An Alisa Review Relationship Material by Jenya Keefe

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Rating:  3.5 stars out of 5

It’s not always possible to meet in the middle.

Registered nurse Evan Doyle doesn’t consider himself fit for more than occasional hookups. He has a good life, but the emotional aftermath of a horrific crime makes him feel too damaged to date. So when his sister’s hot bestie, Malcolm Umbertini, comes on to him, he turns him down flat. Mal is Relationship Material: the kind who thinks in the long term. What would Evan do with a man like that?

As a prosecuting attorney, Mal’s learned how to read people, and he knows there’s more to Evan than meets the eye. Mal has faced his own hardships since his family kicked him out as a teen, and he respects Evan’s courage and emotional resilience. More than that, he wants Evan—in his bed and in his life. But can he weather another rejection?

Both wary, they agree to a no-strings fling. Mal knows that Evan wants things to stay casual, but he’s falling in love a little more with each encounter. With health, happiness, and bruised hearts on the line, Mal and Evan must risk everything for love.

I am still not totally sure what I thought of this book, while I enjoyed it there were a few things that rubbed me the wrong way too.  Mal and Evan have been hurt by those in their pasts and though those experiences were drastically different at times their coping mechanisms end up hurting others.

This story had a lot of push and pull which I expect with characters that have tragic pasts but at points you have to suspend normal thinking in order to understand or accept how the characters acted.  First off Evan hasn’t seen his sister is fifteen years because of what happened when they were teens and I gotta say, I’m not sure I really liked her.  I know she had damage from their childhood too but she doesn’t seem to really care about hoe Evan feels about things just what she thinks should be happening and I felt she was selfish in many of her actions just assuming and not actually talking about what she wanted.

I hated that Mal was ready to allow himself to be hurt just to keep Evan in his life.  Now, I liked Evan and understood he is still hurting and needs certain things to cope with what happened to him but his running from basically everything wasn’t the answer and he doesn’t seem to get that.  And while Mal is still working though how his parents’ treated him he is more willing to try.  I don’t know but the ending gives a HFN vibe but doesn’t make me feel confident in their actual relationship.

Cover art by LC Chase is nice and you can see some of Evan’s troubles on his face.

Sales Links: Riptide Publishing | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 215 pages

Published: August 5, 2019 by Riptide Publishing

ISBN: 978-1-62649-879-2

Edition Language: English

A Stella Review: Relationship Material by Jenya Keefe

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RATING 4,5 out of 5 stars

It’s not always possible to meet in the middle.

Registered nurse Evan Doyle doesn’t consider himself fit for more than occasional hookups. He has a good life, but the emotional aftermath of a horrific crime makes him feel too damaged to date. So when his sister’s hot bestie, Malcolm Umbertini, comes on to him, he turns him down flat. Mal is Relationship Material: the kind who thinks in the long term. What would Evan do with a man like that?

As a prosecuting attorney, Mal’s learned how to read people, and he knows there’s more to Evan than meets the eye. Mal has faced his own hardships since his family kicked him out as a teen, and he respects Evan’s courage and emotional resilience. More than that, he wants Evan—in his bed and in his life. But can he weather another rejection?

Both wary, they agree to a no-strings fling. Mal knows that Evan wants things to stay casual, but he’s falling in love a little more with each encounter. With health, happiness, and bruised hearts on the line, Mal and Evan must risk everything for love.

I picked this new release cause from the blurb I understood it wasn’t going to be an easy reading, I usually prefer easy and simply stories, I need them to brighten my real life. Still once in a time I want novels like Relationship Material by Jenya Keefe, with characters and plots that break my heart and leave me sobbing. So be aware this is not a light story. <spoiler>There’s a mention of rape too</spoiler>.

That said, although more than once I had to breath and make a pause, I quickly finished the book, I fell into Evan and Mal lives from the beginning and throughout the whole story I wanted to hug both of them and shelter them from the heavy pasts they carried on their shoulders, too heavy for anyone, most of all for someone so young. I saw not just how much they were hurting, I saw how brave they were: Evan to try and live a normal life, the same life that was taken from him since he was a child, the same life he’s trying to rebuilt with a new name, in a new city, with a lovely dog by his side. The same city his sister (and her best friend Mal) is now living in. He took a lot of courage for Evan to let her approach him after so many years spent apart. And then I saw how brave Mal was too, first of all to recognise real love and then to fight for it, although Evan was maybe not so ready yet to trust a stranger.

Relationship Material is a beautiful story, one I feel to recommend, it’s packed with love and tears, but the ending part was so worth it. Plus the writing is superb, I was sucked into each word till the end, I really can’t wait to read more by this new to me author.

The cover art by LC Chase is well done, I like it.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

BOOK DETAILS

ebook, 215 pages

Published August 5th 2019 by Riptide Publishing

ISBN13 9781626498792

Edition Language English

In the Spotlight Tour and Giveaway: Relationship Material by Jenya Keefe

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Relationship Material by Jenya Keefe

Riptide Publishing
Published August 5th 2019

Cover Art: L.C. Chase
Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Jenya Keefe here today on tour for her new release, Relationship Material. Welcome, Jenya.

✒︎

 

Hi, I’m Jenya Keefe. Welcome to my blog tour! I’ve been writing for my own pleasure for too many years to count, and now my first novel is being published by Riptide Publishing! It’s called Relationship Material, and I’m delighted to talk with you about it.

 

Relationship Material is about a guy who had a terrible childhood and suffered a violent assault when he was a teenager. He suffers from PTSD and chronic anxiety, and though he functions well enough in society, he doesn’t feel worthy of the love offered him. It’s about Portland, the love of a good dog, learning to be brave, and being open to joy.

 

About Relationship Material

It’s not always possible to meet in the middle.

Registered nurse Evan Doyle doesn’t consider himself fit for more than occasional hookups. He has a good life, but the emotional aftermath of a horrific crime makes him feel too damaged to date. So when his sister’s hot bestie, Malcolm Umbertini, comes on to him, he turns him down flat. Mal is Relationship Material: the kind who thinks in the long term. What would Evan do with a man like that?

As a prosecuting attorney, Mal’s learned how to read people, and he knows there’s more to Evan than meets the eye. Mal has faced his own hardships since his family kicked him out as a teen, and he respects Evan’s courage and emotional resilience. More than that, he wants Evan—in his bed and in his life. But can he weather another rejection?

Both wary, they agree to a no-strings fling. Mal knows that Evan wants things to stay casual, but he’s falling in love a little more with each encounter. With health, happiness, and bruised hearts on the line, Mal and Evan must risk everything for love.

Now available from Riptide Publishing!

About Jenya Keefe

Jenya Keefe was born in the South. She has an advanced degree in European history, and has spent much of her life working the kinds of jobs a history degree qualifies you for: gift shop employee, lumber grader, classifieds clerk, hot glass artist. She currently lives in the Seattle area, where she works at a library. She has always written stories. 

Website: www.jenyakeefe.com

Twitter: @JenyaKeefe

 

Pre-order Jenya’s next release, The Musician and the Monster, coming September 30th from Riptide Publishing!

 

Giveaway

To celebrate this release, Jenya is giving away a $15 gift card to Powell’s City of Books! Powell’s is an independent bookseller located in Portland, the setting for Relationship Material. Those not in Portland can shop online. Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on August 10, 2019. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following along, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!