A Jeri Review: Five-Sided Heart by Max MacGowan

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Rating:  3.5 Stars out of 5

Five Sided HeartI’ve read a few poly books. MMM and MMF. Never have I read a MMMMM book. Yes, you read that right. A five man poly relationship. Sounds….complicated. Honestly, it was anything but.

Five men, all broken in one way or another serendipitously meet at the ferry dock. Seems they all missed the boat back to the Outer Banks, but Noah had been there for his father’s funeral and it turns out his father left him his boat. So he offers everyone a ride.

After the boat sinks and they swim back to shore, Noah offers all of the guys a shower and some warm clothes. Then they pull out the booze.

Noah is definitely the center of this relationship and book. Ten years before his father had kicked him out for being gay and he hasn’t been back until now. He is shocked to learn that his father left him not only the boat, but another boat and his house.

Ian is his neighbor. Living in the house next door to the one Noah just inherited, he is struggling with his break up with his long time boyfriend.

Ty lives a mile or so down the beach with his great aunt who raised him but is now struggling with Alzheimer’s.

Jacob and Gabriel seem to be just passing through, but are not in a hurry to go anywhere.

All five stumble into a relationship of sorts. No one know what it is or how long it will last. But being together just feels right.

This story could have been such a mess. But it wasn’t at all. All five men are their own person. No one man is in control, no one man is the subordinate. They are all equals in this crazy polygon. They all come together so naturally as if they were all waiting for each other. They help each other discover pieces of themselves, to heal and to love.

While some of the vernacular was a bit odd at times, and it really bugs me when “real life” (ie jobs, apartments, etc) gets forgotten, I still really enjoyed this story of five broken hearts coming together to make one complete heart.

Cover art by Brooke Albrecht is simple and lovely.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | ARe | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 230 pages
Published May 16th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1634772679 (ISBN13: 9781634772679)
Edition LanguageEnglish

 

A Lila Review: Taking the Long Way by Max MacGowan‏

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Rating: 3.25 out of 5 stars

Taking the Long WayMale escort Rye Bellamy is looking for a way out. Any way out. He’s getting older, and clients are getting more dangerous. If he doesn’t find something better, he knows he won’t survive.

He sees his chance in Marcus Townsend, a functionally blind Army veteran. Marcus, who refuses to accept his condition as immutable, has a shot at seeing a specialist who might be able to help him—but that doctor’s based on the other side of the country.

When Rye and Marcus meet, they realize they can help each other. Marcus can’t drive, but Rye can. Marcus knows what Rye is, but he likes him anyway. In fact, he more than likes him. Driving cross-country with a near stranger is a daunting task, but Rye’s biggest risk is falling for the gentle, stubborn-hearted soldier—and it might already be too late to stop that.

They plan to part ways when they reach their destination, but plans change as the affection between them grows. Now neither wants their journey to end, but continuing means finding a way to bridge the distance between who they were and who they’d like to become.

The opening scene is pretty typical for the . We get the young man in the right place, at the right moment, ready to save the blind man, who resented the help. But even so, gets intrigued by the first impression the rent boy leaves in his skin and life. From there we moved to learn more about Marcus and his family.

 Next, we see how Rye’s and Marcus’s lives get to a point in which a change is needed. They both tried to work to achieve the change but realized they might need help. A chance encounter, at least for Rye, gets them together once again, and they found in each other the answer to their prayers.

 Their cross-country road trip takes the majority of the story, and we get to experience the sights with them and through Marcus’s senses. They did several touristy stops and made some interesting findings on their way. Everything they saw or experienced made a difference in their relationship and their next step on the road.

By the time they arrived at their destination, Atlanta, their new found friendship had developed into something more, even when they both wanted to deny it.

 Taking the Long Way starts interesting enough, but as soon as they met for the first time, the story slows down all the way to the very end. The situations during the trip are mainly predictable, and the MCs passed too much time inside their heads, letting the lack of communication step between them.

 I had taken the coast to coast trip, and the descriptions of the areas were spot on. There’s really not much to see in certain areas, other than farms, fields, and miles upon miles of flatland roads.

I think my main issue with the story is the distance between the MCs. It’s not until the very last part of the story, almost in Georgia, that I felt the real need they had for each other. And at that point, it was too little too late. The same is to be said about the events occurring after they arrived and how they changed their lives.

 I enjoyed the last twenty percent of the story, and I wished the author had gotten into that comfortable writing space earlier in the story. Their trip had potential, but it was perhaps too encompassing for a fictional romance in which the characters’ feelings should have been more important than the sceneries they were experiencing.

The cover by Valerie Tibbs goes well with the story and the road trip the characters took from coast to coast.

Sale Links: Dreamspinner | Amazon | ARe

 Book Details:

 ebook, 234 pages
Published: February 12, 2016, by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 9781634769235
Edition Language: English

 

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