I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Released: March 31 2020
“Forget romantic, it’s just not right.”
~ Under the Covers
I was super excited to read this book because it’s been getting a ton of rave reviews. I’m always up for finding a new m/m/ author to fall in love with. That being said, sadly, this book was far too different than what I was expecting and it literally made me angry while reading it. So here I find myself having to write a ranty review that I hate doing and I’ll try and be as spoiler free as possible except for a few things that I have to mention to be able to talk about what bothered me. And I should be clear that I seem to be in the minority on my feelings about this book.
Our two main protagonists are Grant and Oliver. Grant is a man in his 40s who has spent most of his life living off his wife. He doesn’t have a career, or much prospects for making a decent living, so when his wife leaves him finally he quickly finds himself without a job and homeless. And if it wasn’t enough, to kick him when he’s down he meets Oiver. An eccentric artist and wannabe life coach who helps people of the island where he lives solve or talk through their problems. Meanwhile, he doesn’t seem to have his own life all together either.
I didn’t fall in love with the writing style from the very beginning, so getting into the book was hard from the start. It felt choppy. I thought that was the reason why I wasn’t connecting to the main character, Grant. But it quickly became apparent I wasn’t connecting with him because he is just quite rude and had very few redeeming qualities. But what put me over the edge is Oliver. Here we have Grant, homeless, a man that is completely down on his luck and struggling. And where Oliver is in a position to help him, he takes on a power play role of Mr. Fix It and thinks he knows best. He makes Grant complete assignments to get help with his basic needs (like access to a bucket of water, or later on a shower). The whole interview process was almost enough to make me throw up. I couldn’t believe I was reading it right. It was so off putting and frankly despicable human behavior. No one needs to be treated in the way Oliver was playing with Grant when he was in such a vulnerable position, taking advantage of him even. Forget romantic, it’s just not right. At the same time he’s lusting after Grant, spying on him, and also contemplating getting together with his long time fuck buddy for most of the book. I mean, I didn’t see the romance here at all.
I had to speed read through about 60% of this book because the feelings of anger and discomfort where too much. But I’m giving it 2 stars mainly because of character development. We do get to see Grant grow throughout this book. But that’s certainly not enough for me to feel any different about any of the points I mentioned earlier. This book definitely has left a bad taste in my mouth. It was my first time reading Alice Archer and I’m very hesitant to pick up another book by her now.
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