Rated 3 stars out of 5
This story is told in the alternating point of view of Chaz and Kyle. Chaz is a writer and fan of online gaming who works in a salon. He has been crushing on the sexy vet, Kyle, for a while and they eventually start to talk and date. Dr Dimples, as Chaz calls Kyle, is sweet, kind and he likes Chaz very much. He is also a World of Warcraft fan, so they start to bond over that
I would have rated this book higher but I had some issues with Kyle being a doormat at times and with Chaz being ridiculous with his yes/no/yes towards Kyle. Chaz has a secret that he is afraid will send Kyle running, but he had so many chances to come clean about it and didn’t. Instead, he would run out on Kyle, or not see him. The secret itself to me wasn’t that big of a deal and I felt it was there just to provide some conflict. The book actually begins with Chaz whispering the secret into Kyle’s ear and then flashes back to a year earlier when the whole thing actually started. Kyle had noticed Chaz previously in a lustful way but since he was with Gabe he never did anything about it.
Chaz has some funny inner dialogue. When seeing Kyle professionally about his pet, Harry, he thinks, “Harry? No, I manscape to within an inch of my life. No wild bush with hairy man berries here!” But his obsessing about his secret causes him to run so often that he made me crazy. He has some endearing qualities, such as when “I grabbed a glass of wine, a dog-eared paperback copy of Agatha Christie’s The Mysterious Affair at Styles, my phone and set them all on the nifty bath tray that my grandmother got me for Christmas.” Anyone who takes a bath while reading Dame Agatha has smarts, I just wish he would have used them.
On the whole, it was a little bland and the “secret” was so blown out of proportion that it was frustrating. You would think he had a body hidden somewhere, the way he acted sometimes. It’s very confusing for Kyle when Chaz is very hot and cold towards him. There were times he hurt Kyle for no good reason. “I saw the moment he realized I wasn’t going to stay. His dashed hopefulness made me want to cry.” Kyle, grow a pair!
The side characters, Chaz’s best friend, Josh, and his boyfriend, Gabe, play an integral part. It was a little awkward because Gabe is Kyle’s ex-boyfriend, a serious relationship that apparently parted very amiably. This is a spin-off of the Curl Up and Dye series and Josh and Gabe get together there. I probably should have read that first because I think their story would be more interesting. Josh and Gabe sort of push Chaz and Kyle together and that causes some consternation. Meredith, the other Chaz and Josh bestie, is strong and wonderful in her own right.
Oh and the family! I loved the Matrons. Grandma, Mom and Aunt Sandy, meddling in Chaz’ love life and just being strong women who want their boy to be happy. They were so awesome. “We have a book idea for you, dear,” Grandma said. “We want you to write a story about a small-town guy who really likes the town vet is too afraid to act on it… let’s name him Chad…” They miss nothing, those ladies.
Once the secret is FINALLY revealed, Kyle handles the info like a champ (which we knew he would because he is awesome) and it was a bit of a let down after all that Chaz-drama.
I am a big fan of Joel Leslie’s work but this wasn’t my favorite of his audio. Right in the beginning there was a strange intonation and I was worried. But as the book started the voices smoothed out, except there wasn’t quite enough differentiation for Chaz and Kyle, so there were times (as I was listening while driving) that I lost track of who was talking. Mom and Gramma, on the other hand, were done so well I could picture them.
This was my first Aimee Nicole Walker book and I would try another of hers.
Cover art by Jay Aheer is eye-catching and perfect for the story. Love it.
AMAZON US: http://amzn.to/2uzVnkV
AMAZON UK: http://amzn.to/2tzosN1
Audible Audio, 9 pages
Published May 29th 2018 by Tantor Audio (first published July 11th 2017)
SeriesRoad to Blissville #1
CharactersKyle Vaughn, Charles Bailey” Chaz ” Hamilton