I enjoyed this one quite a bit. Toward the end there were several spots where there were problems with the formatting- the scene changed radically, buI enjoyed this one quite a bit. Toward the end there were several spots where there were problems with the formatting- the scene changed radically, but there was no break between paragraphs, so you're suddenly dumped from the middle of one conversation into the middle of another, with different characters. And I had some trouble keeping track of which character was talking in the big, emotional scene at the end. Also, time moved oddly in the story. In the beginning it felt like a lot of time was passing, and then we're told it's only been a few weeks. Later on, months were skipped with just a few words.
But I loved the guys and the emotional depth of their journey. I'll definitely be reading more from this author....more
This was entertaining, but the family-of-cops-who-all-date-rockstars-who-are-being-stalked-by-murderous-wackjobs thing is getting a little unlikely. NThis was entertaining, but the family-of-cops-who-all-date-rockstars-who-are-being-stalked-by-murderous-wackjobs thing is getting a little unlikely. Next up is Quinn. I love what we've seen of him so far, and I'm hoping his story will take a different direction....more
This didn't really work for me. The romance was shaky, with one guy acting crazy and the other blowing hot and cold. At best it was a Happy-For-Now enThis didn't really work for me. The romance was shaky, with one guy acting crazy and the other blowing hot and cold. At best it was a Happy-For-Now ending, and a questionable one at that. A lot of stuff happened to Evan, but it didn't seem like it tied together well, and although the author mentioned that he wasn't big on drugs, he certainly *acted* like he was running around high a few times. Because the story was told only from Evan's point of view, and they didn't spend much time together throughout the story, we never really got to know Riley at all. He seemed like a nice enough guy, but Evan's level of attachment on brief acquaintance, all the while talking about how Riley wasn't really his type, seemed unlikely....more
I enjoyed this a lot- interesting set up, characters that I really liked- and then....
Riley was dumped at the altar, and this "Bachelorette" ripoff iI enjoyed this a lot- interesting set up, characters that I really liked- and then....
Riley was dumped at the altar, and this "Bachelorette" ripoff is his chance to get his mojo back. (Yeah, his motivation is thin.) Asher is gay (but he somehow managed to sneak that by the producers, even through multiple deep background checks), and he's on the show because he wants the cash prize for coming in second place to pay for his sister's cancer treatment. (The beloved sister he tells Riley about at the beginning and then never mentions again.)
But all of that isn't really the point. Asher is hopelessly attracted to the straight Riley. Riley is straight, or at least he thinks he is, but he's got this incredibly connection with Asher that he just can't let go. Kaitlyn the producer is torn between preventing another gay scandal on the show at all costs, and playing Mad Scientist to make the smitten Asher and the confused Riley fall in love. The constant observation, the pressures of the competition, the contractual obligations of the show, and their growing feelings all mix together in a way that's very entertaining.
But then. Riley finds out that Asher is about to be cut from the show, and he does something really reprehensible to knock himself and another guy out of the running and ensure that Asher makes it to the final two. (view spoiler)[He climbs in bed with another sleeping contestant, masturbates on him to make it look like the guy was participating, and then hits the panic button to bring in security and make sure they're caught. The show can't take another gay scandal, and so they're both disqualified and hustled off the set. This is so incredibly gross. He masturbated on a sleeping person and gave the guy a few tugs to get him hard- someone who had in no way given consent for this or any other sexual contact. It's sexual assault. And it's just brushed off as something that he had to do, the sacrifice he had to make so that Asher could make the finals. There was some attempt just before this to show that the guy was good looking, but stupid and shallow, as if that's any justification for what's done to him. And after a few lines of protest when they're "discovered" we never hear from the guy again. (hide spoiler)] I refuse to believe that there wasn't something else that Riley could have done that wasn't completely awful.
So that's it. A fun, entertaining book that was pretty well wrecked for me by a "hero" who went way out of bounds.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
This was an amusing story, with a wacky cast of characters, and an MC with an entertaining voice. At the start of the book, Howie doesn't seem to haveThis was an amusing story, with a wacky cast of characters, and an MC with an entertaining voice. At the start of the book, Howie doesn't seem to have a lot going for him. He's a 22 year old, going to school very part time, mostly hanging out at home and living off his mother and whatever is left of the insurance payout from his father's death. He comes off decidedly dudebro to begin with, and he's come up with the nearly I-Love-Lucy quality plan to apply for a job at a craft supply store to pick up chicks. This works about as well as you'd expect, until he gets kissed in the fake flower aisle by his boss. Who is a man.
I'm going to be honest here- the dudebroishness in the first couple of chapters nearly caused me to DNF this one. He was dismissive about crafters (hello, knitter here!), he was embarrassed and dismissive about his mother's secret career as a romance novelist (not a great move in a romance novel, to insult the readers), and his inner monologue included such gems as "I’m gonna ride you more times than the Matterhorn at Disneyland." Worse, he referred to something (I don't even remember what it was any more) as "faggy," which I find horribly offensive. I'm not even sure why I continued reading at that point, because I was pretty damn disgusted. Probably a combination of laziness and twisted curiosity to see what questionable thing Howie would say next. But things took a sharp upward swing after that. Howie's coworkers were funny, and as he got more involved with them he stopped being quite so douchey. It turned out that although he was pretty seriously stalled when we first met him, he'd gotten to that point through good intentions, and his relationship with his mother was loving and funny. Arthur, who seemed like such a stick in the mud at first, turned out to be a good match for Howie, and remarkably understanding about his fits and starts as he moved from "I just got kissed by a guy and I didn't hate it" to "I want to spend a lot of time kissing this guy."
By the end I was thoroughly charmed by Howie, Arthur, and all Howie's friends and family (there wasn't much of Arthur's friends or family, although the oddball group of employees he's collected are sort of their own little family). But I still wish the author hadn't used the word faggy. Not only is it offensive, it doesn't feel like really belongs, like it's something that Howie would say, even at the beginning when he doesn't come off so great....more
This one didn't really work for me. If I were Brad, I'd have pitched a hissy that my long-term, on again/off again boyfriend managed to knock up his eThis one didn't really work for me. If I were Brad, I'd have pitched a hissy that my long-term, on again/off again boyfriend managed to knock up his ex during an "off again" period. Instead, it was Jeff who pitched a hissy when Brad very reasonably pointed out that they needed to start using condoms again, since Jeff had unprotected sex with the ex. In fact, Jeff never even mentioned sleeping with someone else before going right back to unprotected sex with Brad (the night before they found out about the pregnancy), which was incredibly irresponsible.
By the end of the book, I was actually rooting for them to break up. When Jeff came back after the final break up and agreed to counseling, something that Brad had suggested several times and that Jeff absolutely refused to try, I just rolled my eyes. Everyone who's ever been in a bad relationship, or watched a friend or family member go through one, has heard that line. And then we jump to several months later, therapy has magically worked, and everyone is blissfully happy. Nope. I just don't buy it.
Beyond that, the point of view gave me problems. It's first person, with the chapters alternating between Jeff and Brad. But I could never keep straight whose head we were in. Their voices were pretty much the same, and with the constant bickering it was just too hard to keep track.
It's a bummer that this it the last book in series. I really enjoyed some of the other titles, but this was a really disappointing way to wrap it up....more