Author: A.J. Llewellyn
Publisher: Totally Bound
Cover Artist: Posh Gosh
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Icarus Smith has two problems, and they both want him…their Mediator.
Icarus Smith has just landed an unusual assignment. A licensed mediator used to handling squabbling spouses, he’s been hand-picked to negotiate a forty-million-dollar welterweight championship title fight. The problem is, these two world boxing champions hate each other. Worst of all, Icarus has discovered that one of them, Italian superstar Paolo de Luca, is the man with whom he had a passionate affair in Italy the previous summer. Paolo cruelly dumped him, and Icarus realizes he is still devastated. Can he overcome his personal feelings to work with Paolo and the boxer’s arch-nemesis, US champion Adam Wyler?
So far, the fight scheduled to take place at New York’s Madison Square Garden is a bust. Fans have bought tickets, and Pay-Per-View sales are through the roof. Just like Lady Di’s face once adorned dishcloths, these guys have their faces on buttons, badges, posters, TV and print ads. And they don’t care.
But Icarus has an even bigger problem. He’s just accepted promoter Thaddeus Halsey’s huge wad of cash to broker this deal and Icarus wants the money for a restoration project in his hometown in Las Vegas. Can Icarus go through with mediation? Can he persuade the man who broke his heart to face the guy who now apparently wants it?
Portions of The Mediator are profoundly romantic and touching. Icarus is a professional mediator merely going through life’s motions as he tries to get past losing his true love, Pio. As Icarus reminisces about his and Pio’s great Italian love affair, the reader is gifted with deliciously sensual and erotic scenes between the two men. When they are unexpected reunited after Pio is revealed to be one of the championship fighters with whom Icarus must mediate a disagreement, the stage is set for a lovely, romantic “reunited with a lost love” story.
However, this story is also rife with some overly exaggerated characters and situations, and contains one of the most awkwardly placed menage scenes I believe I have ever read. This is Icarus and Pio’s story. They must overcome their misunderstandings and differences to find their way back to each other, and for a good portion of the story this seems to be basis for the story line. And then … the menage scene. This is honestly shudder worthy – the scene involves another (unlikable) championship fighter, and is decidedly raunchy instead of sexy. Even the characters, Icarus and Pio, immediately realize that the menage was not something they ever want to repeat.
Don’t get me wrong … I love a great menage story, and think a story with three men who care about each other and desire a connection between the three is incredibly sexy. But this is not the case in The Mediator.
So, I am left with conflicting feelings about this story. On the one hand, The Mediator tells a deeply romantic and lovely story of two sexy men, but on the other hand, the story ends awkwardly with an out of place menage scene. However, I do think this author is quite gifted and can pen deeply moving scenes between two lovers. For this reason alone, I will definitely give future works by A.J. Llewllyn a read.
I would like to thank the publisher 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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