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Relationship Material

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  182 ratings  ·  68 reviews
It's not always possible to meet in the middle.

Registered nurse Evan Doyle doesn’t consider himself fit for more than occasional hookups. He has a good life, but the emotional aftermath of a horrific crime makes him feel too damaged to date. So when his sister’s hot bestie, Malcolm Umbertini, comes on to him, he turns him down flat. Mal is Relationship Material: the kind w
ebook, 215 pages
Published August 5th 2019 by Riptide Publishing
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Average rating 3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  182 ratings  ·  68 reviews

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currently $.99 on Amazon - highly recommend!

Jenya Keefe’s Relationship Material is one of the finest books I’ve read this year. Poignant and heartfelt, Ms. Keefe gets right to the core of these characters and strips them bare. These are two intense men, and even though I didn’t have anything in common with either of them I had no trouble relating to both of them. It is a testament to the skill of Jenya Keefe’s beautiful writing that I got so wrapped up in
*J* Too Many Books Too Little Time
DNF @ 62%

I enjoyed The Musician and the Monster by this author so wanted to give this one a try.

Unfortunately, it just didn't grab my attention. I just never really connected to the MCs and not much happened to keep me interested.

Still, with as much as I enjoyed The Musician and the Monster I will keep this author on my radar.
Jun 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, romance
This book is a lot darker than the blurb makes it sound (see my content warning) but I thought it was still very much worth the read. Evan is deeply traumatized by a truly horrific crime (and living under witness protection) and does not feel up to relationships, especially not with somebody who he considers so very much relationship material. Mal on the other hand falls hard for Evan and is willing to take whatever he is willing to offer him. I thought they were lovely together. I love how open ...more
Oct 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ku, lgbtq, not-for-me
*2,5 stars*

The blurb was tempting, the potential of the scenario great, but there was too much here that didn’t gel for me (and I realize I may be the odd one out in this)

.) The main thing: I couldn’t connect with the MCs.

Mal is supposed this ‘arrogant on the outside and marshmallow on the inside’ type of guy, but for me something was off about his characterization. It’s the way he sometimes reacts, what he says and does, that lead to quite a few raised eyebrows and WTHs!

Evan has got a heapful
I’m not sure I read the same book others read because I couldn’t enjoy this. Didn’t enjoy it.

I got tired of the constant anxiety one of the MC struggles with on a daily basis. I don’t want to seem callous to someone dealing with past trauma stemming from violence and sexual abuse, but his anxiety ruled this story and it really never let up. I couldn’t enjoy the story.

Add some weirdly timed declarations of love, and you have a book that just didn’t work for me on many levels.

That being said, m
Wow, I don't typically enjoy when a book is packed with this much hurt/comfort, but I enjoyed this one. After two in a row, Jenya Keefe is on my radar. ...more
Rachel Emily
OK, first off - this blurb needs to be re-written. With warnings. Because this book dealt with some very serious topics and issues, and there was just no heads up that there would be discussion of (view spoiler)

I was definitely ex
True Loveislovereview
Aug 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lgbtq, 2019
Gosh, *a very content sigh* What a beautiful story this was.
I couldn’t anticipate the fact that behind that title and cover a shining gem was hidden. Even the blurb didn’t do right to the beauty of this story, (sorry, I know blurbs are nightmares)

For me, it was one emotional rollercoaster. An unbelievable good written story about slowly getting attached, emotional and physical, to life again, to let people in, to trust.

Evan can’t believe his eyes when his sister Caroline stands before him. It
Jan 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Not my favorite trope but, surprisingly, I really liked it. I found the character study exceptional. And I loved Mal. I'll keep this author on my radar. ...more
Oct 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
I liked how this started but eventually I found that Evan's "I'm broken, I'm damaged, I dont deserve you" nonsense got rather repetitive. I kept waiting for something to actually happen, for some climatic moment, but it just never happened. Instead, I got the broken record that was Evan's hot and cold.

I did also find that the relationship, both sexual and emotional, happened a bit too fast considering Evan is apparently so "damaged". A much would have preferred a slow burn, with the sex maybe co
Insta love and you have to suspend reality quite a few times. I didn't hate it though.

Uugg...another one I didn't review right away because I was going to be a first review and it wasn't going to be great. I remember little about this book which is never good. Those first two sentences are all I wrote and really all I remember. I felt like the plot was kind of absurd. I may try this author again down the road though.

*ARC provided through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**
Sharon Tyler
Aug 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Relationship Material by Jenya Keefe is currently scheduled for release on August 5 2019. It's not always possible to meet in the middle. Registered nurse Evan Doyle doesn’t consider himself fit for more than occasional hookups. He has a good life, but the emotional aftermath of a horrific crime makes him feel too damaged to date. So when his sister’s hot bestie, Malcolm Umbertini, comes on to him, he turns him down flat. Mal is Relationship Material: the kind who thinks in the long term. What w ...more
4 stars

Evan is living a quiet life that he enjoys when his past, in the form of his sister, catches up with him. His sister comes with a best friend, Mal. Evan finds Mal attractive, but knows that with his past, he will never be good enough for Mal.
Mal has his own hurts in his past, but there is something about Evan that draws him in. Even though Mal is more of a relationship kind of guy, he and Evan agree to explore the attraction between them as a casual thing, kind of like a series of one nig
Jul 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is the first book by Jenya Keefe that I've read - actually, I think it may be her debut novel. Regardless, it will not be the last book I read by this author, as a matter of fact, I just requested an ARC of her next book. So yes, Relationship Material was that good.

Relationship Material wasn't a "light and fluffy" romance by any stretch of the imagination. Although the events that were the darkest were memories, they were still pretty heavy and dark. My heart broke for Evan in so many ways.
Roberta Blablanski
There are some heavy issues covered in Relationship Material that took me by surprise. I was expecting more of a lighthearted read.

The relationship between the twins was strange, especially the made up words. Perhaps that's what twins are like?

I didn't get a feel for the attraction between the two MCs. Something felt off. In fact, the whole story kinda felt off to me.
Aug 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is Jenya Keefe’s first novel, and it’s a great debut.

Best line: “I’m not going to get used to you, like a woodland creature eating an apple out of your hand or whatever.” (Wanna bet?)

This book could probably use trigger warnings, because some of the content may trouble some people. The blurb doesn’t really reflect how dark the pasts of the characters are. References to physical and sexual assault, suicide, eating disorders, and PTSD/severe anxiety are all included in the storyline.

For reade
Jul 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Passion. In every word, every phrase, every move the characters make-- this is not your typical M/M Romance. If you are looking for a book that challenges you to look deep in to the heart, mind and soul of relationships and what is important in life, you've just found that book.

Mal and Evan both have dark pasts, secrets to reveal. They struggle, individually; so how can they possibly come together, with any chance of a future? That is exactly what author Janya Keefe explores in this incredible n
I liked this a lot, I’ve had 3 books in a row that I had to give up on. Nothing could really hold my attention, but this was good. It’s well written, I’ve read lots of books with a similar type story and I have to say this was one of the better ones. I don’t dish the 5 stars out too often but as with the last book I read by this author, I think it’s deserving of them.
3.5 stars

Poor Evan has survived some pretty harsh stuff in his life. He's still damaged but his career and his dog keep him grounded.

Meeting back up with his twin sister starts to bring back some hard memories and he struggles to hang on. When Mal infiltrates his life, he tries to keep him at arms length.

Mal, to me, felt a little too needy and obsessed with Evan. His feelings were deep and developed quickly...too quickly.
Jamie Lee Zonneveld
Aug 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Relationship Material by Jenya Keefe was a beautiful and heartfelt story about Registered nurse Evan Doyle and prosecuting attorney Malcolm 'Mal' Umbertini. I loved this story so much and it was so well written. The characters were amazing and so real. ...more
Mere Rain
It took me a long while to warm up to Mal, especially as a match for Evan.
This book goes to some pretty dark places, and I felt terrible for Evan as Caroline and Mal kept forcing him to relive these awful experiences -- especially at the beginning when Mal is a complete stranger.
I was willing to accept them as a couple by the end, although I think Mal needs to read up on anxiety disorders.
Sep 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mm-romance
4.5 stars
Jun 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a lovely book. The two main characters left me with tears in my eyes more than once as they struggled to navigate the treacherous waters of Evan’s trauma and on-going recovery. This is about more than the central (and hot!) romance; it’s about healing, family and the way we navigate life. This book is also about power and control: what do we really have control over? What gives someone power?

Not having experienced any sexual or violent trauma myself, I can’t speak to how accurate the su
Jun 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Relationship Material is a well-written, beautiful story that took me through a range of emotions. It is written from dual perspectives, which allows for Jenya Keefe to take the reader through each mc’s thoughts, fears, insecurities, and joy. Evan and Mal are so likable separately, but even more so together. Evan is a complex character: a trauma survivor, fighter, twin, nurse, and fiercely independent man doing his best to live with the overwhelming anxiety disorder that resulted from the events ...more
Aug 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
A Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Review An Alisa Review:

Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

I am still not totally sure what I thought of this book, while I enjoyed it there were a few things that rubbed me the wrong way too. Mal and Evan have been hurt by those in their pasts and though those experiences were drastically different at times their coping mechanisms end up hurting others.

This story had a lot of push and pull which I expect with characters that have tragic pasts but at points you have to
Jul 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
*Now available - happy book birthday!

Thanks to Netgalley for the complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

This story was exactly what I was looking for - all angst, anxiety, and new love as well as a HEA that made me audibly "Aw."

I won't recap the synopsis, but basically Evan has had a hard past to deal with that has led him to have anxiety about his life and relationships and has given him a great dog.

When his twin sister comes back in his life, she drags Mal in with her, who also h
Cee Brown
Aug 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
¸.•´¸.•*´¨)✯ ¸.•*¨)
✮ (¸.•´✶ (¸.•`4 saving grace stars

"Mal Umbertini was Relationship Material. The kind of man you introduced to your family, made long-term plans with... Evan Doyle was not Relationship Material. He was Occasional Hookup Material at best."

This was an emotional book and even when I got to the end I was still in shock at the almost abruptness of it all. I was, in fact, just getting into the scene, and then I saw the RP logo and it did not dawn on me that that was it unti
Nov 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Promising work by a new author. This one ended a tad sooner than I would have liked, but I enjoyed the author's writing style and look forward to reading more of her works when they come out. ...more
H. Taylor
Jun 30, 2019 rated it liked it
i was pleasantly surprised by this mm romance.

it deals with a LOT of heavy issues and triggering subject matter. Something that I really wasn’t expecting. Nothing about the synopsis alluded to this being anything more than your average mm romance where one MC didn’t think himself worthy of the other. So while there wasn’t anything too graphic and it’s set after some really big trauma, I still think there needs to be content warnings for: (view spoiler)
Aug 05, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: hurt-comfort, m-m, arcs
First things first, this book is more angst-driven and intense than the blurb suggested and, as it stands at the time I am writing this review, the blurb is lacking a LOT of content warnings. If you do have triggers that include suicide, anxiety attacks, rape, or child prostitution, I urge you to take care of yourself and tread carefully.

I’m often drawn to hurt-comfort romances because there’s so much potential for a strong emotional connection. Yes, you may see characters at their most vulnera
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Jenya Keefe was born in the South. She has an advanced degree in European history, and has spent much of her life working the kinds of jobs a history degree qualifies you for: gift shop employee, lumber grader, classifieds clerk, hot glass artist. She currently lives in the Seattle area, where she works at a library. She has always written stories.

Twitter: @JenyaKeefe


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