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Posted June 25, 2013
4.5 stars - rounded up because of the sex scene at Nick's apartment. Yes, it was that good!
What an emotional ride!
Nick and Spencer are finally getting into the relationship they hinted at in If It Flies , the previous installment in the series. However, unlike in that story there was so much more emotion, tension and uncertainty in this one. I loved it!
Nick is distracted on his job now that he has decided to be in a relationship with Spencer, something that shouldn't happen to a Dom or to a rentboy while with a client. He is determined to keep at the relationship and make it work, but he is an independent man who needs the money he makes as a rentboy to make ends meet in order to keep afloat. Needless to say that he is conflicted -- about his work, his feelings, his future.
This time around I got to see another side of Nick. He struggles, he withdraws, he opens up, he accepts. It was a lovely journey to see him through and I couldn't have asked for a better story than the one Voinov and Witt provided. Especially, since I was complaining about my lack of connection to Nick after reading the previous installment. In If It Fornicates, not only did the authors bring Nick to life, they delved into his mind and brought about a whole set of emotions along with it that truly portrayed his struggle to come to grips with what he needed to do in order to be happy.
In this installment the authors did a great job in bringing Nick and Spencer's connection front and center, they developed it and nurtured it throughout the story. I'm still a bit unsure if it could last, but at least their relationship matured and the happily-for-now ending was enough for me to see that the characters had moved forward and were taking the steps necessary to succeed.
Once again, Aleksandr Voinov and L.A. Witt's writing was exceptional. These authors complement each other very well and their contribution always leaves me wanting more. From the range in emotions to the sex scenes (especially that one sex scene at Nick's apartment - Phew!!!), everything came together seamlessly to bring another wonderful addition to the Market Garden series.
These authors have not disappointed me yet. I look forward to the next installments in the series, Capture & Surrender. After his brief appearance in this story, I can't wait for what's in store for Frank, the owner of the Market Garden.
I received this title from the publisher in exchange of my honest opinion.
Posted June 19, 2013
If It Fornicates. Aleksandr Voinov, L.A. Witt
ARC supplied by Netgalley.
I love romance – whether gay or hetero doesn't matter to me so long as the story itself is good. Love, that's what's important and a decent plot. This is the first book I've read from the Market Garden series, though I've read another novella from Riptide and was pleased with the quality, so I began this expecting that quality of writing but knowing nothing of the series storyline and characters.
Its not difficult to pick up though. I quickly realised the background, and that Nick is a university student, working in a high end establishment as a Dom for rent to support himself. That’s worked fine for him in the past, but now he's entered a relationship with a former client he's finding the work, uni, partner balance is leaving him confused and tired. He's not sure what to do – he needs the job to support uni and doesn't want to give up his fledgling relationship with Spencer, and needs uni for his future career. The current job is a filler not a life long plan. Spencer seems to be dominating his thoughts when he's not with him, and distracting him from concentrating on his clients, and that s not good for them or his reputation.
Its a great book, draws on the strengths and weaknesses of each character and how difficult it can be in a new relationship. Add to that Nick's job and the jealousy that may occur – and here Spencer is a gem he's so understanding, and the the pressures Spencer himself is under being a lawyer and still not Out. It's a high powered, stressful, bullying environment where he works and if he outs himself he's afraid things will get worse.
Its a shortish book at just 123 pages and yet each word seems to have been carefully crafted, and there is so much detail and info in those pages, no fluff and filler, just excellent plots and people. I got caught up in the conundrum Nick found himself in, and wondered what I'd do if I was him. Spencer was heartbreaking at times in his clear love for Nick, and his suggestions for what he could do. Even close to the end I couldn't work out what Nick would finally choose, I understood his reactions to Spencers' suggestions and was so glad it worked out the way it did. I enjoy the psychology of novels like this, the mental strain of the balance of life as a Gay against what is perceived as “normal”, the way others react, the difficulties that causes in contrast with people in a conventional unit. All relationships take work, but being gay seems to me to cause additional problems, and although that’s tough in real life it makes for some cracking novels. After all that's why we read – we don't want just a sweet HEA love story but one where the characters have had to work for solutions, undergo at times real heartbreak in that search, but hopefully end up in a situation that suits them all. There's sex in this book of course, but written in such a way that its not overly graphic or tacky but just really sensual and loving, feeling as if its an integral part of the duo and not something tacked on to spice up the book as so often happens. Its sex that’s relevant to the story and the couple.
It seems to me Riptide and the combination of Aleksandr Voinov and L.A. Witt have hit a winning series here if the rest is as good as this book, and I'd love to read more from them. It is quite expensive at £3.97 for 123 pages, but clearly these two authors have a devoted following (well earned ) and its not a “padded “ novel. Its all relative, and I'd rather have less pages and have them specific to the book, than ones that are pages and pages of irrelevancy that's gets boring and can be skipped. Its one for my keepers file for re reading so that adds to the value for money scale.
Stars: It's an excellent five star read, from a team that certainly knows how to write riveting and sensual romance. If you love a good M/M love story then this book is to be recommended.