a flirty meetup between Sullivan and Duane. Sullivan, a blond long-haired dancer, was overheated and soaked with sweat, hair in a messy bun, as he lounged on a bench after a run with his pitbull, Princess Pizazz. Duane, biracial, tall and muscular, jogged past with his adorable Yorkie, Tiberius. Tongue-tied and stunned by an immediate attraction to a man, Duane left without a commitment to meet again—a perfect setup for my kind of story.
But my expectations were not achieved. I never bonded with either character, possibly because they didn’t interact—with dialogue—to seal their relationship and give us backstory. The backstory was there, but it was done in narrative and there were pages and pages of narrative on my e-reader that filled the screen without a paragraph break. And the last 30% of the story was so far out in left field that I felt like I was watching a campy soap opera. Neither MC was especially likeable by that point, and I still didn’t feel the love between them.
The dogs were both precocious, which wasn’t bad but was a bit overdone at some points. And some of the scenarios in the story felt contrived. Also, I should have known at the beginning, when the bitch girlfriend walked out on Duane in the middle of the night and took all his furniture, that I was going to have to really streeeeeeetch my imagination to get into believability. That scene was too trite and overused. Then the very next day is when he spots Sullivan at the park and is tongue-tied and knocked over by how beautiful he is. Now this is a man who has yet to admit his sexual attraction to men, except (of course), for one brief encounter when younger, and he’s not even 24 hours away from having been ditched by his girl. So no, not a good start.
Both men spent a lot of time hating their jobs and dealing with nasty coworkers and bosses. I didn’t care for any of Duane’s interactions at his job and Sullivan’s boss was so OTT that their scenes came across as farcical. The man was obese, obnoxious, and sexually demanding. And yet, when he did finally touch (kiss) Sully, Sully chose not to press charges. What a disservice to those who are sexually discriminated against or abused in the workplace! I won’t even mention his hot and cold interactions with his wealthy artistic roommate. Between his interactions with her and Duane’s ex-girlfriend, one wonders why the authors only portrayed women as harpies.
The good parts? There were certainly some nice scenes, but the story could have been so much more engaging if Sullivan’s character had remained fun and flirty as he was in the beginning. Less negativity and more dialogue would have helped build the dynamic between the two and made the story better. If you are a fan of stories with an HEA, have no fear, you’ll get one here.
The cover by Meredith Russell is a black-and-white photo or charcoal drawing of two men’s legs with a Yorkie looking straight at us between them. The word love in the title and the & sign between the authors’ names is in red, the balance of the print in white. The dog would attract my attention but the overall effect is dull and gray like a cloudy day so I can’t call this appealing at all.
Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 143 pages
Published April 24th 2019 by Gone Writing Publishing LLC