This is Love
Title : This is Love
Publisher : Dreamspinner Press (BUY HERE)
Genre : M/M, Contemporary
Length : 198 pages (e-book)
Published : September 4, 2013
Rating : ★★★
Anderson “Andy” Hartley Jr. lives the life of a playboy with Daddy’s money, but without love. If his father finds out Andy’s gay, the game’s over. So he restricts his sex life to the pool house and seems content until he meets the gorgeous new groundskeeper, who just might turn his life upside-down. Merrick “Maverick” Washington is African-American, an ex-SEAL, and recently released from prison after his false conviction was overturned. Working for a rich white dude who looks down his nose at him is one more blow to his spirit. But any job is a step toward self-sufficiency, and Maverick’s not willing to risk that for a spoiled brat. Then Andy tugs at more than Maverick’s body, and he’s starting to wonder how things would shake out if they both overcame their fears and let their worlds collide.
I’m going to review this book in two parts. The first part was full of clichés and stereotypes. OTT characters and, frankly, it reminded me of an 80’s movie. It may have worked then, but now it just doesn’t. The second part was the HEA and a sweet sexfest romance tied up in a heart-shaped package. Also not my thing but I won’t fault it for that.
Andy is a typical little spoiled little rich boy. He hides his sexuality from his dad but lives the party boy lifestyle. He uses the guys he has sex with in secret to get off but they use him for his status so he figures it’s a fair trade. Andy’s father is the stereotypical snotty and prejudicial rich white guy who looks down his nose at everyone. Andy doesn’t share his father’s attitude and is friendly with all the workers at his daddy’s mansion.
Merrick is in a hard spot. He was wrongly imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit. Since his release from prison he hasn’t been able to find work. It’s been months and being supported by his baby sister just isn’t acceptable for the ex-seal. His friend hooks him up with a landscaping job for an estate. A job Merrick is familiar with and can do good at. Merrick hates to work for rich people. Hates it, but it’s his only option at this point. When he gets to the estate he’s short with everyone, determined to do his job and get the hell out of there. Merrick is even short with his boss, Andy.
Andy is immediately attracted to Merrick but Merrick seems to despise him from the moment they meet. Andy doesn’t like it and sets out to at least have a conversation with the guy. Merrick slips and invites him out to “his side of town” one night. Andy thinks he’s broken through but Merrick shoots him down again. However, since they are in the same place everyday they’re bound to run into each other and it takes a drunken binge by Andy to make Merrick realize he may not be able to ignore his feelings for Andy.
So…..I didn’t love this. I frequently rolled my eyes or had to re-read parts to make sure I really read what I think I just read. The mention of Merrick’s big lips was so distracting. I like lips and once or twice would have made the point that Andy liked his lips.
Merrick’s incarceration and ex-seal status was barely part of the book. Merrick was understandably bitter but he came off as a jerk to everyone. And not in the sexy asshole way. You don’t hit the streets eight hours a day to get a job and then get one with very good pay and snap at everyone constantly. It also bothered me that he had his sister supporting him but used his saved money for a full arm tattoo and souped up the Honda she signed the loan for him for. Just not realistic at all. That and the quick jump from disgust for Andy to wanting to be his one and only didn’t work for me.
The rest of the book was better for me. Very sweet and the guys got everything they wanted.
Rated 3 stars by Whit