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.
...maybe you'll climb out of it at some point but the smart ones drive off the bridge right at the beginning.
Oh, wow. That turned out more meta than I intended.
Anyhoo. The first chapter is called The Bridge, it's only two pages long and it's the only good chapter in this book of 521 pages. There were a handful of good observations or amusing passages here or there, but nothing resembling a coherent, well written, good story. And I wasted all three weeks of my holiday reading it. So. Boring.
I have an itch to read The Handmaid's Tale at some point, so I won't say I won't be reading Atwood ever again. But it's a close thing.
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.
...but not to me.
This is one of those books where the characters are good, the story is decent—as decent as is possible with any simple fairytale—the worldbuilding is quite interesting and it's original enough to make anew something old. Sure the writing is a bit too descriptive for my taste but that's often the case with fantasy books. The ending is engaging enough that I practically devoured the last 25% mostly because I'd become to care about the characters by then.
And yet, I'm not moved beyond three stars.
There was too much slogging through in the beginning and too many times I stopped to wonder why Frederick and Charlotte hadn't been caught yet. I just couldn't connect.
Maybe if this had been a fantasy novel with romantic elements instead of a genre romance with fantasy elements the rating would be higher.