A VVivacious Release Day Review: Trust Trade (Gem City Grit #1) by Ki Brightly

Rating: 2 Stars out of 5
trust-tradeJeb Birchman has been a kept man for Nolan Whitmoore for almost four years. He has gotten used to Nolan and cherishes the time he gets to spend with Nolan’s son Max. But after four years Jeb has become a bit too old for Nolan’s tastes and for the first time in a long time Jeb doesn’t need to sell his body to live.
Freddy Williams is a guy who is basically a gym freak, he is very into fitness and health. One day at a bookstore he comes across a beautiful guy who he can’t keep his eyes off. That man is Jeb Birchman and Freddy has no idea what he is getting into.
Once Jeb’s sordid past is out on the table will these two make it is a couple or buckle under the pressure.
I read the first 20% or so and I didn’t find the book interesting at all. In fact truthfully if this wasn’t a review copy I would have just not finished this book but I had to and I basically waited till the very last moment to read it too. Having said that the book does become better but don’t take the book’s blurb at face value. This book starts off as a college romance and it goes places I never expected it to go, for one I had no idea that this story was inclined to go in such a direction and the fact it did should have surprised me but by the point I understood where this book was going I was just not that invested in the storyline.
I feel that when an author starts writing a book they make so many decisions about how exactly to write that particular book but if the book is well-written their decisions never trouble the reader but in this particular book I’m having a hard time reconciling the need for dual POVs (that of Freddy and Jeb). Firstly, because in the beginning of this book these two people are living in two different worlds, Freddy is looking for a relationship and all he can think about is well, sex and getting to know Jeb, meanwhile Jeb is a mess who keeps debating with himself when he should tell Freddy the truth about his life and what will happen them. These two people are definitely not on the same page and personally it’s distressing as a reader to reconcile these two POVs which are normal in their own rights but together make me wonder how these two can work things out. Even later on in the story there are instances that make me feel that these two guys are just so off balance in regards with each other. Secondly the fact is that the author doesn’t do much with Freddy’s storyline. His life is moulded to fit around the main storyline which is Jeb’s story. I never got the feeling that Freddy was living his life or was important in his own right. He just felt like a puppet in Jeb’s story. Thirdly because no matter how you slice it this is Jeb’s story the last chapter which is Chapter 32 has a scene where Freddy goes to reconcile with his Dad that was the only scene I actually wanted to be from Freddy’s perspective but it isn’t which highlights the fact that even the author chose to give a greater importance to Jeb’s side of the story. And that’s why for the love of God I can’t figure out why this book wasn’t just from Jeb’s POV alone.
There is a fourth reason but it isn’t as logical as the ones above and more on emotional and personal lines and that is the fact that I just didn’t like Freddy’s character. I got the impression from the blurb that Freddy was going to be a good guy but that wasn’t the case he was a regular guy but the fact that I was expecting him to be great means he started off with a disadvantage and then just kept adding negatives to it. Freddy’s anger issues came across as pathological. He accidentally hits a guy because he thinks he is someone else but instead the guy he hits is the guy he loves but instead of apologizing on the spot, he kind of made it sound like it was the other guy’s fault. On top of that he is forgiven way too easily which might be in character for Jeb but the fact that he forgave himself so easily to actually argue about it with Max just didn’t sit right. Also what do you do when you have a bad guy unconscious on the floor and your lover is bleeding, call 911 I hope, but not if you are Freddy Williams and what made it worse was that it was a teenager who had to keep himself together to call for help. Lastly the fact that almost any small touch or look from Jeb would have his cock stand up and take notice was very annoying and believe me this fact is repeated a lot of times in this book (my guess is at least 50).
And the unofficial fifth reason is that this book is way too long and without Freddy’s perspective it would be half its length which was an estimated 372 pages as per my reader. This book didn’t need to be so long it really didn’t, this story would have been much, much more better if it was 250 or so pages or maybe even lesser and if nothing this story would have been infinitely more interesting if it was faster paced these leaps of time between chapters just about killed the book for me.
The most descriptive scenes are the sex scenes and the scene at the end of this book. I wished other things were as detailed especially with regards to Freddy’s life. Freddy and Jeb have great chemistry so the sex was hot but after a while it got repetitive because you definitely need something to fill up 372 pages.
Also two things I would have liked elaboration on were Jeb’s deafness and his aversion to blood both of which seem to be mentioned only when it seemed convenient.
Besides all of the above the rest of the story makes for an okay read. I liked the emphasis on sign language and the fact that it isn’t English.
Cover Art by Bree Archer. I liked the cover for this book.
Sales Links
Book Details:
ebook, 340 pages
Published January 27th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1635332427 (ISBN13: 9781635332421)
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesGem City Grit #1