After such a good start the second half of this six part serial was a huge let down. For a romantic comedy with mobsters, the book and its authors ended up taking the mobsters way too seriously. And all the fun disappeared once the characters started having long difficult discussions—not a bad idea in itself, just the execution of those discussions sucked. And the final conflict felt manufactured.
So, yeah. Read the first volume (parts 1-3) and imagine your own happy ending for Will & Patrick. Or, you know, don't.
I haven't really been a fan of "waking up married in Las Vegas" trope in fanfiction but I'm all for it in original fiction. Apparently. Now, all authors, get to it. *insert ridiculous imperious gestures here*
No? Damn, that's a shame.
Anyway, the only way to get me to buy and read a serial is to have it on sale after all of it is published so I can read it in one sitting—if I so choose—like an actual book.
I knew what I was getting myself into when I clicked that buy button and yet I did it anyway.
If you haven't noticed, I've had issues with Lanyon's work ever since I stumbled on an old book that had the characters spouting that reverse racism is a thing. Or something like it. Thing is, Lanyon spins a good yarn, if you ignore the whitey lenses of privilege, and I keep hoping maybe I'm wrong. I'm not.
Yeah, this is a sweet four star novella of two adult men spending a non-explicit night together and possibly finding a new start while waiting for a escaped prisoner to get caught or come after them.
But Lanyon can't leave well enough alone and (s)he has to make a dig about police violence and young unarmed dead persons. Race isn't mentioned, but considering this novella is published in 2016, you have to be willfully blind and/or privileged not to see what (s)he's getting at. Sure, twelve thousand words in a romantic novella isn't going to solve police brutality and racism in America, but Lanyon didn't have to be as dismissive as this:
"'Are you serious? Do you really think the majority of cops approve of shooting unarmed civilians? Of shooting kids? Do you really think guys like me want to see a departmental cover-up?'
In the face of his quiet scorn, I felt a little ashamed. 'No. Of course not.'
'There are some bad actors. We all know it. And there are some guys and gals who would be better cops if they had better training. We all know that too. But most of the men and women I work with are out there cleaning up the human garbage the best they can with the tools they've been given—and putting their live on the line every single day to keep people like you safe to write the truth however you see fit.'"
And then the narrator muses how he was wrong but not completely, and how much he likes his police protector for being able to argue the subject dispassionately. And they agree it's a sore subject for the both of them.
Sore subject indeed.
If only this book had ended the way it started, as a sweet, relaxed and easy romance. Unfortunately, a few things didn't work for me and I ended up gritting my teeth through the resolution. I didn't hate the story, I was just so disappointed, because I expected more based on the lovely beginning.
First of all, less sex would've been nice. An explicit sex scene immediately after another explicit sex scene added nothing to the story and felt more like padding to the word count than plot progression. Or character growth.
Nothing Adam did or decided felt like it was coming from him. First it was that infodump phone call from his sister that made me question the author's ability to move the story forward naturally and then it was Joey's mother planting the thought of taking care of her son. After that I doubted if Adam really loved Joey and I felt like he was being manipulated into a relationship.
There was also the dual hospitalisation. Instead of using the first to force the confrontation between father and son, the author again manipulated Adam into a situation where he would get to vacillate a little longer. And I get indecisiveness: this wasn't that. This was the author hitting points on a plot map instead of letting story evolve naturally through the characters' actions.
But you know, none of this might bother you. There's a chance you'll love reading gratuitous gay sex and two sweet guys finding each other.