Running commentary, spoilers, and complaints ahead. The first three were originally posted on my running commentary Tumblr.
Chasing Mr. Wright (Book 1)
Rundown: Grayson has been with the same guy for the last ten years and it stopped being fun a while ago. Chase is guarded from past hurts and does everything he can to keep history from repeating itself. When they meet for the first time, it’s probably under the worst circumstances you could imagine. Chase dashes off, but they run into each other again and again.
♂ This is not my kind of book, I can tell by the cover, but I wanted to try something different to see if I could be surprised. Ha!
♂ So even if this book was going to be a total dud, I had to read the whole thing. I was compelled. The most amazing horrible, unbelievable, indescribably humiliating thing happened in the first couple pages and I was just…I couldn’t believe it. My jaw dropped and I gasped a little when I realized what was happening it was incredible, horrible…just absolutely horrible, but it made me want to read the rest of the book.
♂ This is definitely a book that was not written with the type of reader I am in mind.
♂ I am disgusted by the term gay best friend.
♂ The dialogue is all a bit cheesy.
♂ Adam and Steve, ha! That’s the bakery Chase works at. Didn’t catch that at first.
♂ The term ass whipping makes me uncomfortable. Ass-whoopin’ sounds so much better. But what makes me even more uncomfortable is men talking to their penis.
♂ This book is ridiculous.
♂ Why Grayson and Preston (his brother) thought it was okay to lie to Chase about why they are calling him to re-offer him the position and that Rosie (Preston’s current assistant) was thought to be a threat to Preston’s pregnant wife so that’s why they were going to switch assistants. Why even go there. Gray and Chase meet because of a lie, so they just want to keep the status quo?
Why do people think that lying is going to get them anything but trouble? I just don’t understand. That was so rude of them to mislead him like that. If they just told him that they really wanted him to be a part of their team and to accommodate the inherent awkwardness, Preston and Gray are going to switch assistants. That’s so much better and a nice boost to Chase’s ego.
Stupid decisions are in spades.
♂ I think it’s weird when people have to convince other people to go out with them.
♂ Grayson is a dick pure and simple. He gets upset with Chase for moving on quickly like he wasn’t trying to and like it was any of his business.
♂ This story is like some kind of teenage fantasy. But like, a fictional, after school special teenager.
♂ What world do these people live in where everybody’s so cozy and familiar after only knowing each other for two or three days?
♂ The day after they were both in the bar flirting, but not with each other, Gray asks Chase why he was flirting in front of him and why he pretended like he was going to take someone else home, so Chase asked him the same thing. And then Gray goes and says that he was doing it because he was upset because Chase was with JJ (Chase’s first of many things from freshman year of uni).
Hold up! That’s just BS, just pure and simple BS. Gray was flirting with the guy before Chase and JJ started. What’s the story with these people and their lies and the author who can’t keep track of her own timeline.
♂ I know that Chase is 6’2″, but I have no idea how tall Gray is, it’s difficult to imagine them doing stuff when I can’t tell where body parts meet.
♂ Oh no, don’t kiss somebody to shut them up! You don’t do that!
♂ I don’t understand their concept of taking things slow. Falling into a soul-melting, dick-hardening kiss on the first date is not taking things slow.
♂ Chase reunites with Xavier (best friend, brother) and Xavier is falling apart. So I get that Grayson wants to be helpful because he sees how much it hurts Chase, so he wants to make whatever the pain is go away, but I think he was just entirely too forward. Xavier is in the middle of falling apart he obviously is not handling whatever is going on well. So, for Gray to speak to him directly, sort of insert himself into the situation…I thought that was uncalled for, unnecessary and inconsiderate. Insensitive, even.
Any comments or questions he had should have been directed to Chase. Because Chase is the link. Gray is a complete outsider regardless of what he can say he knows of him, he is still just a stranger. And when you are a stranger in the middle of a very sort of personal, intimate moment, you hang on the sidelines. You don’t just go insinuate yourself in there. It’s great that you want to help, but he basically should have approached Xavier like he was a scared animal. Looked around, looked for the safe space and work from there. In this case, the safe space is Chase. I just felt really uncomfortable with all of that AND he touch Xavier! The guy is having a meltdown and doesn’t know you from jack!
Of course what happened after was just ridiculous and made all of this fall flat.
♂ The author also can’t seem to keep track of whether or not Gray is older than his brother Preston.
♂ I’m kind of hopscotching through the sex scenes. I don’t know what the mood this book is trying to put me in, but it’s really conducive to me getting into the sex scenes. Not that I ever really get into them, but, you know, I couldn’t take the sort of passion that was supposed to be conveyed. It just isn’t all that interesting. I don’t know…the sex scenes are rather pedestrian.
♂ This is actually book one of a series of six books. I think. I don’t know if the series is complete but I know that there are six books right now. So I’m guessing somewhere in that we’re going to see Jack who is the bar owner of Bottoms Up, the bar that Chase works at. We’re going to see Liam. We might see Mitchell who is the guy who owns the hotel chain that they had to pitch their campaign to at the beginning of the story. Going back to Liam, he’s the new guy at the bar who seems to have a crush on Chase and he seems vaguely familiar to Gray, so we might see some more of that. It hasn’t been touched on yet, not that I’m even at the end of the book at this point but…
Then there’s probably going to be something with Ben and Xavier because for some reason even though Ben was a bit of an arse, Chase thought that he and Xavier might do well together. And Chase is a matchmaker. However there is the guy Deacon who is in Xavier’s band or something who seems to have some additional feelings for Xavier, so we’ll see if something actually becomes of that I think. That would be nice because I think that they’ve known each other for a while I mean they’ve been in a band together, but there’s obviously something there.
♂ Can we all just agree on a ban for the word orbs or describing someone’s eyes as some form of chocolate? Molten chocolate, melting chocolate, milk chocolate, dark chocolate… Can we just stop?
♂ Maybe I’m just too cynical for sap.
♂ So at around the 70% progress mark, Chase has only been working for Wright Creations for less than a month, they win this account and then he gets promoted to ad exec? How? I just don’t understand. He came in as an executive assistant, there for a few days, got called on this emergency trip to LA, they win the contract, and now he’s being promoted to ad exec which leaves them right where they started with this whole mess with Chase in the first place. Because one of the Wright brothers is going to need another executive assistant.
♂ So I just took a peek and it looks like books two, three, and four feature people from this book. Thank goodness these books are all on Kindle Unlimited. I will read them before my free trial ends. I think I am just in the mood to torture myself with nonsense because I almost can’t take these books seriously. Almost might be too generous.
♂ Said with complete sincerity”
Jabbed his happy button.
♂ The worst. The absolute worst. I have no respect for anyone screws up in a relationship and then tries to get them back by making some grand gesture using the people that they know and resources that they shouldn’t in order to convince this person to give them another chance. That is emotional blackmail and bribery. I believe Robin Thicke, yes he wrote a whole album for Paula, his wife, to try to get her back and I’m so glad it didn’t work. It’s disgusting when people do things like that. I just cannot believe in the happily-ever-after that involves that.
Seriously! On work time and using work resources misleading him to go take care of a problem that doesn’t exist. It’s just…it’s so wrong…that is so wrong. So disgusting.
Also how about that they have not even been together all that long? What in the world does this writer think I’m supposed to believe all of this? I was this close to just dropping the story at that point; I really wanted to just let it go, but I decided against that because I had gotten this far. With the review and with all my complaints and everything… to just drop it…it would just feel so dissatisfying for me. So that all happened at about the 93% progress mark, so I pushed on, but I kind of breezed through the part where Gray is getting everything setup because it was just nauseating.
So I’m going to finish it, but I don’t know if I’m going to read the others. Maybe I will read the one about Jack and Liam; that looks interesting.
♂ More like this is just all about more lies more misdirection to get someone to allow you back in their favor. You can’t build a relationship on that kind of nonsense. Besides, if you have to go through so much trouble to convince someone to take you back or give you another chance, what’s to stop them being convinced otherwise by someone else, someone who has already hurt them? I just think it’s ridiculous and unfair to the person who was hurt in the first place. Why, why, why did they have to go through so much in order to make it work? Obviously if you can’t just give them time and space to think about what needs to be addressed, and think about how they hurt and whether or not they can forgive, then it’s just not going to work.
I just don’t trust it. I don’t trust it.
♂ On the other hand–and this is just not even normal for me–but on the other hand… Before Beyonce’s Lemonade, I was strictly against any sort of reconciliation between a couple where one of them cheated. I just could not deal with cheating. That is just a no. End of story. End of the life of that relationship. Done. No more to be said. But I’m watching Lemonade and kind of going through her experiences with that whole situation and seeing that she was able to forgive, and not really her, it was more the emotion there, the struggle, that you can come out on the other side of that sort of situation and rebuild. Of course you have to want to and you should not be forced to or succumb to someone trying to bribe you, but it can happen.
But it does not work for the story–there’s no history there; the work has not been put in. I don’t care that they are so madly in love, they’ve been together, known each other for less than 2 months. What is with this…I don’t understand how there’s supposed to be a foundation built on such shaky ground. I mean, in the world of these books–which are obviously not written for me, not written for my taste, my preferences–but in the world of these books, that all works, so it’s not quite trashy smut, it’s just very sort of…it’s a little too fluffy for me. It’s very happy and bright to begin with, but it’s a little too lightweight for me, so the attempt at such sweeping drama gets totally lost on me. And that the book being is as long as it is, I can’t imagine why…it really didn’t need to be so long. It probably could have done better with, like, 100 less pages. Or a five-chapter 180~ page graphic novel.
♂ Surprise! They got back together. It was just all so neat and tidy to the point that it was nearly grotesque.
♂ I don’t even know what to say about this book in the end.
Well, I’m going to check out the next book, Rhythm of Us, with my cell phone still set on talk-to-text. I’m sorry and thanx for reading.
Rhythm of Us (Book 2)
Rundown: In Chasing Mr. Wright, Xavier (Chase’s brother) came home, running away from his life and band in LA. With barely a word, he left a few weeks later, right after Ava’s (Chase’s BFF) wedding. A year later he comes home for Chase and Gray’s bachelor party. He’s battling a few new demons as well. Ben (Chase’s boss) has been thinking about Xavier ever since they met when Chase invited Xavier to join Ben, Ellie (Xavier’s sister), Gram (their grandmother), and himself for lunch. Ben’s past turned him off of committed relationships and Xavier was in recovery, so he really wasn’t up for getting involved with anyone. There’s definitely something between them, but in addition to now not being a good time, Xavier thinks that Ben is Ellie’s straight pseudo-boyfriend. Something trying hard to resemble drama ensues.
Still trying for something different.
♂ Aimee Nicole Walker (ANW) sure is fond of talking about people’s dicks being so hard that they can do XYZ, like drilling through concrete, hammering a nail, and all sorts of other interesting but not really pleasant things.
♂ The time perspective jumps a little bit in the story, but not like going back and forth in time from past to present… One minute the character seems like they’re talking about something that happened and then a few paragraphs later they’re talking about that same incident but they’re in the middle of it. Seems a little weird.
Also ANW does not seem to be able to keep track of motives behind certain events or actions. Previously Ben said that the first time he and Xavier met, Chase was setting them up and it was a failure, but just now he questioned whether that first meeting was matchmaking attempt or just a coincidence.
♂ These people just gush and gush their feelings at a moment’s notice. It’s disturbing.
♂ You have to read this in that name brand medication commercial voice”
I was confident that I could give him the best blowjob of his life. I just hoped that his piercing wouldn’t come loose and get lodged in my throat, sending me to the ER.
♂ Now, I said that the last story was ridiculous, but some of the dialogue in this one is outrageous I’m talking about Jem level. I am not kidding. I just can’t believe that I read somebody’s grandmother saying:
Come, on Xavier I’m not blind. Ben St. Claire has a pair of cocksucking lips, the likes I’ve never seen before. He has those cheekbones, square jaw and that strong throat that you just know can work a man deep.
♂ Why does everyone in this series want a child?
♂ People do not talk like this.
♂ Some people really need to be punched in the face! No means no! Chase signs Xavier up for karaoke without asking him. So, Xavier was really not into the whole performing thing after coming back from LA. Chase should know this. And even if he didn’t, he knows Xavier has been going through some stuff. Xavier said he didn’t want to get up on stage and Chase and is all please and Xavier was like I’m not about that life anymore, but Chase pulls the BFF/Brother guilt trip. And I just think his teeth should be kicked in for putting pressure on someone who he knows doesn’t need any right now.
♂ So, they talk like they’re recalling an incident they were involved in for an official report.
♂ Liam, from the first book is still getting looks. Both Xaiver and Ben think he seems familiar. He’s going to hook up with Jack, the owner of the bar Chase used to work at. I knew this from the moment Liam was introduced. What if he turns out to be a former porn star who is trying to start over and that’s why people think he seems familiar? Oh, please let that be it!
♂ I’m barely reading the book anymore, just skimming. I’ll skim through the one about Liam and Jack to see if I’m right.
♂ Okay, so it’s not so much that people don’t talk like this, it’s kind of more that these characters don’t have any personality. They’re all bad actors.
♂ And why is Gram (Chase’s grandmother and Xavier’s adopted grandmother) getting married when she doesn’t want to? She said she doesn’t see why she and Lennie need to get married at 70. So he threatens to withhold sex from her unless she marries him. I mean it’s funny and all, but really that’s kind of gross. The bargaining, not the old folks gettin’ it on.
♂ Literal affirmations. Every single action and thought is affirmed. There is no real guess work here. There’s nothing to discover in this story.
♂ Okay, no we’re not going to go there. You don’t need to dress a certain way to feel sexy or not. Also going not going to go there with Gram talking about how she toned down her wardrobe for Lennie. Why is she changing the way she dresses for some man? I don’t get this. The woman is 70 years old. I’m very disappointed.
♂ Can I call it at 82%? So Xavier is in the hospital because Ava, Chases best friend, is having her baby. He leaves the group behind to go get coffee for Chase and Gray and then he sees a little bit of a commotion with people gathering around a TV screen because something has happened. At this point Ben is or should be on a flight home from somewhere on the west coast and I’m sure that whatever is going on on that TV has to do with his playing going down or something or hijacked or something like that which I will accept. I will accept that but if he gets hurt and he loses his memory I’m going to shoot something. It’s probably a death scare. I hate death scares. We’re only at 82% and the story is what it is, so I know Ben isn’t going to die.
♂ I want to rewrite this story; it has some really good elements. Really. It has all the pieces, they’re just not done right. One of the major issues is that it is told in first-person, that is where this thing went left. I think ANW chose first person because she kept getting confused with all the hes and hims flying around in third-person. First-person could work, but ANW does not have the chops for it. I could rewrite it in either.
♂ I’d say you can’t make this stuff up, but ANW obviously did:
My gay stage is what saved me from my fat stage.
♂ It’s just not sexy when it’s all so blatant. Too direct, way too direct.
♂ It’s like step-by-step instructions.
♂ So let’s turn this:
I silently gestured to the kitchen table with my hand indicating that Daniel should have a seat.
Into this (1stP [3rdP]):
Without word or sound, I [he] motioned for Daniel to take a seat at the kitchen table.
It can be done. I want to rewrite the whole story.
Ben placed his hands on my neck in a loving, non-threatening way. I love the comforting weight of his hands on my body.
♂ Name brand medication commercial voice:
I threw back my head and laughed at my brother’s antics. The scowl he aimed my way only made me laugh harder.
He placed his hands gently on my neck, because he knew how much I loved for his touch to replace the bad memories.
♂ Hilarious and creepy out of context. Not that in context changes much:
Ben read a lot about drug addiction and domestic abuse recovery. It was one of the many reasons why I loved him so much.
♂ Bad segue. How do you go from talking about someone’s past possibly including abuse to talking about how they lost someone that they love. So the situation is this. Xavier had a terrible relationship and he suffers from pstd. Being restrained triggers him. JJ put him in a headlock, just being friendly and funny and he started to have a panic attack. So he starts freaking out. Ben to the rescue. He pulled him away, calmed him down. They come out of the bathroom after he settled down and JJ is in the hallway pacing, looking worried, and just feeling bad that he triggered something terrible from Xavier’s past. So from there it goes to JJ apologizing. Xavier says it’s not his fault and he didn’t know. Xavier didn’t even know. JJ pulled him into a hug and told him that he shouldn’t let the memories of the past ruin his future and to take it from someone who lives with regrets daily, fight for what you have because it’s worth it. Then he walks away and then Xavier’s inner monologue is talking about how JJ was talking about Chase because he was in love with him but he can never give him what he wanted and how horrible it must be to see Chase happy with Gray.
How did we get from there to there?
♂ No one talks or thinks like this:
He pulled me into a hug, because it was what the moment called for.
♂ On second thought, maybe not a bad segue, just a badly written one. Maybe whatever kept JJ from committing to Chase is linked to whatever trauma he suffered. I know I’m pages beyond that, but it just occurred to me. The truth will probably be revealed in his book with Miller (Gray’s best friend).
♂ Thus far I’ve refrained from using the word corny to describe anything in this book, but I’ve gotten to the point where I’ve run out of alternate terms. I’m going to break the glass on corny, because this is an effin’ emergency! Ben’s entire conversation/interaction with his dad at his birthday party was corny. It was. Well, there was Jumanji involved, but other than that, corny.
♂ What is this ending? The ending was seriously the worst reveal I’ve ever witnessed. The worst. I can’t believe that ANW ended the story with that. How does she think that that works? And where is the logic for that. Where is the logic with Xavier discovering Liam’s secret? There is nothing there. Regardless of what Xavier thinks, there’s nothing there. This is the end of the second book of the series and through both nothing has appeared, nothing has come up relating to anything about this. How does that work? Precedence! It’s a thing!
♂ Leaps of logic and corniness aside, the story is there. There is definitely something to grip, to hold onto. It’s just that her manner of telling the story kills it. It really does not do the story justice. Also the fact that she chose first-person… I really think my assumption that she gets confused with the limited pronouns in third-person is correct. This would be really good if it was written in third person and was not so literal. I just want to rewrite the story. Some minor changes to help the flow and dialogue and that sort of thing, just to give it some personality. I don’t really want to change the basic structure of the story because I think it’s pretty solid, just some things that were either unnecessary or redundant or confused, they gotta go. I really do want to rewrite this story. ANW just needs a good editor or a co-writer.
♂ Now I’m off to read about Liam and Jack. And I think that’s going to be the last one. I’m not really interested in JJ and Miller’s story. And the last two books, or at least book five and book six, include people that I don’t know. Now I’m wondering if these people that I don’t know, that have yet to be introduced, have actually been introduced. Right at the end of this book, after two rounds of Jumanji, Ben mentioned that he saw JJ and Miller playing pool with people he didn’t recognize. Which I would like to point out that that was very strange that he didn’t recognize them considering they were at his birthday party. How do you not recognize people at your own birthday party? Okay maybe they were the plus ones of somebody that was there but you’d think that they would have been introduced to him or something, but you just have these random people at your party? How’s that work out?
Anyway, I’m off.
Surrender Your Heart (Book 3)
Rundown: Okay, so this time around we have Jack Murphy, 36, the owner of Bottoms Up, the bar that Chase used to work at and still helps out at occasionally. Joining Jack is Liam, 24. He’s the bartender who started on Chase’s last day. It has been established that Jack suffers from PTSD from being in the army as a Ranger. If he brings his service dog, Charlie, into work, then he’s having a pretty bad day. As for Liam, people have been saying he seems familiar but they just can’t place why.
♂ At the end of book two, Xavier realized something about him and then Liam’s secret was revealed. It was a huge leap in logic and there was no precedence for it. I just don’t understand where this came from. How Xavier figured this out, I will never know. You can’t explain this one away. Essentially, ANW just ended the book there and forced us to believe the unsubstantiated truth.
I had hoped that ANW’s writing would improve as the series progressed, but, like I tell everyone else: hope is the shortest route to disappointment.
♂ Already with the weirdly impersonal inner monologue:
I bet it’s equally as beautiful in the spring when everything turns green with new growth after a long, harsh winter.
♂ Jack’s grandfather died. He was summoned to the solicitor’s office to pick up an envelope. The solicitor, Terry, was a friend of Jack’s grandfather who everyone called Big Jack. But the way they’re talking or rather the way Jack is talking you kind of get the hint that Terry and his grandfather might have been more than just longtime friends who were inseparable after both of their wives died. Or not. We’ll see.
The first time Big Jack was mentioned, the scene gave me a the feeling that Big Jack was Jack’s older lover that died. That was quickly dashed. But I gotta tell you, I giggle nearly every time I read his name.
♂ One thing about Amy’s books is that, in this series at least, people believe in God which is kind of scarce in the M/M world. They use “God” and “Jesus” as exclamations but rarely do you get the feeling or confirmation that the characters actually believe in God. In this series, though, people are praying. I’m not saying that people breaking down with the Holy Ghost or anything like that, but these people are praying and they talk about church. And not just praying that this or that will go well kind of thing, you know? They’re talking about praying in the way that someone prays when they actually want to commune with God. So that’s kind of refreshing. I just don’t see that a whole lot of that–or really at all–in M/M stories.
♂ Liam tells Chase that they are brothers and that he’s known since they met–nearly two years ago. The rest of that conversation didn’t go so well, so he goes to Jack to update him on the situation and maybe some comfort. They have a moment, but then Jack backs off and Liam takes it as a rejection. He starts to leave and then Jack calls him back. On his way out of Jack’s office, he runs into Trevor, another bartender, who came to tell Jack that they have a situation on the bar floor. Jack calls Liam again, but he keeps going. Before addressing the issue in the bar, Jack finally stops Liam and tells him that they’re going to talk about what just happened. He takes him to his loft which is the same building–different entrance–and tells him not to go anywhere. Only then does Jack go back to handle the situation in the bar.
I don’t know who taught these people how to prioritize, but this isn’t it.
What happened there? I don’t understand how do you leave a situation happening in your business to go secure someone who can wait without being escorted elsewhere. It’s not like he was worried about him leaving for real because he could have left Liam in the loft and there’d be no way for him to stop Liam from leaving when he wasn’t there–he just had to trust that Liam would stay. So what happened? How do you just leave the situation in your bar, your place of business, to go handle something personal like that isn’t even an emergency…not really. He didn’t even know how dire the situation was yet he… It bothers me when characters makes stupid decisions like this.
♂ Okay so ANW has just unwritten something in the first book. Chase said that Jack had a rule against dating customers and employees. And that was like the period of the sentence that was the conversation about Chase gating Gray. It happened on Chase’s last day, so it didn’t matter. However, in this book, only a year or so later in the story, Jack says he doesn’t have these rules, but he wished he did because it would make it easier to resist Liam.
Come on ANW, get it together.
♂ There she goes again:
My dick was hard enough to drill for oil…
♂ I keep rewriting the lines as I read.
♂ ANW spends too much time making sure you know exactly what she’s talking about. Everything’s so precise. It just loses all of the passion. No excitement, no suspense, no tension.
♂ I would really appreciate if he stopped calling his dick Sparky.
♂ ANW had Jack use the pin drop expression when Liam was first in his loft, but now she’s having Jack say that he thought it was silly until the current moment, which is right before he was going to come out to his family.
Why does she keep unwriting the story? At least the previous one was in a different book. This was only chapters apart.
♂ After Jack comes out, his dad tells him to walk with him for a bit. When they come back, the two guys from his military unit who didn’t look so happy when he first made the announcement were on the porch waiting for him. They looked a little more accepting. The whole exchange between them was really gross. I don’t know why people feel the need to make jokes about this sort of thing. I wish they would find some other method to convey that they’re good with the news.
Hugs will never go out of style.
♂ Somethings that should be left for introspection are written as dialogue and vice versa. It’s weird.
♂ Liam and Jack are both consenting to their little trysts, but all this keeps happening at work. He’s still his boss. They might want to curb that.
♂ I am not built for soap opera sap.
♂ Exposition from beginning to end.
♂ There is zero sensuality in the notion of a dick “standing proud”. All I can imagine is a salute. a flag waving, and “Battle Hymn of the Republic” playing in the background.
BONUS: My friend, Hiwa, drew this in response:
♂ See? Genuine step-by-step instructions:
Slip your hand between my legs and tease my hole with lube. You’ll feel it respond and quiver at your touch.
♂ I-I can’t…
You will start out with one finger and you’ll be able to tell when I’m ready; my hole will be pliable and ready for more.
♂ The envelope Jack picked up from the solicitor contained and letter and a key. In the letter, Big Jack told him that he should live his life truthfully, and he’d also told him that his true love was some dude Jeremiah he met in the army. This and his hard-on for Liam is what gave Jack the courage to come out. Now that they’re all squared away, they need something to do for the rest of the book.
Jack told Liam about the stuff his grandfather left him which include journals and photos detailing his life with Jeremiah. Liam wants to go find Jeremiah. So now they’re gearing up for a manhunt.
♂ This is a convo between Chase and Liam. Gay. Brothers. No one talks like this!
“Same sex couples still struggle to adopt kids and become foster parents, even in states that are considered same-sex friendly. Having biological kids is really expensive and you have to find a surrogate. So, it’s a struggle to make that dream come true and I erroneously wondered why a bisexual man would choose me over a woman who could give him what he wanted naturally without depleting his life savings or having to hear heinous things said about him if he happened to get a homophobic social worker or judge during fostering or adoption processes. You want to believe that educated people wouldn’t think or say such horrible things, but they do.”
“Wow,” I said, unsure what else to say. “That is really low self-esteem. I hate that you felt that way.”
“Thanks,” he said quietly.“
Really?! Are we at a judicial hearing or something? Are we writing pamphlets? Why is he in speech-mode when talking to another gay man? And Liam’s response is just… See what I’m saying? This is all wrong.
♂ So I just thought that maybe ANW writes the way she does to hit a certain word count. Really, think about it. If she wrote colloquially, then her word count would be much smaller, but saying things exactly as they are, as properly as she can without any sort of emotion or personality for each line is going to extend it; there’re no shortcuts. It makes the story longer, but it’s very boring.
Don’t mind me, I’m just still trying to figure out why she would chooses to write the way she does.
♂ This is what Jack said about his penis:
Sparky started to stir and I told him to calm his fool ass down.
♂ So Jack and Liam are in the shower and Jack pulls the shower head and starts aiming the nozzle for his rear and massaging things back there. Reading this… I’m trying to picture what that looks like. And I wonder if that’s safe. Is a jet stream of water penetrating your anus safe? Then I supposed that it probably was… Then I Googled “anus+shower+head” and I don’t know what I was expecting, but I did get shower heads with enema tips and I just giggled for about five minutes. I am five years old. I’m sorry.
♂ There’s got to be a better word than wiggle. I just can’t take it seriously when it’s used during sex.
♂ So far, all of the couples in this series have had the “let’s forego the condoms” conversation. And I always wonder how much more laundry will they have to do.
♂ Jack gets attacked in the alleyway on his way to his loft. The guy doesn’t hit him hard enough with the golf club so Jack is able to turn around and beat him down. He pulls out his phone and uses the flashlight feature to see who the guy is. He doesn’t know him. He texts Liam to tell him he’s going to be late and he calls the cops. Liam comes down and is all “hey, I know that guy.” It’s his ex’s best friend. Then, down comes Charlie, Jack’s dog, and he growls at the guy as he starts coming to.
So, is the ex’s BFF in love w/ Liam too? Or Is he trying to avenge the jilted arse?
♂ This wasn’t even necessary.
“I probably will need a crane to help get me out of this chair later.”
“Nonsense,” Bevan said quietly and dropped a kiss on her forehead. “You’re more beautiful today than you were yesterday.”
She didn’t say anything about not feeling pretty; she was talking about how heavy she was and how it made it difficult to move. It’s always more disturbing when women write lines like this and never have their characters called out for it.
♂ As a writer, I know I write things I want to read, so ANW is probably no different. But what good is a story that reads like a step by step instruction manual?
♂ I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve mumbled or yelled “gross”.
Not so much disgusting, though More like It’s too saccharine, too fake, and too bad and I just can’t take it. It offends me.
♂ “Feels so right. “It feels so natural.” All the time. Everything can’t feel that way. ANW needs to expand her vocabulary and concept arsenal. Too many repeats. Like, for the pin drop thing… I think she wanted to use the concept and those words and made sure to find a way to fit them in, but she forgot that she already did.
♂ There’s no rule against proposing during sex, but most people’s faculties are somewhere left of center when they’re being pounded to kingdom come. So, I feel like it’s cheating to ask or tell someone to marry you while at least one of you are in the throes.
Pun intended after the fact.
♂ Well, at least Liam echoed my thoughts. But he’s more worried about how he’s going to answer when people ask about how Jack proposed. Still, he said yes.
♂ Sort of picking up on the introspection vs dialogue thing… Often when ANW does that, it’s followed by redundancy. So she does this thing where she has a character think something and, almost immediately, she’ll have them say it to someone. She either doesn’t have faith in a reader’s ability read between the lines or extrapolate or she herself can’t fill in the blanks.
♂ I’ve kind of ignored her grammar in light of how badly the telling of the stories have been in general, but now that I’ve gotten used to her writing, the typos and the grammar–especially the subject/verb agreements–are bugging me.
♂ Same, Jack. Same”
I wanted to skip past the BS so I could have more Christmas sex.
♂ The end just kind of happened. Like, there was the proposal, they visited Jack’s grandfather’s true love, Ava had the baby, Christmas, New Year, then everybody’s planning for a Vegas wedding.
Well, there was the fact that Jack let the guy that attacked him off the hook. Asked that he do community service and get counseling instead of jail time. That will only work for white people.
♂ ANW had betas–plural–and they didn’t tell her. Or they told her and the original was actually worse. I can’t even imagine what this would have been without input from other people.
Let me beta.
Anyway, I decided that I will skim through book four because I can. I don’t know if I’ll be posting for that because it will probably be more of the same and I hope I’ve exhausted all that there is to complain about as far as ANW goes. We’ll see.
Perfect Fit (Book 4)
Rundown: Miller (Grayson’s BFF) and JJ (Chase’s ex-turned friend) have had something going on in the background. They’re similar in their aversion to commitment, but find themselves developing an aversion to being without each other. And they feel that it’s no one’s business but their own. Tough, because they have the nosiest, meddling-est circle of friends known to mankind.
So, I guess I wasn’t finished complaining.
♂ Miller says hey your wallet fell out of your suit jacket. And I’m wondering how do you know that? Did you see it fall out of the suit jacket? Does he not have any other pockets that it could have possibly fallen out of? ANW’s always giving too much information
♂ Seriously, what is she doing?
His blond hair shining beneath the street lights when he walked beneath them.
Why is she never done? Always shoving unnecessary information info a line. Often redundant. It’s just it’s driving me crazy now.
♂Again as I said too much informatio:
Although, you got a few good hits in yourself, Jagger. So, he had opened my wallet, looked at my license, and saw my name?
That’s what you think happened? Well, you’re so perceptive.
♂ Very unsexy:
Show me what you’ve got, big guy.
♂ Really this is this is what you’re thinking?:
I scrunch my face up to show uncertainty.
♂ These people are constantly not questioning things: “I decided not to question…” “And decided not to analyze…” “I decided not to dig too deep about what [XYZ] means…” Chronic denial.
♂ ANW’s new words: answering, zing, ornery
♂ “I refuse to evaluate…”
JJ practically came right out and told me he was in love with Chase the night of the charity ball when I nearly ruined everything when I stupidly downplayed my relationship with Chase to Devon at the charity event.
♂ The lines just go on an on and on:
I’ll take your council [sic] under advisement, I replied, but with a cheeky grin so he knew I wasn’t upset at him or felt he had overstepped the boundaries I had set in relation to talking about my past.
♂ Well, this? This is brilliant:
They are two manwhoring peas in a cocksucking pod.
♂ Okay, so, there is hope. JJ offered to help Chase move into Grey’s house and when he got there, Miller was there. Miller did not appreciate his presence and he was a little huffy about about it, so he started going in on him and he said something really mean to JJ. Low blow, so low below the belt it was totally uncalled for. And then Ava, Chase’s best friend, steps up to the plate and totally knocked it out the box she tore Miller a new one. It was probably the best written piece that I have read by ANW thus far. I was wowed.
♂ The things these people think:
Turning me into his bottom hungry boy.
♂ JJ and Miller have been messing around. However, before their first time together, they’d reluctantly agreed not to do anything because it would complicate things with Chase and Gray. Well that agreement didn’t last very long because they had at it in a bathroom when they just happened to see each other in some restaurant. That was supposed to be the last time, but then another chance meeting turned into JJ screwing Miller’s brains out in Miller’s office. But in between those two times was when JJ went to go help Chase move. So here we are after their second time of getting it on and something is definitely brewing. Definitely because you can see it in the inner monologue but also because over the last two books there have been hints of JJ and Miller seeming closer than just people who know each other through other people.
♂ Both JJ and Miller said that they don’t bottom but they gave up their asses pretty quickly to each other.
I was starting to sound like the crazy cat gay.
♂ As you would expect, two confirmed bachelors start screwing around on a regular basis, but it’s just sex. Soon they’re falling for each other, but are really trying hard not to or at least trying hard not to let it show.
♂ I think Miller and JJ are rather similar in their ways of deflecting pain they will both throw out mean words or do something that is hurtful to the person that is hurting them even if the person that’s hurting them isn’t doing it on purpose. For example, JJ made a comment way back when about how Chase must have slept his way into his new position. He had a point with how quickly he got it, but that was completely out of line and showed that he was jealous of Gray’s hold over Chase. He was afraid of losing Chase. Then there was the incident where Miller said something really low about JJ being alone and that was really out of line. That was the time that Ava came in and ripped him a new one. So these guys get along really well in and out of bed but once they are around other people it becomes difficult because they don’t want or rather Miller doesn’t want Gray and Chase to find out so they’re at an impasse and JJ thinks that he is going to be the one to be hurt when it ends. I think that’s actually rather much likely considering how he’s acted up to this point. Miller, on the other hand, he fights so hard to not be in love that he ends up hurting JJ and probably doesn’t even realize it. He’s a lot more extreme in his actions to deflect.
♂ So I think of that JJ is the same age as Chase Chase which is about 27-ish right now and I think that Miller is the same age as Gray and Gray is 36-ish or wait, maybe he’s more like 33-34-ish . So there’s an age difference but who can really tell with any of these characters. ANW is constantly giving you one person’s height, one person’s description, but never gives you the other’s so you can’t really tell. You can tell that somebody shorter, but how much shorter, you know? The only one she was really clear about was Ben and Xavier. Ben’s 6’3″ and Xavier is 5’8″ so I can imagine whatever happens with them, but even though I know that Chase is 6’2″, I still don’t know if Gray is taller than Chase or if Chase is taller than Gray. I do know that JJ is taller than Miller.
♂ ANW’s formula is to have a little bit of establishing info delivered at the beginning of the story, throw in the hot and bothered heavy and sexy breathing and panting and thrusting and all that good stuff and then bring on the drama. Meanwhile, complicated encounters ensue. But a lot of that happens before you really even get through half the book, so you have the rest of the book, anywhere from 70 to 60% of the book is left to deal with more of the drama. One thing I will say is that most of the stories were as long as they needed to be, except for the first story. It was a bit too long. I think it could have been cut down by a hundred pages, maybe, but for the most part the stories aren’t packed with superfluous passages about stuff that doesn’t matter. They could be cut in half, though. I don’t think the long story is bad, content-wise, but I do think that things could have been wrapped up sooner if people made better decisions and ANW didn’t write play-by-plays.
♂ Miller calls JJ Jag, as in short for Jagger. JJ calls Miller Bones because he’s in archaeology and anthropology professor. While I think it’s cute that they have nicknames for each other, I think they say them too often. Or rather, ANW writes the names too often. People don’t address other people by their names in ongoing conversation nearly as much as ANW seems to think.
♂ Speaking of nicknames… So it seems that ANW has a problem with the word bae. Now it could have just been a little character quirk, but it was a little odd. It just seemed to be a very specific thing to bring up and, I don’t know, I guess you would have to read the stories and have understood the characters, lack of personality and all, to get why the word bae is a little odd being announced, particulary as something negative Apparently JJ doesn’t like it and he tells Miller by grabbing his balls that if he ever calls him that he will pull them clean off. It was just such an odd moment so I’m thinking this is a personal thing for ANW that she doesn’t like the word bae. Screw her. I’m not one that uses that either–I don’t have anyone to call that–but I don’t see any problem with the word.
♂ Grayson is still a dick. So JJ finally told Chase why they broke up so many years ago. He revealed his past trauma and they had a heart-to-heart and they were holding hands, you know, comforting each other and Gray just stood back because Miller was kind of holding him back from going out there and seeing what was going on. When JJ and Chase finished, JJ walked by Gray and he asked Miller if he was ready to go. Gray tries to stop him and says don’t you think you owe me an explanation why you were basically fondling my husband. JJ being tired, having exposed himself being so vulnerable about his past, was completely talked out… before that, gray turned to Miller and basically said I don’t know why you’re even bothering with this guy he’s such a loser. Getting that feeling, JJ was just like, you know, whatever and he left. That was completely and unnecessary it was also rude to Chase because him saying that is like acting like Chase can’t make that decision on his own that chase can’t be faithful or he’s easily swayed. Grayson still a dick.
♂ Here we are at 50% and again pretty much everything has been resolved Miller and JJ have just about come out with their relationship, well at least to Gray and Chase. Xavier and Ben already knew. Ava and Gram knew. I don’t know who else knew, but at least half the crew knows about their relationship. They’ve done everything, resolved everything except for saying I love you and we’re now, as I said, at 50%. So what the heck is the rest of the book going to be about because it can’t be about them saying I love you. Although I’m thinking that’s going to come because right now they’re talking about how they don’t need words to convey that feeling because they get that from the touches and kisses and all that good stuff and that’s how they communicate. So, again, I ask: what the heck is the rest of the book going to be about?”
♂ So far the book has given us the backstory on the little glimpses of Miller and JJ in the other book and now we’ve reached Halloween which is the party I think that everybody found out about their relationship, maybe, and not just that small group of people but we’ll see.
♂ Twelve Days of Sexmas
♂ So, JJ and Miller are the first couple to integrate toys into their repertoire.
♂ Miller is an archaeologist and one of JJ’s Christmas gifts to him was a box of white sand with a kid’s shovel and rake on the top. He told him to excavate to unearth his gifts. That is such a cute idea! The scene fell a little flat, but the idea was awesome.
The things these people say:
…after I nearly “thank you” sexed us into a coma.
♂ At the bar’s New Year’s party, they karaoke’d “Soul & Inspiration” by the Righteous Brothers. These two playboys with fear of commitment stamped on their foreheads sang one of the most saccharine songs there is. It was really cute.
♂ I was working my way up to say that this was probably the best story of the series in regards to content and conflict, but they just had to go ruin it. I thought they were going to be the couple that didn’t want kids. Miller is really close with his niece and nephew and I thought they would be enough, but no. ANW had to go and ruin the story. During Miller and JJ’s New Year’s getaway where JJ was planning to propose, ANW decided to kill Miller’s brother and sister-in-law off. So now they are going to get custody of the kids. It hasn’t happened yet, but I guarantee you that’s where the story is heading.
♂ ANW is ever so fond of this”
Just like that my dick was hard enough to pound nails.
♂ ANW is not alone in her choice to have a character express their thoughts, emotions, and desires with their eyes, but sometimes she takes it to a whole new level. I swear she’s got them delivering dissertations and eulogies with blown irises and batting lashes.
♂ Equal partnership. I don’t like the way Miller is trying to balance things out between them they’ve got a new car. Well actually, Miller got a new SUV but JJ likes to drive it a lot when they go places and Miller is having thoughts about the equality in their relationship and he makes a comment about how he gives up his ass more often and so he’s probably going to have to start topping more and driving more just to make sure that their relationship stays equal. This is all his inner monologue so he isn’t actually saying this to JJ, but still.
♂ So, happily ever after with certified pre-owned kids and hopes for a brand new model of their own. Why are kids supposed to be the key to the happy family? Especially when these guys already had pets.
ANW had an editor and multiple betas. I don’t know what they did because I can’e see any evidence of refinement. I just can’t imagine what they saw when they looked at this and say, “Yeah, that’s good.”
This book was better than the rest of the series simply just because the story, content and conflict, was a little more interesting.
Well I think this is it for me. I’m definitely not interested in the next two books. I know one person in one of the next books. Noah McKinney is Jack’s psychiatrist, but that’s really all I know and I don’t care. I thought exhausted all of my complaints at the end of Book 3; most of the stuff I could complain about in Book 4 was just a repeat of what the other books had, but the story was better and there was more to contemplate, so I stuck around. But ANW still took a left with the kids and I still think that somebody should rewrite the stories.