Title : Reviewing Life
Series : Review Stories, Book #2
Author : Lara Brukz
Publisher : Dreamspinner Press (BUY HERE)
Genre : M/M, Contemporary
Length : 134 pages (e-book)
Published : October 20, 2013
Rating : ★★★★
Sequel to Five Star Review
A Review Story
Recovering alcoholic Marshall Ellerbee still grieves the loss of his best friend and lover, Eric. After a year of sobriety, Marshall accepts a new job with the Wellness Center, something else to help him continue cleaning up his life. Things are finally improving when his sponsor has a heart attack. The counselor hired to replace him is none other than Kyle Young, the lost ex’s best friend. Kyle has always hated Marshall, but now they must work together and move past their history. When Marshall saves Eric’s life, Kyle suddenly sees Marshall in a new light. But will romance unsettle Marshall’s hard-won new stability…
I am so glad the author wrote Marshall’s story. I love when authors redeem characters. Forgiving Marshall isn’t an easy thing to do after what we learned he did to Eric in Five Star Review, first book in this series, but I think I have. Eric forgiving him wasn’t surprising since he has such a beautiful soul. However, his best friend is another story. That’s who is playing Marshall’s love interest in this book. Drama and tension from the start, right?
Marshall is twelve months sober. Found a job he loves and dealing with working through his guilt. Marshall has found a happy place until his coworker dies and is replaced by a face from past. A face that has a very good reason to hate him. Kyle was Marshall’s ex-lover’s best friend. Things are awkward at first but both men agree they have to work together. Marshall apologizes and explains he’s been sober for a year. They become friends and Kyle gives Marshall the push he needs to finally face Eric. Circumstances force them to live together. The more time they spend together the more the attraction they have for each other becomes obvious. They give in and it’s amazing but they have so much to overcome. More than just Marshall’s past. Kyle has his own issues to deal with and those are proving to be the hardest to overcome.
I liked this book more than the first book. I think the characters and the situation seemed more realistic than the first couple’s story in the series. There was plenty of drama but it was toned down and focused more on the tension between the MCs. Marshall’s journey really did make me think about if I would actually be able to forgive someone who caused that much harm. I would have said no but it was kind of a wake up call seeing things from Eric’s perspective. I enjoyed that aspect of the story. The chemistry between Kyle and Marshall was hot. The love story was sweet but not necessarily easy.
There were a few repetitive phrases that kept popping up throughout the book. Enough that I noticed it and it was kind of distracting. I think the gut punches and borderline too sweet moments balanced well. Hopefully we get Dane’s story. He was sexy and intriguing. This could probably be read as a stand alone. You get enough back story to follow with no problems. Sweet, fun and sexy with a message of redemption. Definitely worth a read!
Rated 4 stars by Whit