Judy & Marianne from Long and Short Reviews's Reviews > One Good Year

One Good Year by Rowan McBride
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's review
Jul 15, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: erotic, contemporary, anal-play-sex, paranormal, m-m
Read in July, 2012

Originally posted at: http://whippedcream2.blogspot.com/201...

Spade and Ace are back as Spade has to convince Ace that they truly belong together, against all odds. Ace and Spade have been together for a very blissful year so far. Happily in love and crazy in lust, the two seem to have a rock solid relationship, so much so they’re planning to get married. They truly think nothing can come between them. Their bond is tested, though, when Spade’s new friend starts to challenge their bond. It’ll take a lot of soul searching and one hell of a bet for them to finally know if they belong together.

One Good Year picks up a year later after the first book in the series began. I’d recommending reading the first book, One Good Hand, first to fully appreciate and understand the dynamics between the main characters. You can read this as a stand alone but there are definitely details and comments that will lack context or be missing entirely. In the sequel Ace and Spade are happily, deeply in love and proceed to have a lot of sex. This isn’t bad but there are some hints of trouble of in paradise which lead to Spade meeting a new friend, another genetically engineered alien like himself. Now this new character, introduced late in the book, is responsible for casting doubt and problems in the relationship.

On the one hand it’s quite nice to see Ace and Spade again and this time Spade is the narrator so I thought we’d understand more from his perspective. We do, in a way, but he remains pretty remote and one dimensional. He’s in love with Ace, will do whatever it takes to make Ace happy, and wants to stay with Ace. That is the sole depth to Spade. Ace on the other hand is the same charming, witty, and charismatic man as he was in the first book but since the story is told from Spade’s POV, Ace feels remote and not present in the significant way. I found I truly missed Ace’s narration in the face of Spade’s rather robotic and unemotional event telling.

Another issue is that the story feels entirely told with manipulated drama. It’s all a good idea and creates some definite tension and drama, especially in light of Senai’s powers, but it also feels too late in the story to really mean much. We never really understand this newcomer’s motivations or emotions and the end effect is showing that yes, Ace and Spade are incredibly in love. This bit of information is something we’re told at the very beginning and it’s disappointing something new or interesting doesn’t develop in their relationship as a result. It’s still sweet and lovely but mostly empty.

While One Good Year is a decent sequel, it pales in comparison to the original. It doesn’t have the same charm and whimsy, although the clean writing and easy reading is still there. This will be best for fans of the series. The author is a good writer with some clever ideas so I’d be interested to see what is done next.

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