Did you impress him last night?” “I didn’t ask for a performance appraisal. But he seemed well satisfied,” I couldn’t resist adding. I might just possibly have mirrored her smirk, although my conscience pricked as I recalled it had been Sean, in fact, who’d done all the work. Still, I’d been there in a supervisory capacity. Providing, as it were, inspiration...
“I haven’t got any condoms!” I blurted out. Mortified, I clapped a hand over my mouth. I could almost feel the breeze of the stable door slamming shut as the horse flicked its tail in contempt and cantered merrily down the street.
Sean was laughing at me. “Okay, unexpected but to the point. I like that in a bloke.”
Oh God. “I mean, I thought . . . Just in case we . . . Not that I was making any presumptions, that would be, um, presumptuous. And I wouldn’t want to, well, presume . . .”
Robert is such an adorable geek and narrator Mark Steadman just nails the Britishness of this book.
This book was a bit disappointing for me. I guess that's the problem when authors have set the bar really high in the past like Mary Calmes has. Readers get spoiled ;-)
My issues with this one were with the MCs, which is never a good thing.
Since Mitch left many years ago, Hagen has been to war and back and is now living a quite existence in his hometown. He starts a friends with benefits thing with Ash which takes up a lot of page time. I was ok with Hagen so far, but when Ash wants more, Hagen just waffles, refuses any clear statements, and is generally just insanely annoying.
And then there is Mitch who was a total douche when he left back then. Hagen does get the apology eventually, but it takes way too long. And until then, Mitch basically waltzes in with an arrogance that made me want to slap him, portraying himself as the top prize in life's lottery. Yuck!
Saving it a bit was - as always - Greg Tremblay and little bits of dialog like this:
“I want the words. Gimme the goddamn words,” he rasped before catching his breath. I had never heard such desperation from him, not ever.
“You always push.”
“You can’t just—”
“I can and I will because you’re my one shot at the forever thing and we both know it. It has to be you, Hage. It was always you.”
I finished this two days ago and I am still surprised at how I am left with such a positive overall impression considering how much I loathed Chase and his actions throughout most of it.
Based on what is already in the blurb, it’s hardly spoilerish to mention that Chase spends most of this book cheating on his girlfriend. And for some reason the mere fact that there was cheating didn’t bother me as much as it generally does. No idea how Amy Lane managed that?!
What does bother me in general, and in Chase’s case in particular, is the idea of a closeted gay man stringing an unsuspecting girlfriend along for years. And we don’t even get any justification from her being a bitch or a bad person in any way. On the contrary, Chase constantly goes on about how she is the sweetest, kindest person ever who deserves so much better. And yet, even though he himself is miserable, even though Tommy loves him and wants to be with him and even though Mercy deserves better, it does not occur to him even once that there is a very simply solution to making things better for everyone.
Apparently Chases many hangups and his inability to break up with his girlfriend are all rooted in various issues locked inside his brain and dating all the way back to his childhood. This is all really well done but as much as I believe that childhood trauma can affect a person throughout the rest of their lives, I still did not buy it as an explanation let alone an excuse for how Chase treated the people who love him.
So why is it that I still think Chase is a nice guy and I still loved this book? One of life’s mysteries, I guess. And Sean Crisden, of course. Let’s not forget him – totally awesome job on the narration.