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Relationship Material

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4.13  ·  Rating details ·  45 ratings  ·  29 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
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Kindle Edition, 220 pages
Published August 5th 2019 by Riptide Publishing
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4.13  · 
Rating details
 ·  45 ratings  ·  29 reviews


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Trio
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 this marvelous story.

Attracted to each other right off the bat, it’s fun to watch Ma
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Hannah
Jun 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Truuss
Aug 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, m-m
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
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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 exp
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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
Alisa
Insta love and you have to suspend reality quite a few times. I didn't hate it though.

Full review to come after I think on it a bit.
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.
Sherry
Aug 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Cee Brown
Aug 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
*✫)
.•.•*)✯ .•*)
✮ (.•✶ (.•`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 until I turned the
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Jeff
Jul 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Shirley
Jul 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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Charlotte Kinzie
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
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Dee
Jun 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Erika
Jul 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*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
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H. Taylor
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)
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Annie
Aug 05, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs, m-m, hurt-comfort
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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Lena
Aug 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a really great book. It takes a hard topic and navigates how someone overcomes (or tries to overcome) the trauma and builds a new life, while still dealing with the aftermath.
Evan is a wonderful, full.-fledged, complex character and I was drawn to him like moth to flame. Or much like Malcolm is drawn to him. The author doesn't shy away from the hardships of his life and we get to see how he struggles with himself and his sense of worthiness and how he finally allows himself to love and b
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Amy Dufera
Aug 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 Stars

Jenya Keefe's Relationship Material is a heavy, yet amazing read. Focusing on high levels of anxiety, and past tragedies, it has a serious tone from the start.

Evan and Mal meet when Evan's sister, Caroline, finds Evan on the street. Mal's her best friend, and is a witness Evan's breakdown. I have to admit that the beginning is definitely confusing, as it takes a while to understand what's happening. Don't let that diswade you though, as any confusion is cleared up soon enough.

This story
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Pamela Lilley
Jul 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well. If you want a story with complex characters, a story that’s not dark, but definitely has some disturbing flashbacks. Then you’ll love this story. The angst in m/m romance normally comes from one or both of the main characters not being ‘out of the closet’, this is not the case for Malcolm or Evan. Malcolm has had past issues with his family and is looking for love, Evan too has had past family issues, but love is definitely not on his list of priorities. In fact Evan doesn’t trust anyone, ...more
Jackie D
Aug 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A story with a heavy dose of horrific traumas, the aftermath, anxieties, other prominent mental health disorders. Relationship woes, insta-all shazam's, humor, and finding middle ground amongst the chaos. A surprising, dark twist, not what I had anticipated from Alex/Evan, Mal, and Caroline's tale! Once I began reading, there was no chance I was putting the Kindle down!
** Trigger Warning** There are MANY sensitive subjects touched on at length **

A beautifully, heart-wrenching broken trio. Watch
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Ali
Aug 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Eva
Aug 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
evan doyle has built a new life for himself as, one with rules and order, because he needs that to overcome his deep trauma and ptsd. as the victim of a horrific crime, he's been in witness protection and estranged from his twin sister for over a decade.

but a chance encounter as relationship material opens brings him face to face with his twin. and while his sister needs answers, evan isn't entirely willing to share them. he's moved forward with his life, and dredging up the past is deeply traum
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Elaine Gray
Aug 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love, love, love this book. I've read so many books but this one was so emotional and intense that you feel for both Mal and Evan. Evan had a traumatic past that its keeping him from having a committed relationship and Mal is feeling guilty because his lover died and he's still alive. I don't think anyone can get over what happens to them in the past but these two men deal with it the best way they know-how
The attraction was shown throughout the book from start to finish and the book had my atte
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Elaine Gray
Aug 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love, love, love this book. I've read so many books but this one was so emotional and intense that you feel for both Mal and Evan. Evan had a traumatic past that its keeping him from having a committed relationship and Mal is feeling guilty because his lover died and he's still alive. I don't think anyone can get over what happens to them in the past but these two men deal with it the best way they know-how
The attraction was shown throughout the book from start to finish and the book had my atte
...more
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.
L Johnson
Aug 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved it

Well written and original. I get so tired of formulaic books that tell the same cliched story as the book before. This book was a joy because it’s tackling serious subjects in a relatable way. Great dialogue, chemistry and characters you could really get in to. Love it and will definitely read more by this writer.
Lina
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m
Really beautiful story.
Tj
Pain and anguish run rampant, but there is also love and healing. The abrupt ending left a lot to be desired. If ever a book needed an epilogue to cement the HEA, it is this one!!
Misty
** 4.5 Stars **
Stacey
rated it it was amazing
Jul 13, 2019
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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.

Website: www.jenyakeefe.com
Twitter: @JenyaKeefe