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Tipping the Balance

(CalPac Crew #2)

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  252 ratings  ·  47 reviews
The boys from ROCKING THE BOAT are back in TIPPING THE BALANCE. Nick Bedford’s best friend Drew St. Charles is a man with a dream. He wants to move from selling real estate and flipping houses on the side into renovating houses. Ideally, he’d find the houses and his boyfriend would flip them. Not that he has a boyfriend.

Brad Sundstrom, fresh out of college and working for
ebook, NineStar Edition
Published October 26th 2020 by NineStar Press (first published September 11th 2011)
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Average rating 3.67  · 
Rating details
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This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ellis Carrington
Nutshell: Out and proud gay guy falls for younger man so deep in the closet he can't even see the door and they go into business together. Cuz yeah, that's what you should do when you have an impossible crush on someone. ;-)

I loved this story so much I read it twice. Even more than Rocking the Boat, and I rather enjoyed that one as well. Of all the "out for you" / gay for you / late bloomer / whatever you wanna call it plots I've read, this was hands down the best written that I've come across.
Sep 23, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m
Up until about the halfway point I was enjoying this novel about the romance between Drew, a man who's always known he was gay and Brad, a man who has never really questioned his sexuality before meeting Drew. It's a slow build up between the two interspersed with details about their real estate job, construction project and rowing. It's a little different in that respect, from some other romance books.

I didn't read the first book in the series, but it's made pretty clear that Drew met Brad when
Erica Pike
Nov 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: genre-contemp
4.5 stars.

This was a great book with great characters. Good character development. I see some reviewers talk about how slow Brad was on everything, but as a late bloomer myself I understand that it's not always so easy to figure yourself out. Especially if you're raised in a homophobic environment and you're new to everything (neither of which I had to deal with). Yes, Brad could have been more assertive in the disturbing conflict toward the end, but with how he was raised I found his insecurity
I already admitted Drew stole my heart in Rocking The Boat, that did not change, but Brad won me over big time, the big lug! I loved these two together. As frustrating as it was at times, I totally bought this take on the GFY/coaxing out of the closet angle. Nikyta and Ami said it all. Looking forward to Stuart and Jonathan...? ...more
Oct 20, 2020 rated it liked it
The story of Drew and Brad relationship stemmed from the first book in the series where they were side characters to Nick and Morgan. This book keeps the storyline going by reintroducing them over a personal and business relationship a few months after the first book ended. They started a joint business plan working on the mayor’s house. Which that part bored me to be honest. The main dilemma was that Brad was figuring out how to be out of the closet without freaking out and Drew was waiting pat ...more
Whereas Rocking the Boat was stunted and rough, Tipping the Balance was most of the time an easier and smoother read even with the more than average editing misses.

Brad and Drew, who we meet in Rocking the Boat, are two very different people. While Drew is an out and proud, sophisticated and sometimes prissy, gay man, Brad is a straight, laid back slob. They don't have much in common except their love for renovation and construction. They make an extraordinary team when it comes to Drew creatin
Tipping the Balance is the second book in the CalPac Crew series, featuring newly-graduated rower Brad Sundstrom and Drew St. Charles, Coach Nick Bradford's BFF. As the first book ends, Drew is very interested in Brad, while Brad is beginning to realize he may not be as straight as he thought.

That dynamic continues as Brad struggles against even saying the word "gay" much less coming to terms with his attraction to Drew. Brad has a lot of emotional baggage and has a difficult time dealing with b
Sep 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First of all - I loved this story. It's a very well-written and thought out book and I'd sure buy all the next stories from this author.

Such an engaging story and the characters so real - I have a hard time letting go of them, seriously :) Also I can't believe it, but the slow building and the lack of sex for a good first half of the book didn't concern me in the slightest! Usually I quickly get bored when the porn romance didn't begin soon, but here I absolutely loved the slow pacing, the detai
A.B. Gayle
The thing I liked most about this book was the depiction of a big man who had lost his self-confidence thanks to the overwhelming nature of his relationship with his father.
People tend to assume that big people are naturally mentally tough, when in reality they've often had to suppress their strength for fear of hurting little people. I've seen this happen with children who are bullied by smaller, weaker ones because they know they can't retaliate.
Long term this makes it difficult for them to be
Veronica of V's Reads
Oct 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Drew St. Charles is a realtor and home renovator in the Sacramento area. He has been flipping houses for years, but ir only now really focusing of home renovations. He doesn't have a contractor license, however, and his main contractor is retired--only coming on to the job sites near their final inspection to ensure everything is up to code. Drew's also routinely enlisted his college bestie, Nick Bedford, to run his construction crews in the summer when Nick doesn't have classes or coaching resp ...more
Rachel Emily
I absolutely LOVED this book - perfect sequel to the first book, which I also really, really enjoyed. I loved Drew and Brad and their relationship. I kinda thought that the ending was a bit rushed, but still enjoyed every moment of these two guys together. I thought that this GFY with Brad dealing with what he was going through and what he felt for Drew was realistic and well written. And I really enjoyed getting to see Morgan and Nick again.

(view spoiler)
3.5 stars
A good M/M romance between a straight boy brought up by a homophobic controlling father and a man who is out loud and proud. It's a story filled with angst provided by uncertainty - the uncertainty perhaps a little exaggerated at times - and poor communications, unknowingly aided by well-meaning but interfering friends. There are no real surprises in either plot or character, but it nicely filled the niche when I felt in the mood for such a story.
Jan 18, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the first part of this book but Brad's indecision became just way too annoying. And the whole "crisis" in the book was just too much. Not going to see him and check on him then 6 months pass and I just lost all faith in these two and didn't think either one of them deserved an HEA.
Sep 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must read!! I couldn't put it down.
Nov 03, 2020 rated it liked it
This book was provided to me for free by IndoGo Marketing in exchange for an honest review.

This story is the second in the series CalPac Crew. I think it could be read as a standalone but it definitely helps reading book 1 ‘Rocking the Boat’ first. First there are many references to book one, second the main characters of ‘Rocking the Boat’, Morgan and Nick, play an important role in that book too, although they are side characters now, and third Brad and Drew, the two main characters of this b
Sid Blackwood
Oct 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
I received this free book in exchange for an honest review.

I really liked this book, probably even more than the first one in the series.Brad finally gets his moment to shine and he does not disappoint. I would have liked to see him become closer with Nick and Morgan as well but I guess you can't have everything.
While I think the book is very well written and I liked the storyline, I was a little disappointed with Drew. I totally understand him not wanting to hide his relationship but I think he
Oct 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It was a mix of funny, hot, romantic, angsty and emotional. The writing was excellent, the story was engaging, the dialogue was witty and the MCs were just lovely.

On the surface they seemed to be polar opposites and such an unlikely pair, which made their irresistible attraction even more interesting. I empathized with Brad's confusion about his sexuality, his issues with his family, self-respect and trying to find his own way. I really appreciated that Drew was confident, kn
Oct 25, 2020 rated it it was ok
I really enjoyed Nick and Morgan's story in the first book, but book two is a different story. Drew and Brad have many issues to overcome. Okay, so more Brad, but Drew knew this going in. Add to that, a drawn out background about real estate and house renovations, then through in several improbable events and it becomes a tricky story to tell.

Unfortunately, C. Koehler doesn't seem to have a solid grasp on the tale he wants to tell. There are inconsistencies and contradictions in characters' POV
Oct 26, 2020 rated it it was ok
It took a long time to get through this book. Although I loved Drew when he was part of Nick's story, he couldn't have picked a worse partner for himself than Brad. I understand his indecision about his sexuality, because it's never presented itself until he met Drew, but the way he acted; the push and pull of his actions, grew tiring by the middle of the book. And then Drew is attacked and left in a really bad state, and instead of redeeming himself and being there for the man he's fallen for d ...more
Oct 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
The story between Brad and Drew continues in this next installment.
Brad is still on unfamiliar ground with coming to terms with his sexuality and his family.
Drew is headstrong and confident and knows exactly what he wants.
The characters were real, relatable and well fleshed out.
The author's writing style worked for me and I loved the world building.
I recommend you read book 1 in this series for maximum enjoyment.
A definite recommend
Bin Blogs Books
Oct 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A passionate complete love story that has friendship, relationship, and kinship along with wit and humor. And a happy ending I loved. I'd recommend this to any romance junkie I know. Can't wait to read more from this author.

Thanks to NetGalley for an early copy in exchange for an honest review.
T.A. Webb
Nov 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Drew is a driven man. He is a successful real estate salesman, flips houses on the side, and has created a comfortable life for himself. He is out and proud, and has fought to be respected as such. His best friend Nick, coach of the CalPac rowing team, has found the love of his life in rower Morgan. More and more, Drew is seeing the hole in his life that not having a partner causes, and it hurts. He wants a man for himself.

Brad was on the rowing team with Morgan, but graduated. He works for his
Kerry  sullivan
Oct 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gblt, romance
This book was reviewed for Musings of a bookworm

The Blurb
Between his job as a Realtor and his home renovation business, Drew St. Charles is in over his head. What he really needs is a licensed contractor to oversee his projects, and Drew knows just the man for the job: Brad Sundstrom. The Sundstrom family has been in construction for years, so Brad knows his way around a toolbox, and he desperately wants out from under his sneering father's thumb.

The close contact and the excitement
Jun 02, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brad and Drew's story is an enjoyable follow up to Morgan and Nick... Or at least 3/4 of it is! I was rolling along and thoroughly enjoying the story. Drew is very openly gay. Brad has played het all his life but Drew does something to him. Using the excuse of their housing/construction jobs they come together and Brad begins the journey towards self-discovery. Overall I think this was one of the most realistic Gay For You stories I've read. It wasn't easy and Brad behaved like an ass on many oc ...more
Oct 14, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book gets only 3. 8 stars instead of 4.5 because I wanted to see the bad guy fall harder. A sequel to "Rocking the Boat", I read this one first and was intrigued by the realistic humanity of the characters. They were ordinary and had ordinary problems. The issue of Drew's emerging acceptance of his sexual orientation was interesting and revealing in the depth of its psychological detail. Also, this man doesn't look like an underwear model and has to work hard for his fitness; this made me w ...more
bazinga ~Lisa
Sep 29, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to bazinga ~Lisa by: dsp
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rachel Emily
I absolutely LOVED this book - perfect sequel to the first book, which I also really, really enjoyed. I loved Drew and Brad and their relationship. I kinda thought that the ending was a bit rushed, but still enjoyed every moment of these two guys together. I thought that this GFY with Brad dealing with what he was going through and what he felt for Drew was realistic and well written. And I really enjoyed getting to see Morgan and Nick again.

(view spoiler)
Jess Candela
I liked how realistic Brad's questioning and hesitance seemed, given his homophobic contruction background. He didn't just accept it, but neither did I think he over-angsted about it. That said, I thought Drew's lack of return phone calls was beyond ridiculous and kept them apart unnecessarily. It caused me to really lose sympathy for Drew and decide Brad deserved better. Also, I thought it was setting up to have Brad figure out what his dad was up to and it seemed like a real cop-out to have it ...more
Sep 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Erotica, m/m, romannce,
I really liked the relationship between Drew and Brad. The feelings Brad went through to come to terms with his attraction to Drew was some of the most believable I've read. And I must say Drew had the patience of a saint to deal with some of the things Brad said. I read this one first before I realized it was actually a sequel and went back to read the first one; I liked this book a lot more then the first. This is a really good story that focuses more on the romance and less on sex (though the ...more
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Dreamspinner Press: Tipping the Balance by Christopher Koehler 1 14 Sep 12, 2011 07:04AM  

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Other books in the series

CalPac Crew (4 books)
  • Rocking the Boat (CalPac Crew, #1)
  • Burning It Down (CalPac Crew, #3)
  • Settling the Score (CalPac Crew, #4)

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