[696]: Wait For It by M.O’Keefe

From sizzling chemistry to boring compatibility.


Wait For It
by Molly O’Keefe

Tiffany and Blake’s meet cute wasn’t so cute. It was contemptuous to start, possibly even explosive. It’s the reason why I was chomping at the bit to read this installment. Because there’s no other romantic device I love more than the enemies-to-lovers trope.

By the first few pages, it was not as earth-shattering as I’d hoped for, unfortunately.

Blake has had to clean up for his brother all their lives. Phil was very good at leaving a trail of brokenhearted, and more often, abused women in his wake. So when Tiffany and her kids came into the picture, he was there with a cheque book ready to buy her off so they may disappear from their lives. Thinking of her kids and the need to flee her abusive husband, Tiffany took the money and ran towards a fresh start. Only it didn’t last long as Phil found them again picking up where he left off.

So the explosive meeting between Tiffany and Blake fizzled practically from the very start of this book. Which is disappointing because that was the main draw for me. It was like meeting two different characters. I can say, however, that separately, Tiffany and Blake are admirable in their own ways. But as a couple, I thought they went from having sizzling chemistry to boring compatibility.

It’s when they added sex into the mix that did it for me. Tiffany has all but lost her libido during the course of her married life with Phil and who could blame her? Phil was verbally and physically abusive so any inkling to indulge in carnal activities left her feeling cold. Blake thinks he can light up her fire again (and he did). But the sex, I found, was gratuitous and awkward at times so I didn’t find it steamy to say the least.

 The underlying lesson of this book is that you can’t buy everything; not happiness, not love, and especially not trust. Blake had to find that out himself. Though he had very good intentions, his method of atoning for his brother’s sins was messed up. You can’t erase traumatic memories of abuse and desolation by money. Tiffany was the hard lesson that he had to learn. Tiffany had some learning she had to do as well. Mostly, independence and courage. This installment could’ve been good but I had a hard time digesting the sexual dynamics between these two. Frankly, it left me feeling cold.

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[693]: The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer

Bella Swan has left the building.


The Chemist
by Stephenie Meyer

Stephenie Meyer has had years to come up with a book that will make her relevant again. The Host, a futuristic utopian novel, gave us a glimpse of what it would be like if she distanced herself from YA and into the alleys of Adult Science Fiction. That book was a winner. I don’t care what anyone says. I don’t care if you’re a seasoned reader of Sci-Fi and you’re scoffing at me right now because of my statement. The Host was phenomenal. I was chomping at the bit and waiting patiently for her next novel. So with nary a fanfare, The Chemist stole into our shelves quietly. And in my case, at the airport bookstore on my way to San Diego.

Unfortunately, this is one of those instances where I got excited for a whole lot of nothing. Because with all its promise of “a gripping page-turner,” this was an absolute snoozer. As much as I’m a big fan of protagonists on the run from big, bad government, Alex didn’t incite any thrills as one that goes by her days looking over shoulders.

Ms. Meyer also failed to show me all the hows and the whys Alex found herself the subject of ire by the very people she worked for. If she was as good a chemical torturer that she made herself to be, why then would her bosses want to get rid of her? How did she become a liability? And then, out of nowhere, they wanted her back in the fold. I smell a setup.

Her reinstatement had her tailing a man who was going to unleash a deadly virus to the American public. But soon she’ll find out that it was only a cover up for something much bigger. Predictably enough, a romance developed between her and her victim (yawn). One of the things that frustrated me while reading this book was I couldn’t, for the life of me, figure out why in the hell would this man fall in love with her when she caused him immeasurable pain?! It was one of the most fucked up Stockholm Syndrome romance if there ever was one. It was at this time when I realized, man or woman, I don’t like reading about doormat characters. Bella Swan drew flak for her passiveness in Twilight. And while I commend Ms. Meyer for the role reversal of sorts in this book, I really couldn’t stand how weepy and eviscerated the male character was (name’s not coming to me at the moment). A classic case of an inexplicable instant-love.

Not to worry, though. All is not lost. You’ll fall in love with the German Shepards trained as lethal but loveable guard dogs. You’ll probably wonder if Alex sells her poison-laced jewelry at the home shopping network. You’ll probably even find Alex’s no non-sense attitude charming, provided that you don’t find her cold and calculating while she’s inflicting pain on her victims. But she’s smart, and she’s not all, kill, kill, kill. Underneath her hard exterior lay a conscience – which is inconvenient for an assassin like her. If you ever thought that Twilight was too passionate or too romantic, you’ll more than likely consider The Chemist the exact opposite.

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[691]: The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

Squabbling siblings, family drama, and the inheritance that will either bind them closer or pull them further apart.


For what its worth, The Nest was an easy book to digest. It took me a day or so – tops to finish reading. But for all its promises of  a “warm and funny” read, this book was everything but.

Perhaps it’s that I couldn’t, for the life of me, sympathize with the financial plights and exploits each one of them were going through. Or maybe it’s because I see myself commiting the same blunder upon knowing that they’re bound to receive a big winfall  (spend the money before I even get my share). Whatever it was, it just didn’t do much for me.

After the death of the Plumb patriarch, the siblings learned of an inheritance that will come once the youngest (Melody) turns 40. Over the years, and through the conscientious effort of the family lawyer, the inheritance grew to a ridiculous amount. But in just one night, the money all but disappeared. The Nest, in essence, is the story of a family who depended way too much on this inheritance that when they realize there’s barely any left, watched their own families and relationships fall into ruin. It’s a cautionary tale about what comes of spending the money before you even have it in your possession. While the  inheritance was growing into a vast fortune, the siblings were accumulating debts left and right.

I’ve read my fair share of books containing themes of “rich people problems”. Some of them are ridiculous and funny, and most are honest and trite. The Nest, I found, was uninspiring. The wry, self-deprecating humour I’ve come to expect from rich people dealing with their dysfunctional problems just wasn’t there. If anything, this book’s supposed “underlying” serious tones overpowered what was meant to be a funny read.

But the good thing about this book is the author’s choice of setting. What would be a more perfect backdrop for a group of cynical people than New York City? The hub of success and failure; affluence and slum; culture and society’s decline. It’s very diverse, alive and full of character in itself.  It’s manic and somehow perfect in a way that parallels the Plumb’s anxiety for their troubling future.

I did, however, find that they were very forgiving of Leo (the oldest) even if he was the selfish prick who ruined marriages and lives. And in that sense, I guess the great message of this book is that you can’t pick and choose whom to love. Family is family, and no matter how much you want to smother your sibling in their sleep, the thought of wearing an orange jumpsuit gives you nightmares for days to come.

 

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[686]: Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood

28588073
Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood
Knofp Canada | October 11th, 2016
Source: Paperback ARC from publisher
Adult Fiction
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars


When Felix is deposed as artistic director of the Makeshiweg Theatre Festival by his devious assistant and longtime enemy, his production of The Tempest is canceled and he is heartbroken. Reduced to a life of exile in rural southern Ontario—accompanied only by his fantasy daughter, Miranda, who died twelve years ago—Felix devises a plan for retribution.

Eventually he takes a job teaching Literacy Through Theatre to the prisoners at the nearby Burgess Correctional Institution, and is making a modest success of it when an auspicious star places his enemies within his reach. With the help of their own interpretations, digital effects, and the talents of a professional actress and choreographer, the Burgess Correctional Players prepare to video their Tempest. Not surprisingly, they view Caliban as the character with whom they have the most in common. However, Felix has another twist in mind, and his enemies are about to find themselves taking part in an interactive and illusion-ridden version of The Tempest that will change their lives forever. But how will Felix deal with his invisible Miranda’s decision to take a part in the play?


This is Margaret Atwood’s interpretation of The Tempest for the Hogarth Shakespeare series. I’ve been trying to keep pace with every instalment and have made it my goal to read all the books. The operative word here is “try”. As in I’ve tried reading Shylock is My Name by Howard Jacobson but I had a rough time. I had to set it aside, unfortunately. I’ve mentioned it before that the reason why I was excited about this series of books is because it allows plebian readers such as myself to appreciate Shakespeare indirectly. Kinda like osmosis. We all know Shakespeare has his own trademarked language; one that’s hard to interpret. So these books are heaven-sent.

BUT. But. Margaret Atwood’s and Howard Jacobson’s contributions left me floundering. Their writing chops went beyond my comprehension which is so depressingly bad. How am I supposed to elevate my reading and comprehension skills if I can’t follow along with their writing? Atwood and Jacobson are a couple of prolific and award-winning writers. I feel awful for not being able to enjoy their takes on Shakespeare’s The Tempest and Merchant of Venice, respectively. Gah.

In any case, Hag-Seed follows the story of Felix Phillips; the aritistic director of a Shakespeare company who suddenly found himself out of a job. He was, for the most part, a difficult person to work for. He’s eccentric, with an unorthodox method of directing a play. When he was unceremoniously relieved of his job, he goes into hiding. He bided his time for 12 years; planning, scheming until he can go back to doing what he loved.

When an opportunity arises in the form of teaching literacy to inmates, he grabbed at the chance and spun it in a way that he can teach and direct at the same time. It was brilliant, really. His chance at revenge to the same production company that wronged him.

I really wanted to like this. Ultimately, and as much as I can appreciate why Atwood is a genius, her writing went over my head. I’m embarrassed to admit that. But I have accumulated a small selection of her books.  She has a mastery of language all on her own – which was a problem of mine with Shakespeare’s work, to begin with. No matter how beautiful her prose is, I’m not the right reader for her books. It also doesn’t help that I’m not familiar with The Tempest. There is something wholly intricate about it that bears studying. Given time, I think I will be able to catch up. Unfortunately, that’s not today, and it’s not this book.

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[683]: Blow by Heidi McLaughlin

29092770
Blow by Heidi McLaughlin
Series: Virtuous Paradox, #1
Loveswept | November 8th, 2016
Source: Publisher via Net Galley
Adult Fiction | Romance | Erotica
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars


Bodhi McKnight has always had everything handed to him on a silver platter: fame, success, money, girls. The raven-haired, blue-eyed hottie is the son of Hollywood A-listers, and when he’s asked to join the boy band Virtuous Paradox, his star shoots even higher. But so do expectations, leading Bodhi down a destructive path of addiction—until a drop-dead gorgeous guardian angel shows him her sizzling brand of tough love.

When Bodhi ends up in rehab, he doesn’t expect to meet someone as cool and down-to-earth as Kimberly Gordon. Although he’s enjoyed the company of beautiful, charming women before, none of them have tried to get to know the “real” Bodhi. But Kimberly isn’t fazed by his stardom. She’d rather go horseback riding, teach Bodhi to play guitar, or ask him about his feelings. Soon Bodhi realizes he’s fallen head over heels for her. He just hopes that he’s strong enough to protect what they have from all the pressures and temptations of the outside world.


I usually stay away from books with detailed drug use. My stomach can’t handle the deliberate physical and mental destruction the characters put themselves through. When I got the notification from Loveswept about this book, I was instantly filled with dread; and with a title like, “Blow”, I sort of had a sense of what I was signing up for. I’ve read quite a few of Heidi’s books in the past and have enjoyed them for the most part. Unfortunately, and in my humblest opinion, I found this to be not of her usual writing.

Blow is a series opener about your atypical rock band romance (of the sex, drugs and rock & roll variety). I’ve read a number of them in my lifetime because I’m a fan. They’re my go-to when I’m in need of a quick, fun read. That’s why I didn’t hesitate to download a copy but as I’ve said, this was not of her usual caliber. The one glaring thing about this book was the relationship. It went from 0-60 right off the bat. And while I generally don’t have a problem with that, I had a problem with them using each other. I mean, Kim should’ve known better. As a caregiver/assistant therapist/counselor, she knew that a relationship with a patient is wrong. Heck, some therapists don’t even recommend a relationship soon after a stint in a rehab period. So for her to jump right in didn’t sit well with me.

Bodhi was only too weak to resist, of course. He ignored his doctor’s advise and gave in to the basest of his instinct. In the real world, theirs was the kind of relationship that has disastrous implications. But since this was fiction, of course they found a way to work through it.

The characters seem to have dichotomous personalities as well. There’s the calm exterior that they use in public that becomes explosive once unleashed. I found it weird. But I suppose their characterizations are very realistic in that way. We all have a front that we let others to see. This couldn’t be any truer with Kim and Bodhi.

Over all, I think I’d like to follow this series despite my misgivings. I’ve only known Heidi for her M/M romance, so this being of the hetero variety is a novelty for me. I’m looking forward to knowing the rest of the band and whomever else Heidi has in store for us.

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[679]: Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland

28186273 Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland
G.P. Putnam’s Sons | October 4th, 2016
Source: Publisher | ARC Paperback
Young Adult Fiction | Contemporary
Rating 3 out of 5 Stars


Henry Page has never been in love. He fancies himself a hopeless romantic, but the slo-mo, heart palpitating, can’t-eat-can’t-sleep kind of love that he’s been hoping for just hasn’t been in the cards for him—at least not yet. Instead, he’s been happy to focus on his grades, on getting into a semi-decent college and finally becoming editor of his school newspaper. Then Grace Town walks into his first period class on the third Tuesday of senior year and he knows everything’s about to change.

Grace isn’t who Henry pictured as his dream girl—she walks with a cane, wears oversized boys’ clothes, and rarely seems to shower. But when Grace and Henry are both chosen to edit the school paper, he quickly finds himself falling for her. It’s obvious there’s something broken about Grace, but it seems to make her even more beautiful to Henry, and he wants nothing more than to help her put the pieces back together again. And yet, this isn’t your average story of boy meets girl. Krystal Sutherland’s brilliant debut is equal parts wit and heartbreak, a potent reminder of the bittersweet bliss that is first love.


It could’ve been so good; there were flashes of brilliance, sure. But they were quickly dulled by half-formed characters who deceptively sounded larger than life. Moreover, these characters easily fit in the pages of a John Green novel: quick-witted, obnoxiously smart however physically flawed. But the story took forever to come to life, and I wouldn’t have minded it if the book offered more.

Grace Town is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.

Truthfully, readers don’t really get to know Grace Town. Her past defined her as a character and we don’t see anything else but her visceral, all-encompassing grief. She didn’t apologize for not being able to give more of herself or her heart to Henry, and because Henry was so smitten, he didn’t ask for what he deserved. If you haven’t read this book, be warned that this is a disastrous kind of love story. Though, that’s hardly a spoiler since it said so on the back of the book.

On the other hand, Henry narrating the book might be the reason why we don’t get to know Grace. Grief and debilitating guilt are all we know about her. But it’s really tough to connect to a grieving character when we don’t their history. And that is what I struggled the most about Our Chemical Hearts. I think I spent most of the time waiting for the story to develop. The majority of the book focused on Henry and his inexplicable attraction to Grace. He was drawn by her enigma and the more she kept him at arm’s length, the harder it was for him to resist. Overall, this was not an insightful book about grief. I think it would be more effective if this was told in Grace’s perspective.

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[661]: Air Awakens by Elise Kova

23127048 Silver Wing Press | August 27th, 2015
Series: Air Awakens, #1
Paperback, 377 pp.
New Adult | Fantasy
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars


A library apprentice, a sorcerer prince, and an unbreakable magic bond…

The Solaris Empire is one conquest away from uniting the continent, and the rare elemental magic sleeping in seventeen-year-old library apprentice Vhalla Yarl could shift the tides of war.

Vhalla has always been taught to fear the Tower of Sorcerers, a mysterious magic society, and has been happy in her quiet world of books. But after she unknowingly saves the life of one of the most powerful sorcerers of them all—the Crown Prince Aldrik—she finds herself enticed into his world. Now she must decide her future: Embrace her sorcery and leave the life she’s known, or eradicate her magic and remain as she’s always been. And with powerful forces lurking in the shadows, Vhalla’s indecision could cost her more than she ever imagined.


I wish I can join in the furor left in the wake of this little indie book. For the record, I like the idea of an apprentice slowly coming to terms with her supposed powerful magic. But I was frustrated with Vhalla. She was stubborn in such a way that she refused to embrace her powers. Nothing wrong with grandstanding as long as you have the balls to back it up. In the end, it wasn’t all the root cause of why I didn’t quite enjoy this book. At times, I wanted to shriek in frustration because for all the talks of her being the most powerful and rare, I never saw it. The readers was only given a second-hand account of it. She was always unaware of what she was doing when she was unleashing her power. It was very irritating.

What the heck is a Windwalker, anyway?

What is her power? It annoys me that after finishing the first book, I still hadn’t a clue as to what she can do. Can she fly? Can she summon wind? I wish that I didn’t have to read the next set of books to learn the scope and breadth of her power. If I’d learned of what she can do in Air Awakens, I’d be one-clicking the entire series faster than you can say, next! 

Technicalities

The pacing didn’t bother me either way. The lack of consistency wasn’t as annoying as I’d expected it to be. This is one of those times when I wasn’t interested in what happened to the characters or the story either way. I was going through the motions and was just racing to get to the end. Which is a clear indication that it was all over before the crying! I kind of knew how it would end but that didn’t stave off my frustration somehow. As far as series opening goes, this was the kind of introduction that I wasn’t a fan of. Because instead of whetting my appetite for the rest of the books, it incited a general lack of interest.

In Retrospect

Three stars for world-building and plot; and for a slow-burn romance that I could’ve enjoyed reading come to a fruition. Overall, this is not the fantasy I was looking for. Sorry.

 

 

 

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[655]: Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler

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Knopf Canada | June 21st, 2016 | Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars


The latest in the Hogarth Shakespeare series is Anne Tyler’s interpretation of The Taming of the Shrew. I’ve looked forward to reading this book ever since I’ve heard of this all-star endeavour. The Taming of the Shrew is a personal favourite of mine because of Katherine. To me, she’s the queen of ball-busting sarcasm and witty repertoire. And even if it took me several tries before I got her zings due to Bill’s usage of the old language, I know that for every Elizabeth Bennetts in the literary world, there lives a version of Katherine Minola underneath.
Vinegar Girl is loosely based on this Shakespeare comedy. There was no bet to get Kate to go out with Pyotr. Instead, we have her father trying to marry her off so he could keep working with him for the good of Science. Bunny is as superficial as Bianca was but still somehow managed to show some sister love in her own way. Kate’s family (which consists of her father and Bunny) are two of the most selfish creatures I’ve ever known who can’t function without Kate’s coddling. Their father is one of those poor clueless characters whose life’s primary focus is to Science. His knowledge of raising two daughters is severely lacking which left the burden of  keeping house to the older Baptista. Despite the way he underappreciated Kate’s value, I like their father-daughter dynamics. It was endearing with an underlying sadness attributable to the missing mother who died or disappeared or left (I can’t remember. Sorry.).
Kate, for the most part, was an interesting character. She’s stuck taking care of everybody; a push-over who hates her job (she’s a teacher’s assistant) but loves being with the children. Because in some way, they understood her. She goes with the flow and is easily accepting of her family’s failures. She wasn’t the admirable version of Katherine Minola for the majority of the book for sure. She grew a backbone eventually once she realizes she can’t always set aside her wants for the sake of her family.
As far as the romance goes, it’s barely there and I didn’t mind it a bit. Pyotr is a Russian Scientist who got to know Kate through her father’s – for lack of a better word – “pimping”. I found him adorable in his own way. He turns his less than stellar command of the English language into a comedic schtick.
I didn’t see the development of their relationship, to be honest. Anne Tyler doesn’t like showing too much, and while it wasn’t a sudden thing, I would’ve appreciated knowing  the exact moment when Kate realizes Pyotr could be the man for her (not that she was looking. She was forced into it – kind of.).
Vinegar Girl is a far cry from the original, for sure. But I like that Anne Tyler retold the story that it came off a bit more realistic and modern than the original. She gave Vinegar Girl her voice, her stamp, as it were. It wasn’t what I was expecting, but I appreciate it, nonetheless.
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[648]: Assholes: A Theory of Donald Trump by Aaron James


Double Day Canada | May 3rd, 2016 | 3 out of 5 Stars


 DISCLAIMER:

All right, then. Just so you know, this might be a bit ranty. I’m going to try my best to be objective and try to stick to the point of the book. Also, if you’re a fan of this orange dimwit, you might want to skip reading this rant review. Because I can’t promise you that my feelings will not get in the way of delivering you a fair review.

“We are not asking whether Trump is, in fact, an asshole. On this much, there seems to be a broad consensus.”

In this essay, Aaron James aims to classify just how big of an asshole Donald Trump is. You can say that he is a bit of an expert. He studied assholes of different sorts in his previous work, after all. Mostly, he wanted to study how he is still managing to gain the votes of the right-wing America regardless of the foul garbage that comes out of his pie hole.

“Indeed, to many of his supporters, this may be his primary selling point.”

If there is such a thing as a charming asshole, Donald Trump is it – at least, to his supporters. They take his blatant disregard for TRUTH and pass them off of courage to speak what they are thinking. As if a racist bigot would be the answer to the  political reform America so badly needed. To his supporters, the truth doesn’t matter. You can cite facts, statistics, and educated findings till the cows come home; you can tell them that Trump doesn’t have any concrete policies – domestic or foreign –  to speak of but instead uses words that paint himself in egotistical grandeur, and still you will not be able to convince them otherwise. There is something about him that calls to their inner racist – which makes America a very scary place at the moment, to be honest.

“Can you trust an asshole?”

But if there’s anything I’ve learned from the current electoral race, is that America should be pleased for doing you a solid. For this, I agree with James. Because ever since he came out of his hole, a legion of hateful citizens has come out of the woodwork. Nowadays, social media sites have become the battleground for the ignorant Populi who supports him,  the lucid right who thinks GOP can do better, and the liberal. Since the spread of the orange disease, I’ve had to unfriend a few people on Facebook. I cannot believe I’ve been interacting with people who carry that much hate against whoever Trump was targeting on any given day. Some would disagree with me for unfriending people just because they support Trump. But my stance is, I cannot have you spewing that garbage on my timeline. So yes, in some ways, I’m pleased that he exposed the ugliness that most of us have hidden over the years. And I live in Canada! I can only imagine how fraught things have been for you in America.

I’ve been reading books practically all my life. I’ve loved more than I despised. I find that the deciding factor for my reading experience is how fondly I enjoy reading about the character. And it was tough to write an unbiased opinion if you have the satan incarnate himself as the topic. As I was writing this drivel, the Senate rejected the gun reform that will prevent suspected terrorists from buying high-powered weapons.  And I’m livid. Therefore, my thoughts are all over the place. But mostly, I want to shake every single one of his supporters and yell at them in the face: for the love of your country, wake the fuck up. This blatant hatred is not what you need right now. Vote out those that are in the NRA’s pockets. I know I shouldn’t care. I know I’m not an American. But I’m a citizen of the world. I can’t help but feel for the victims of these senseless killings.

In retrospect, I think you should read another person’s review of this book. Because while Aaron James may have reached a conclusion to the kind of asshole Trump is, my opinion remains unchanged. Trump is, and always will be an asshole who do not belong in the White House.

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[630]: Beta Test by Annabeth Albert

27286868 Series: Gaymers, #2
Carina Press | May 30th, 2016
Source: Net Galley via Publisher
LGBTQIA | Adult Fiction | Romance
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars


Ravi Tandel is ahead of the game. He’s a top video game developer and he just got asked to present a top-secret project at a huge gaming conference in Seattle. All systems are a go…until he learns his office nemesis is coming along for the ride. Player vs. Player. Fight!

Newly minted MBA Tristan Jones doesn’t seem like the gaming type but he knows the business inside-out. Together, they’ll give an awesome presentation – they just have to survive the cross-country trip. Ravi’s opinion of Tristan is rebooted when he discovers a softer side to the conservative charmer and a new tension builds between them.

Despite their best efforts to keep it casual, things heat up quickly. Tristan is hiding his true self for fear of what his parents might think. Ravi knows that feeling all too well, but he didn’t disconnect from his family years ago only to hide who he is now. To be together, Tristan has to push past his fear and ultimately decide, does he want a future with Ravi? Or is it game over?


The second instalment to Annabeth Albert’s Gaymers series is pretty much what you would expect if you have any familiarity with the first book. It features a romance between two people who would have to answer a question about personal sacrifices. Nothing earth-shattering, mind you. Just what the other would give up for them to be together.

Their relationship wasn’t one of those flash fire types. It was a slow build due to the professional competitiveness they had towards one another. Though they admired each other’s work ethics, they were after peer recognition since they were both newbies at the company.  One can’t help but notice the telltale differences between the two, though. While Ravi was a social butterfly liked by many, Tristan took a while to warm up to anyone. He’s a deliberate person who comes off aloof.

Ravi is an out and proud artist whose family tentatively embraced him being gay. And on the other hand, you have Tristan Jones who comes from a conservative upbringing with a political background and whose parents threatened to cut off financial support should he flaunt his sexual identity. He lives in a very organized world so being with Ravi threw him in a loop.  In the end, Tristan would have to make a choice; one that’s as difficult as it is freeing.

Overall, I enjoyed this book; it was relatively angst-free. But, unfortunately, unremarkable. I just didn’t make a stronger connection with the characters here as I did in Status Update. I still would like to see the rest of this series, though.

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