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Perfect Score by Susan Roebuck

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Susan Roebuck (sueroe) | 2 comments The Romance Review
The Romance Reviews awarded my book the 'Top Pick' award and said:
Perfect score is a sweet M/M romance that will appeals to all lovers of the genre and will change the way that you look a gay romance novels...

Alex Finch doesn't know what he's going to do. He wants to be a rock star but the rich uncle who's been taking care of him for the last 6 years wants him to go into the family business. He also wouldn't mind being loved by the man who's starred in his fantasies since the first day they met about 5 years before.

Sam Barrowdale only wants to survive. He's lived on the streets pretty much since he was about 7 years old, so he knows how to do just that. He has been teased unmercifully all his life because of his speech and reading impediments, so he doesn't trust easily. He needs to make enough money to support his sick sister and to keep her in the home where they are taking care of her. Other than that, he really doesn't get a chance to think about or want anything else. They two men meet again in 1968 and begin down a path that will have them reaching for each other and trying to be together for years to come. However, fate seems to working against them at every turn, and when they finally get a chance to be together, it may be too late.

This is non-erotic gay romance that is more like a saga. It is set in the late 1960's into the 70's. There is little to no sex in the book, but it really didn't need it. There is so much going on in the novel; there are family secrets, corporate wrong-doings, alcohol abuse, unplanned pregnancies, and the list goes on and on. It really does have something for everyone, but underneath it all, you have two young men who are willing to risk everything to be together.

The book was written in shifting first-person views, going back and forth between Alex and Sam, but unlike most books I've read that have done this, the author tells you who is speaking at the beginning of each chapter, so you are not left guessing who is speaking throughout the entire scene. I really liked the way this was done because it gave two viewpoints on the same situation, and it was interesting to see how each man interpreted some of the events that happened in the story. I must say that this story is very heavy, but it is so intriguing. I had a hard time putting it down because I just had to see what secret was going to come out next. The ending left a bit to be desired for me, but when I thought about the fact that it's set in the 60's and 70's, it made much more sense and was much more realistic than a traditional "happily ever after". The characters were well-developed and very realistic, sometimes painfully so. I laughed, cried, was horrified, outraged, and sometimes even wrung out, but more than anything, I was engrossed. The book did move slowly at the beginning, but the plot really moved quickly once you got to the middle of the book.

I recommend this book to anyone who likes serious romance. The plot is heavy at times, and the story takes through a wide range of emotions, but I felt like at the end of it all, it left me hopeful. Hopeful that, with love, anything really is possible.

Rainbow Reviews ( gave it 4.5 stars and said:

"Perfect Score" is centred around Alex and Sam. These two men who are worlds apart but somehow manage to come together despite all the obstacles in their way. Alex grew up in a farm, his mother was simple and sweet and his step-father was kind. However, Alex wanted more and was 'saved' by his uncle (his father's twin brother) who took him away to a life filled with money and leisure. Little did Alex know the real reason why his uncle came to save him, from what Alex considered a dead-end life.

Sam grew up on the streets after his mother died, despite his small frame, Sam was a person to be reckoned with. Sam grew up in a way no child should, however as a man he was smarter than most gave him credit for. Despite his dyslexia and people's first impression, Sam worked hard at any given job. He loved nature and animals and he fought tooth and nail for the things he loved.

This book is such a well-written tale, the story is set in the 1960s and I'm pretty much a present-day reader. I really liked the sound of the blurb so I wanted to check this story out. I did have problems reading this book, but overall I think the author really did me a service with how she started and ended her book. The middle of the book was touch and go for me, it did become heavy and a bit tedious at times. I did have to stop and come back to the book, but the fact that the writing was splendid, and the book hooked me in and the ending was sublime ~ I can't help but forgive the dense middle.

The structure of the book is chaptered into points of view, between Sam and Alex. I really like this style, because a lot of writers tend to mix their characters thoughts, and it really jars you. In my case, I've unfortunately read books where I didn't even know which character was talking and who was feeling what. I suppose the downside is that it splits the characters away from each other, but in this instance it worked. Alex and Sam meet as children for a few minutes, and then don’t see each other again until they are adults, deep into the book. The story is basically structured around Sam and Alex's lives in their own right, until Alex comes back to the farm where Sam happens to also stay.

The publisher lists this as a romance, and whilst the ending is probably the most romantic thing I have ever read (in any book); it's not really a romance for most of the story. I have to say how Alex comes to love Sam I didn't buy into, however because this book is so good on so many other levels I again can forgive that.

Alex is a rich kid but with Sam it all goes out the window, Sam isn't interested in the politics or the money. He just wants to work, take care of the land and animals and his sister. Sam is dyslexic, but he's more than that despite people around him judging him and focusing on his speech pattern. It's great how the author showed the lack of understanding in the '60s of dyslexia, but it also didn't become a preaching session either (which I appreciate).

The author has another constant in this story and that's the evil uncle. He really is a piece of work, and again the author brings up another issue about pharmaceutical companies and how they (or maybe still do) experiment. I loved the fact the uncle wasn't some cliché villain. The mystery aspect of Alex's past and Sam's dark past really made this a well-rounded story.

This is the 1960's and Alex and Sam have a lot of obstacles in their lives and do until the very end. Most of the time they're never together or are chasing around looking for each other. It is a slow build-up for these two, and it gets painful at times. However, the ending my God it has to be one of the best conclusions to a book I have read in this genre. I really enjoyed this book, the middle of the book really took the edge off what for me could have been a sublime book. I do think this is a very different and unique book, and a very different outlook on a relationship (especially because of the time period).

I'm quite happy :-)

message 2: by Susan (new)

Susan Roebuck (sueroe) | 2 comments Hooray! I've been reclassified as "light literary fiction".

Perfect Score

Perfect Score by Susan Roebuck

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