So. I read this book. Finished it last night in fact and spent the night marinating my review. And I'm still not quite sure it's coalesced.
Zach starts out as a pitiful character who is dumped by his boyfriend of three years. He is portrayed as an out gay man but someone who is in the closet about other aspects of his personality. The way he is written initially is as a clumsy, endearing, geek - which pushes some of my buttons.
However after he gets to Provincetown his characterization takes a 180 degree turn that I so didn't find believable or enjoyable.
There is a rather large deal made of the fact that Zach dresses like crap. He seems to be offended that the asshat ex purchased all of these beautiful, stylish clothes for him. So offended, in fact, that when he leaves their shared apartment he refuses to take the clothes.
But when he gets to the MAJIKAL P-Town his two new BFF's (that he has known for maybe like...not even 24-hours) hustle him into a clothing store and convince him to buy a new wardrobe.
It peeved me. Because like, dude, just be who the hell you are! While I have nothing personal against makeovers. Or even characters who are in need of them and blind about it being railroaded into one this particular one seemed inauthentic because of the prior issues there.
Also Zach thinks about himself as shy, hates being the center of attention yet on his FIRST night in the MAJIKAL P-Town he is dirty dancing between two guys, getting a blow job by one and getting the other's finger up his ass after a few drinks. And he is, like, okay with this because it's P-Town. I have a problem with the fact that "It's P-Town" is used as an excuse for all bad behavior.
Now, I totally understand having a personal sexual revolution. It happens and well, it happens. Personally I don't want to read about it. I had my sexual revolution after my divorce and man, it was an ugly time. There wasn't much happiness involved and that's all I can "see" in my head when I read this sort of stuff. Again, totally ME and my issue.
Then there is the first penetration sex scene. OMFG!
It was AWFUL! I'm totally gonna spoil here so if you don't want to know about the scene don't read this spoiler:
After getting finger fucked and blown on the dance floor Zach is approached by Dylan (who works at the clothing store where Zach got all his new clothes) and Zach takes him home intending to have sex with him. The entire time Zach is demeaning Dylan in his head. Talking about his kiss being full of spit and drool. I was sooooo offended
. Zach isn't turned on, not into it, but he keeps going. Then Dylan takes his shirt off and he has a third nipple which Zach is totally grossed out about, further turning him off. Again, Zach is not hard so he thinks about Van, who he saw in a leather store earlier that day - he's hard in an instant and proceeds to bend Dylan over the couch to fuck him. He is imagining Dylan as Van the whole time. It pissed me off! There is a huge deal made in Zach's head about touching Dylan's third nipple. Anyway, the sex is done and Zach kinda boots Dylan out. That's okay I guess because that's what you do with a trick. *sigh*
The whole thing just pissed me off and made me seriously dislike Zach.
So most of my problems with this book were with Zach. Van was an okay character but I didn't love him. I was supposed to feel sympathy for him and his poor downtrodden heart but yeah, didn't. Maybe I have ice in my veins. I dunno.
The supporting characters were written in an over the top way that did not appeal to me. Gary was campy in a way that made me want to slap him and tell him to grow up. Quinn was less developed but I read him as sort of milquetoast. Nico was, for the most part, a horny bastard. Tera, eh whatever! So...no joy with any of those.
Provincetown was almost it's own character in this book. I went there once in the summer time, for a whale watching cruise, and while I saw gay couples I didn't see anything like what was described in the book. Thankfully! Because I have problems with people behaving badly - be they hetero or gay - personally I think some things should be kept behind closed doors.
Does the gay culture really embrace all that...I dunno....debauchery? If so, why? It all seems so empty and cold to me. Am I being too much of a girl? I need a Gay Sexpert. Thankfully there is a group...
Anyway, maybe my dislike for this book was mainly because of my personal beliefs and preferences. It's got nothing to do with gay/straight shit. More about what I think about sex.
Let's take Van and the sex scenes between he and Zach. So Van is a porn star. I don't mind porn stars in my books when they are done right (I'm talking to YOU [a:Amy Lane|151973|Amy Lane|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1362545027p2/151973.jpg]) but when it's bad? Oh man is it bad!
There is a scene towards the beginning of the book where Van is making a movie. And it's stereotypical porn (which I don't like so I don't watch it, I'm more a fan of amateur stuff) especially with the verbiage used during the scene.
Now when you are writing a story with a porn star, in my opinion, the sex between the two heroes (when it's outside of a porn movie) needs to be significantly different. For me it wasn't. At all. So it made the whole book seem like it was actually a porn movie from beginning to end. Not appealing to me.
And I overall feel like a shit writing this review because the author - what I can find about him online - seems like a nice guy that I'd like to be friends with. He is an English teacher who also writes and I love
that and want to encourage him to do more. This was like his 4th book so maybe his craft has improved. The overall plot of the story is sound. The writing itself is decent. I just didn't like the way it was done. OMG! It's totally me Mr. Flores. I'm pretty sure it's totally me. In fact I'm gonna try another of his books (but not from this series) because really, maybe it's just me.
So overall I'd give this book one-star but because I did finish it and I do realize it's pretty much me and not you I'm going to give it a two.