I debated how to present this review, as four separate reviews, or one super sized review. I decided to go with the latter option, because I had much the same things to say about each book. Overall they were all enjoyable stories of love where you least expect it.
Title: When Love Takes Over, Chasing the Sun, When Love Gets Hairy, and When Love Comes to Town (Provincetown Series)
Author: Jacob Z Flores
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
My Rating: 3.75 of 5 stars overall
From the Publisher
When Love Takes Over (Provincetown: Book One)
Zach Kelly’s life is a shambles. His boyfriend of three years dumped him, and his writing career is going nowhere. On a whim, he heads to Provincetown, Massachusetts, to nurse his broken heart and figure out his next step. He’s expecting to find rest and relaxation on the sandy beaches of Cape Cod. Instead, Zach meets a hunky porn star during a chance encounter at a leather shop he mistakes as a place to buy a belt that is definitely not for whipping.
Van Pierce is smitten when shy and inexperienced Zach crashes through a shelf of fetish gear. Though Van’s got an insatiable appetite for men on and off the set, his porn persona, Hart Throb, hides a broken heart. He’s struggling to find the reality the porno set doesn’t offer, and Zach is fighting to find the fantasy that will set his writing on fire. The odd goofball and the suave beefcake may either find love amid Provincetown’s colorful pageantry where summer never seems to end—or more heartbreak than either can imagine.
Chasing the Sun (Provincetown: Book Two)
A Spin-off of When Love Takes Over
As a physician and prominent citizen of Victoria, Texas, Dr. Gil Kelly took a hard fall when his vengeful wife revealed his infidelity with other men. Closing ranks around her, the town’s elite ostracized him, and his relationship with his children was nearly destroyed.
After spending his life focused on living for others, he has no idea how to live for himself. He wants to find love but now settles for anonymous sex that only further clouds his world with shame and guilt. Gil believes finding true love is an unobtainable dream, what his father used to call “chasing the sun.”
Then he runs into Tom Martinez, his son’s childhood best friend, who returned to town a grown man and offers everything Gil needs. But Gil hesitates to fall into Tom’s arms, because after his high-profile divorce, the potential scandal of loving a younger man could separate him from his children permanently.
When Love Gets Hairy (Provincetown: Book Three)
As vain as he is beautiful, Nino Santos happily lives life waiting for the next ferry full of fairies to bring him new conquests. As long as they aren’t hirsute, he’s all in. So he’s shocked to wake up after a beach party he cannot remember with a hairy naked man lying next to him.
Teddy Miller doesn’t remember the “Bear Week” party either, much less the Abercrombie & Fitch model wannabe next to him. Teddy doesn’t give two cents about appearances, but guys like Abercrombie don’t return the favor. That’s why he prefers men with extra fur and padding over carbon copy clones of perfection—a type of man Teddy is far too familiar with.
When Nino and Teddy glimpse each other the next morning, it’s loathing at first sight. Instead of exchanging phone numbers, they exchange insults and vow never to see each other again. In Provincetown, however, escaping a trick best forgotten isn’t easy. Mutual friends and chance circumstances keep Nino and Teddy in each other’s orbit. But are they fighting each other or the attraction growing between them? The answer lies amid Provincetown’s windswept dunes and the night neither of them can recall.
When Love Comes to Town (Provincetown: Book Four)
Brody O’Shea isn’t looking for much, just a hot guy with a decent job, who is sane and doesn’t have kids. The son of a former rock star, Brody has lived through the pain of bankruptcy and bad parenting, and he doesn’t want to experience it again. As a reformed horndog, he wants the security and stability of a relationship. But almost every guy he meets seems satisfied with Mr. Right Now, and he wants to find Mr. Right—now!
The only men Eric Vasquez chases are criminals. As a deputy and single father, he has no need for a relationship after his last one ended disastrously. He lives for and through Maddie, his nine-year-old daughter. Everything else is a needless distraction, but distraction is what Eric gets when he comes to Provincetown to attend the wedding between his cousin Van and the man of his dreams.
When Brody and Eric meet, what they want and what they find conflict. An ocean of expectations separates them. If they cannot move past their reservations to reach each other’s shores, they might miss the boat when love comes to town.
First, I want to say that I enjoyed reading this series. It was light and an escape from some of the heavier stuff I have been reading as of late. Overall, this series does not take itself too seriously. They are relatively low angst and fall into the instant-love, everyone sees it before the main characters, formula. I did appreciate that, at the end of the week in Provincetown, there was not an instant “I will move across the world for you, because we have had a wonderful week”. These are the stories of the beginnings of love. The melding of lives is left to the reader’s imagination.
Provincetown, the setting for three of the four stories in the series, is a character in and of itself. It is where gay men and women can go to be themselves openly and completely. It is my understanding that it is a real place. I trust that the author got it right, I just found it difficult to read about some of the antics and people. The main (and minor) characters are over the top and play into many of the “gay” stereotypes on the surface, but many have a thread of authenticity, as well.
The first book, When Love Takes Over, pairs repressed and newly single Zach with promiscuous porn star and commitment-phobic Van. They were hot for each other from the beginning, and nothing, including personal hygiene was going to keep them from fucking each other’s brains out. Sounds like a good vacation to me. The affection came later. By the end of the book, I was pulling for them to make everything work. Of course, Zach had some daddy issues to deal with before he and Van could ride off into the sunset. Which leads us to book two.
My favorite book of the series is book two, Chasing the Sun. I think, maybe, that is because it does not take place on the Gay Mecca of Provincetown, MA. It is not like the rest of the series, though it tied to the rest of the Provincetown series through book one main character, Zach. Chasing the Sun breaks a few rules. This story is an age gap romance. Dr. Gil Kelly is old enough to be Tom’s father, because Tom is his son’s best friend from school. Tom is the aggressor, but I enjoyed the fact that Gil did not resist for long. This story was more about Gil coming to terms with who he is and whom he loves and finding his way back to his family and friends, than it is about the romance between Gil and Tom. I did not like that the ex-wife was, of course, a bitch, but that happens. People get hurt when they are married for decades and then suddenly aren’t.
What can I say about book three, When Love Gets Hairy? I didn’t like Nico in the first book (he is the best friend to Van). I did not hate him; he was just irksome and his character held little interest for me. It follows that his book is my least favorite of the series. Flores didn’t make me like him or see WHY a sweetheart such as Teddy would fall for such an ass. I guess what I am saying is all of book three felt forced to me. Oh and fart jokes? Really? Yes, it is a perfectly normal part of life, but really?
So that brings me to the latest in the series, When Love Comes to Town. Town is probably my second favorite book in the series (probably because of Maddie). It pairs someone looking for love in all the wrong places with someone who has accepted he will never love again. Maddie provides the comic relief as well as a touch of conflict. I loved how the romance developed organically. They were both holding back just enough that they became friends first, then took it to the “next level”. In the end, all the loose ends were tied up, maybe a bit too well, but this is a romance after all.
One thing I enjoyed about this series was seeing Flores grow as an author with each offering. Though book three wasn’t my favorite, I could still appreciate the talent that went into its creation. I am very interested to see what will come next from Jacob Z Flores.
I would like to thank Dreamspinner Press for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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