Author: J Scott Coatsworth
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson
Rating: 2.5 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 07/15/2015
Length: Novella (~ 15K-50K)
Genre: Contemporary, M/M Romance, Urban Fantasy
What if you could hear the words behind the words?
Brad Weston’s life seems perfect. He’s GQ handsome, the chief of staff for a Republican California state senator, and enjoys the power and the promise of a bright future. And he’s in a comfortable relationship with his boyfriend of six years, Alex.
Sam Fuller is Brad’s young blond blue-eyed intern, fresh out of college, running from a bad breakup, and questioning his choices and his new life in politics. To make things worse, Sam also has a thing for the boss, but Brad is already taken.
While looking for a gift for his boyfriend, Brad wanders into a curiosity shop and becomes fascinated by an old wooden medallion. Brad’s not a superstitious man, but when he takes out the medallion in his office, he sees the world in a whole new light.
And nothing will ever be the same.
Between the Lines is my first title from J Scott Coatsworth. I can see potential in his storytelling, and I will likely give him another shot. However, as far as Between the Lines goes I am pretty neutral, at best, disappointed at worst.
Sam and Brad are the main couple in this story. However, they don’t get together until the last 10% of the book. Heck, they barely even interact until the last 20% of the story. For the first 80% of the story, Brad is in a long term relationship (six years). Then suddenly that is over, and the Brad and Sam are moving in together. It was all very abrupt. We are never given a chance to understand them as a couple. We are told a few times that each one thinks the other is cute, but that is about the extent of the relationship building.
As for the other main plot point, the medallion. I thought it needed a lot more work and thought behind it. It was only used a couple of times, and I didn’t really see how it was all that beneficial. He never found out anything that an observant, intelligent person would not have been able to glean through other channels. I thought it held a lot of potential, but was almost an afterthought to turn an otherwise sweet contemporary to “urban fantasy”.
Then of course we have the political aspect of the story. I was actually hesitant to read this book because of that angle. Unfortunately, I was proven right. Overall we were presented with a pretty heavy-handed approach to disparaging an entire political party. Everyone in the party was not-so-secretly homophobic. Of Course Brad is such an idiot that he doesn’t see it until he has the little medallion to reveal people’s true intentions.
Overall, I think this story would have been better served in a longer format. It would give time to make all the characters more three dimensional. The “villains” were cookie-cutter evil minions. The main characters were also pretty much caricatures of spurned lovers/employees. It was hard to like much less care about any of them. A longer format would also allow the author to fully flesh out both the medallion and romance storylines.
The concepts were there. The characters were there. They just all needed a little more.
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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