This was a hard read. I had to force my way through it. It seemed like it would be the perfect book for me. Introvert meets wild biker and romance ensues, but it didn’t live up to the hype. Especially with the promise of an exploding house. Ultimately the book didn’t deliver.
One of my first main problems was the narrator constantly referring to the leads as the biker and the writer even though we knew their names. Usually this device is used when you either don’t know their name yet or, for plot reasons, are withholding the name until you do reveal it and then use the name. Or the most obvious the character themselves isn’t that important so it’s better to just not name them. The interchanging of actual names to biker/writer was frustrating.
Sometimes the writing was a bit confusing. It took me a while to sort out King’s introduction. So many people were introduced and I managed to get 45 percent into the novel without any of them resurfacing. Kind of like the talk with his mother, 45 percent and after a massive scene with her she hasn’t reappeared either again either. Whereas the opposite happens with Edwin and his best friend. She does return. However, it read like this only happened because his house blew up so he had no choice but to reconnect with her. It’s like the scenes were designed to delve more into who King was but without follow-up it didn’t quite work.
Also most of the scenes went on too long and could get repetitive. The one involving a text message went on longer than the reader takes to realise it wasn’t happing. I skimmed only to find out that yes, he did not send this text and opted to deep dive him on the net instead. Which is fine but it felt draggy getting there.
I also found it odd that Edwin assumed King was a nickname. He’s a writer and it didn’t occur to him to ask if it was his real name or a nickname? Granted Loyd said they call me King like it wasn’t his real name but still, as a writer not probing the validity of the name or outright asking if it was a nickname seemed odd. Regular humans do this so someone in a field where people regularly use pseudonyms not asking def felt weird. Almost like this decision was only made to use as a plot device to set up the whole deep dive thing with his name. Other awkward moments in the book left me feeling the same. As if they were only planned that way to set up something regardless of if the decision made sense. Kind of like the introduction of Floyd’s niece.
The ‘her’ and ‘she’ and vagueness of it all was weird. I reread more times than I will ever admit and still couldn’t find a reason to not just come right out and say he had to get home to his niece. The author was seemed to be trying to convince readers there was some secret woman he had to get to but they would know better because this is M/M romance. The same thing happened when he ran away from the explosion. Yeah it was a bad idea but when they texted later a simple, ‘I don’t like cops and I have a niece I’m recently taking care off so my first thought was to run home to her’, would’ve solved everything. Instead, he’s all vague about it and Edwin rightfully so is annoyed and thinks he might have a wife or girlfriend and… just ugh. You like him, he may like you, if he doesn’t like kids then best to sort that out quickly. And the explosion presented King with an easy way to do this considering he ran away. After this text exchange was the point where I gave up and forced myself to plough through. A house blowing up was more than enough drama so this conversation felt forced. Like the story was looking for a new way to amp up drama when the drama was amped so high already there was smoke.
The other thing, and this one is probably personal preference, but the whole idea they could not elevate their make-out session to hardcore right there in the bathroom because they wanted a more meaningful thing grated on my nerves a bit. As if the only way to have a committed relationship is if it begins according to traditional norms. Sigh.
I did finish the book the first read. I had all of the same issues. This second read was a refresh so I could write this review and I stopped when I almost stopped the first time.
The scenes that didn’t go beyond info drop and reach into character development; the withholding of information for no other reason than to drum up drama and the occasional bit of repetitiveness was enough to undo this book for me. This is a fairly short story and I made it to 45 percent and the second date hasn’t happened yet.
What I do remember about the first read though is I kept thinking accidents happen all the time. I couldn’t make the connection to why the people who owned the drug lab that exploded would be looking for Edwin. If anything they’d be trying to bounce and not get caught. What could he possibly know? I also thought the parents died in the explosion so any other connections to them that weren’t there should’ve long fled or at the very least gone underground for a while. Furthermore ,what about the other neighbours? If they think Edwin knew something surely they must’ve thought everyone in close proximity did. And if everyone knew so much to be hunted the criminals didn’t do a good job of keeping their secret lab secret. It just didn’t make sense.
This book read as drama because it could and I felt it was long enough and interesting enough to be deeper than that but it just didn’t make it. When you mash up King’s newfound parenthood with a slice of Edwin’s introvertness plus the aftermath of how different their police reports would be and how the two moved on from the explosion to their HEA, it was a perfect recipe for awesome. All of this, however, got left behind for, if I remember correctly, some odd protection alpha-male angle that didn’t make sense to me.
All in all so man odd choices had me think ‘why’ to myself too often so I couldn’t really get into this one.