My rating: 2of 5 stars
Received: ARC provided by Netgalley
Publication Date: January 25th 2016
Publisher:Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Point of View: First Person (Andy)
Genres & Themes: MM Romance, LGBTQ+, Contemporary, Hate to Lovers)
It only takes a touch to shatter the line between hate and love.
Andy genuinely tried to be happy when his best friend, Dimitry, decided to marry his on-again-off-again Bulgarian boyfriend, Alexei—a beautiful problem case who’s obviously using Dimitry to get a green card. When Dimitry admits only days later that it’s over between him and the little gypsy jerk, Andy can barely contain his pleasure.
Then Andy’s boss announces he’s hired a new waiter. A real firecracker. When Alexei walks through the club’s door, Andy is completely unprepared to work with the man he blames for Dmitry’s broken heart.
In spite of himself, Andy becomes captivated by Alexei the musician, the singer—the man who still carries a light inside him despite his dark past. But Alexei’s time is quickly running out, and his health is fading fast. Though the love growing between them gets brighter every day, Alexei will soon have no choice but to return home to Bulgaria.
Unless Andy can convince him that home is waiting for him—right here in his arms.
Warning: Contains a bartender who thinks he’s got his enemy categorized as neatly as a row of shot glasses…until his heart is straight-up shaken and stirred by love.
A blurb like that leaves you wanting. It definitely left me wanting to be approved for this ARC, it left me wanting for all kinds of spark and excitement and thrills. It left me wanting for one hell of a book where the MC falls in love for his best friend’s ex boyfriend, one that he in fact hated. It was a recipe for a perfect smutty read, the recipe for one great book. Instead, it left me bereft. It missed the mark by way more than a mile.
In Tumblr, there’s this stories that people write as ‘a wild ride from beginning to end,’ because the stories are just plain crazy from the beginning and get even crazier as you read on that by the end the story that began with a little girl stealing pringles from Walmart ends up at the police station crying. This novel read as such, except it wasn’t as entertaining as those Tumblr excerpts because the story was way too ridiculous to enjoy.
I don’t even know how to write this review, because I wouldn’t know how to begin or explain everything that happened and just left me in speechless. And not in a good way, by the way.I won’t give a play by play, because this a review not a critique.
At the first sign of rather weirdness, I’ll say, I dismissed it, because I really wanted to enjoy the book. I was waiting for the rocky start to pass, and move on to Alexei and Andy falling in hate love with each other. The ‘haters-to-lovers- trope is one of my favorite tropes, just look how much I love Captive Prince which is the best novel that trope could embody and have as a perfect example to how it should build and transition.
“Why would a man who has a boyfriend like Dimitry want to end his life? Are they really as happy as they seem?”
This line was the first sign of hmmm, what’s going on, because: 1. What does having a boyfriend have to do with how he feels. 2. Andy was angry because he had tried to kill himself. Like super angry, kind of hate. 3. He was going on about that had been a shitty thing to do to Dimitry. I dismissed it, because outside people find that the semblance of perfect life should be the true representation, so I was okay he’s an outsider, fine, whatever.
Then everything was just too much for me. Dimitry is supposed to be this therapist guy, and Andy goes on how he’s such a nice guy, but then in the next scene he’s an asshole, then he claims to love Alexei, and then not really, then yes, and no, and it’s this crazy ride about a person I never got a good read on. Then as for Alexei, a guy who in the blurb was described as having a light despite his past. Such a lie. He was always angry, and he didn’t have a definite, 3D personality. He felt flat and a caricature of this tragic past kind of guy who is jaded and changed. I never did see his light until the perhaps the last sentence of the book.
As for Andy, first he kind of cared for his boyfriend Quinn, then he liked Dimitry, then Alexei. But the way everything transition was just so forced and unbelievable and came from left field that I couldn’t be happy when it happened. I didn’t even see chemistry between them. Then everything that happened with Quinn and his ex-wife, and the whole ordeal and him coming back to apologize, then show him how much he missed him? Ew.
“Yeah, well I’m a girl.” Michelle gives me a hard look. It’s different.”
This was about their mother leaving, and his sister tries to say it hurt her more. My note during that chapter was, “wtf?”
Everything and every character in this book was all over the place. I couldn’t trust anything, and I knew that what appeared as good, then was going to be shown to be bad and out of character, but then be back to it.
The angst, the resolved, the ending, none of it left me satisfied or angry or emotional. I wasn’t numb to it or anything. I was indifferent, because I couldn’t sympathize or connect or pretty much anything with any character. I think that Jack (another one that came from left field) was the only normal seeming person.
Despite that I did find some of quotes that I quite liked:
“Quinn has named the color calling for rain again.”
“He delivers the lines like he wrote them himself.”
“Because to the lonely, the world is full of families and friends, and when you don’t have anybody to lead on, you don’t want to let anyone know you’re always a push from falling.”
And then a quote that left me cringing:
“His hand goes wet inside.”
In all, I can’t recommend this novel, but who am I to tell you not to read it. So go forth and check it out and tell me if I’m the only feeling kind of “what in the world” type of emotion.
I’ve opened up a RedBubble account and would love it if you check it out!