High Contrast by Tess Bowery ~ Book Review by Caroline

28494025Title: High Contrast

Author: Tess Bowery

Publisher: Samhain

Cover Artist: Kelly Martin

Rating: 2.5 of 5 Stars

Publication Date: 05/03/2016

Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)

Genre: Gay Romance


The deepest scars aren’t the ones that show.

Jacob Shain is your average member of Generation Screwed. He has a boring internship, no cash flow, and a tiny NYC apartment he has to share with Ethan, his much-cooler, tattoo-artist twin brother. Not to mention his love life is DOA. At least, until his brother’s shop hires on a new piercer, and Jacob’s humdrum life takes a turn for the weird.

Cody Turner is gorgeous, funny and kind—everything Jacob wants in a boyfriend. Except for the way he refuses to talk about his past, or where he lives, or anything about his personal life.

When Ethan is arrested while on a mission of mercy, the reason Cody is so tight lipped comes to light. And while Jacob and Cody fight to understand the depth of their feelings for one another, the police dogs catch their scent. So does the local mob.

Now Jacob has to make the hardest choice of his life: stay safe like a good boy, or dive headfirst into a world he barely understands…and hope Cody is there to break his fall.

Warning: Contains a good boy who wants to be bad, a bad boy who longs to be good, bodies that are canvases for living art and high-speed chases with police dogs.

My View:

When High Contrast hit my radar and I first read the blurb I thought it was going to be quite a dark story but it proved to be the exact opposite. There were a lot of funny moments but not a lot of progression as far as the story was concerned and I needed it to progress more than it did.

The main problem I had were the number of characters and the confusion I felt trying to remember who was who and their relevance to each other and actually even their relevance to the story. This can be tricky when a book is labelled the first in a new series but I had absolutely no idea what was going on for the first few chapters – there were just too many people introduced at once. They were also given a lot of space on page and for me this was to the detriment of Jacob and Cody who I wanted to get to know better as the main characters.

The same thing could be said about the mystery element as it was also lost to the myriad of characters and the conversations between them all that made up the story. There are a lot of conversations in this book that take place and most of them didn’t move the story forward in any way. I would call it banter and the tone leant itself more to teenagers than to a group of adults who had the mob chasing them. Even when held at gun point the conversation didn’t become serious.

Occasionally I just don’t get pulled into a book and High Contrast is one such book. I’m sure there are plenty of people who will enjoy it and if you give it a go I hope you are one of those people but for me this one sadly didn’t work.


High Contrast on Goodreads
Amazon US
Amazon UK
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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.

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