Title : Zipper Fall
Author : Kate Pavelle
Series : Steel City, Book #2
Publisher : Dreamspinner Press (BUY HERE)
Genre : M/M, Contemporary
Length : 330 pages (e-book)
Published : September 20, 2013
Rating : ★★★
A Steel City Story
Wyatt Gaudens, an advertising executive and adrenaline junkie, has fine-tuned the art of breaking and entering into apartments, misusing his considerable rock climbing skills. Once inside, he steals a pretty, shiny thing or two. When his friend Reyna complains that her jerk of a boss makes her workplace a living hell, he breaks into her boss’s home to get even. More than any other pretty thing, what really catches his eye the most is her boss, Jack.
Working hard to overcome his own lingering problems, investment specialist Jack Azzuri focuses on his second chance at making his business grow. But grief for his sister, Celia, recently killed in a suspicious climbing accident, sabotages his attempt to start over. When he meets Wyatt, he’s strongly attracted even though Wyatt is the last person he should associate with. With Jack’s explosive temper and Wyatt’s adrenaline addiction, the path to a stable relationship will be a tough climb. They might succeed if they can sort out what really matters, as well as learn to take the good with the bad. Wyatt hopes to speed their progress by solving the mystery that’s weighing Jack down: how did Celia really die?
Wyatt Gaudens is an avid climber working in marketing and advertising – a job he finds boring and unimportant. Instead he seeks his excitement and adrenaline rushes not only from climbing, but also in the form of breaking and entering (and stealing from) other people’ homes.
Jack Azzuri is Wyatt’s best friend’s boss (who refers to him as Azz-hole).
Despite all his self imposed rules about breaking and entering and stealing from people he knows or knows someone he knows, when Wyatt learns Jack will be out of town for a while, he decides to hit Jack’s apartment. He cases the place, works out the best method of breaking in, ensures no-one’s home by calling beforehand and even knocking on the door. He finds the usual stash of cash in the freezer along with a couple of other easily fenced items and then gets out. After spotting a wall safe before leaving, he decides a rare second hit is in order. However, on his second visit, when he climbs in through a bedroom window there’s a naked man asleep in the bed. A stunningly beautiful naked man. Wyatt is forced to hide in the closet when the man – Jack – stirs from his sleep. And then proceeds a tried and true method of relaxation. An act that a captivated Wyatt can’t help but record on his phone. He makes his escape and thinks that’s that, but guilt starts rearing it’s ugly head, mainly because he finds himself completely smitten with the man, and Wyatt decides to return the items he stole. This time, when he breaks in, Jack is waiting for him. Despite Wyatt’s smartarse quips, he convinces Jack he really was returning the items and Jack lets him go with the warning to not come back.
The next day, Wyatt is at work when his boss informs him that they have an appointment with a new client and Wyatt is to meet him. Wyatt is beyond shocked when the man turns out to be Jack Azzuri. I won’t go into any further details in between that meeting and how their relationship starts because it takes a quite a few necessary steps to get there and would make for a very long review. Suffice it to say that Wyatt later learns that Jack’s sister, Celia, who was an also an avid climber, was killed in a climbing accident that Jack has some major suspicions about. The mystery of which becomes a major element in the second half of the book.
At the start, I didn’t particularly LIKE the MC. But I WAS intrigued. Even a quarter or so into the book I still didn’t particularly like either of the protagonists, but continued to find them intriguing and did like the story. I did start to warm, first to Wyatt and then, a little later, Jack and I really came to love them together for most of the book. I liked Jack’s nickname for Wyatt. Wyatt proved to be quite a complex character and I did enjoy the revealing of those layers.
At halfway into the book the sudden, out of the blue revelations that were almost 180s to the previous information were starting to give me whiplash. I was still really enjoying the story but they kept pulling me out of it. In fact, there were a few contradictions and inconsistencies that kept cropping up, including a wound requiring surgery that seemed to get half ignored, if not completely, at least when it didn’t suit the author for it to be there. The whole relationship ‘conflict’ just didn’t quite gel for me, especially combined with the over the top plate breaking scene preceding it (which then became Jack’s preferred method of anger management. Although since Wyatt is the one who suggested it, he was obviously okay with it). I was definitely glad when Wyatt actually told Jack what he was feeling and why. The last quarter lost momentum, feeling bogged down with the pursuit of Celia’s possible murderer’s confession and the relationship conflict that seemed to prevaricate all over the place.
I had to think about this one for a bit because I really wasn’t sure how to review it. There were definitely things that I did like and enjoy about this book. Although it took me a little while, I ended up warming to Wyatt and Jack, and they had a lot of chemistry as a couple. However, the last quarter of the book, especially, ran off the rails a bit for me. The ‘mystery’ component felt underdone and slightly clunky and got in the way of the relationship between Wyatt and Jack. Jack ended up showing some really serious self control and anger issues and that, coupled with the book being told solely from Wyatt’s POV (I don’t mind single POVs, although it can end up distancing the other MC depending on the character), made it more and more difficult to keep liking him.
Rated 3 stars by BookSmitten