Middle Hill 1 The Changeling by Barbara Geiger ~ Book Review by Beverley

This is a new to me Author and I love the idea of the Fae in the 21st Century. It is also the beginning of a series entitled ‘Middle Hill’ and as this is a 325+ page book I expected lots of exposition…

The Changeling Middle Hill 1 Title: Middle Hill 1 The Changeling

Author: Barbara Geiger

Publisher: Loose Id

Cover Artist: Fiona Jayde

Rating: 3.0 of 5 Stars

Blurb:

Matt sells sex because he has to take care of his little brother, Sam. While it sucks, it’s not that much different from the abuse he endured when he was a teenager. He’s exhausting himself trying to keep them together and Sam out of the jaws of the foster care system. When he “meets” Kevin, things start looking up a little. Kevin’s not the first john to give Matt the maybe this could work outside of work vibe, but Matt is surprisingly hopeful, for once.

On the other hand, it’s really not a good time for Matt to be meeting someone. He has a new “job” exchanging his services for Sam’s tuition at a fancy boarding school. People who treat him badly either end up murdered or disappear. And when it comes down to it, Kevin’s just a little too perfect. He’s rich, generous, and an all-round-blowjob-genie-in-a-bottle. Something’s got to be wrong with the guy.

As it turns out, Kevin’s a prince of the fae. And Matt might be Kevin’s king. From there, the questions start piling up. Why is a rich man taking a bus on a snowy December night? Why does Kevin disappear at the same bus stop where a man who had been bothering Matt is found murdered? And most importantly, why does Kevin keep acting like it’s Matt who will leave, when it’s Matt who’s the broken one?

My View:

This is a difficult book to review. The plot idea is an interesting one and the type of characters should allow for a lot of depth in the writing and plot twists. Sadly, I don’t think the author quite succeeds. I really wanted this novel to intrigue and that it did. The writing however, was very muddled. There are long passages where the distinction between flashback and present day are very unclear, which helps to make this story confusing.

At first I thought it deliberate as the childhood abuse of Matt, the twenty year old MC, is horrific and explicit and might cause random confused flashbacks. This muddled confused narrative continues throughout the novel though. If the abuse of children even in a flashback is a negative issue for you in a storyline, this novel might not be for you. There are also graphic descriptions of the murders that happen, none of which are solved.

Matt’s half brother, Eleven year old Sam, is, randomly, far too grown up in attitude even for a child with his background and upbringing. Sometimes his language and comments were so much older than Matt’s I expected to be told he was in fact a 200 year old fae at some point but he is just an eleven year old as far as the reader knows. Kevin, the ‘john’ who turns out to be a prince is meant to be very in love with Matt and Matt likewise falls instantly in love with Kevin.  Unfortunately, we are given no reasons as to why they are so in love with each other. They have very little time together for this intense love to develop, and if it is to be love at first sight, which personally I dislike, we are shown very little evidence of when that happens or how, except that Kevin is the only person who ‘got Matt off’ without expecting reciprocation. Kevin seems to be ‘in love’ with Matt before he meets him, which is also never explained.

The secondary characters actually have more development than the ‘heroes’ of this tale. ‘The Headmaster’ is one of them who draws up the weirdest contracts with Matt. One seems to be for sexual services and the other, well we don’t know but it is signed in a unique way. We are never really told why ‘The Headmaster’ will agree to almost anything to eventually get very little in return from Matt. In fact this character starts off being a ‘real bad guy’ but is reduced to an outwitted whimpering fool for very little reason that I could discover.

Some parts of this long novel I really enjoyed but I kept waiting for answers and more information which never came. I know this is the first in a series, but I expected more by way of groundwork for Barbara Geiger’s new ‘verse’ of Middle Hill’. I felt all the way through the novel that I had missed a previous episode or that I had accidentally skipped a chapter, but this wasn’t the case. As for the ending, our MCs finally get it together and then… Whether it is the normality of the final scene, which is meant to be the HFN ending, or whether there are so many unanswered questions in this novel it is just a fade out scene I do not know but it wasn’t overly satisfying. I would like to know how this storyline pans out, but I’m not sure I care enough about these characters to read the next in the series.

I know this sounds slightly arrogant but I believe Barbara Geiger could have a winning idea for a series of interesting stories, but she needs a good content editor to refine and polish this work. Hence I have given it 3*. I enjoyed the series idea and the idea of this plot, but not its execution.

Buy Links

Loose Id
Amazon US
Amazon UK
All Romance eBooks

I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.

Farewell Giveaway
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,

Brandilyn
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