Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Derek Breyer is the director of one of the theme parks at Joy Universe, a park the author modeled after the infamous mouse park. He’s gorgeous, smart, personable, and career-driven. He also happens to be as nice as he looks, but when he meets the new dancer, direct from Broadway, Trav Jones takes an instant dislike to him. Derek seems too good to be true, and very much like the high school bullies Trav had to avoid in his teens.
When circumstances keep throwing them together, and Trav gives him a chance, Derek turns out to be the opposite of Trav’s original suppositions, and within a few weeks of dating and hanging out, they realize they are in love. Now a new problem arises: what happens after Derek’s contract expires midsummer?
I liked this story but, to be honest, the first person POV in present tense is something I really dislike. And to top it off, the author kept dropping asides from the character to the audience, i.e., me—the reader, and that totally turned me off and tuned me out. This happened more often toward the end of the story so by the last page I was happy to say goodbye to Joy Universe and its cast of characters.
The story itself is interesting as a murder occurs at the beginning along with a major disaster that strikes much of the cast of performers and Derek has to hustle to keep it all contained. As the story unfolds, the murder brings negative publicity to the park and Derek faces the loss of the job that is a part of his life. He may also lose Trav if he can’t open up to him emotionally. All that was well and good, but those times when the character speaks directly to the reader? No, just no. I don’t only dislike that—I hate it. So overall, though the romance was sweet, it was pretty much insta-love, the sex was off-page so those who like fade to black will be happy, and the situation is resolved enough at the end that all parties are happy.
The cover by Reese Dante features a head shot of a handsome blond man, exactly like the MC in the story. The light colors and the face of the man attracted me to the story and I wasn’t disappointed.
ebook, 1st edition, 195 pages
Published September 24th 2019 by Dreamspinner Press
Edition Language English