Author: Ashley John
Publisher: Self Published
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Contemporary, M/M Romance, New Adult
When 18-year-old Charlie’s unreliable mother tells him they are moving across the country to live with her mysterious Aunt Evelyn in the sunny town of Surf Bay, he isn’t surprised. After spending most of his life moving around the country with his mother and younger sister, picking up his life and starting somewhere new is second nature to him.
19-year-old Oliver is one of those guys that everybody loves. Most people would describe him as good-looking, cheeky and confident, but when Charlie meets him working as his Great-Aunt’s gardener, there’s only word that springs to his mind….arrogant. Charlie quickly finds a job at the local surf club, but his initial joy quickly vanishes when he learns that Oliver also works there.
From the first moment Oliver lays eyes on him, he knows that he wants Charlie, and when he discovers that he’s a virgin, he sees it as a new and exciting challenge which he accepts, even if Charlie tells him he isn’t interested in guys. Oliver wants Charlie’s virginity, but he doesn’t count on finding something else along the way.
Charlie feels pressure to look after his family, so he tries to ignore Oliver’s relentless advances, but he starts to feel something new…something he’s never felt before…something exciting…Does Charlie have the power to resist Oliver’s charms?
Word count: 75,000
This is book 1 in the Surf Bay series. Although part of a series, this can be read as a complete stand-alone.
Ok I had a review written for this one. It mirrored the format of the book, being broken into three acts. But in the end, everything was so disjointed I decided to start over.
I had a hard time with this book. I liked the story. I like the premise and I liked the outcome. But I struggled with the execution.
Charlie was a great character. He was fleshed out and his struggle to accept himself and his attraction to Oliver was well thought out and well presented. I connected with him and wanted him to finally have a bit of happy. I hated seeing him take one step forward only to be dragged two steps back.
Oliver on the other hand, was a mass of contradictions. I hated him in act 1. He was an arrogant asshole and I was so annoyed with him I almost put this book down for good. But then in act 2, his personality abruptly changed and he was in love. Finally in act 3 he grew up and bacame this emotional wreck and savior. He was all over the place. I didn’t ever get a handle on who he was or why he was such a dick to begin with. I think it had something to do with his childhood, but it was never really explored well. I did feel for him in the end though so I guess that was something.
While I liked the story concept, I did not understand the romance portion at all. I never understood why Oliver changed from lusting after Charlie to loving him. And I sure as hell never figured out why Charlie fell in love with Oliver when he was nothing but pushy and overbearing and quite frankly, lecherous. All the milestones to true love were accounted for, but the bits and pieces that connected them were missing. It didn’t feel organic, it didn’t flow well, and often I was left rolling my eyes or just assuming that things happened off page. Even in the end, when the melodramatic emotions started flying, I never understood the basis for the love other than raging teenage hormones.
I also made no real connections with any of the secondary characters. I will carry on with this series because I requested it for review, but at this time, I am not really invested in its outcome.
Finally, the whole book had a new author feel to it. Like the author was just super excited to get a story on the page and everything was over exaggerated and rushed. There were also some glaring editing issues with awkward phrasing, wrong words, repeated words and phrases, and incorrect usage of character names. I am giving this book 3 stars because it did hold my attention to the end and at times drew out strong emotion from me. But I don’t think I will re-read this one.
This review is based on a copy purchased by the reviewer independent of any review copies offered.
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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