Series: Just Life #3
Author: E.E Montgomery
Length: 108 pages (Novella)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (February 6th)
Heat Level: Low
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥3Hearts
Blurb: Sequel to Just Like a Date
Mark Mendelson’s life is close to perfect: he has good friends, a successful business, and a solid reputation in the jewelry industry. He fought hard to get what he has after nearly losing it all fifteen years ago, when his then boyfriend, Cole Porter, stole his designs.
When a handsome man enters Mark’s store to request a commitment ring—a design Mark made specifically for Cole—Mark wants nothing to do with him. All he can think about is his rage at Cole’s betrayal, something he thought he’d dealt with long ago. But Mark’s would-be customer, Dr. Liam Watson, returns to the shop, thinking Mark might provide some answers. For years Liam has tried to convince his cousin Jon to leave Cole, who abuses him. As the relationship between Jon and Cole disintegrates, a fragile new one forms between Liam and Mark—but Mark can’t move on until he confronts Cole once and for all.
Review: A fast read.
Very fast, actually. I ate up the whole book in one enjoyable sitting and, for the most part, I was satisfied.
What really worked for me in this novella were the mystery elements and the very clear story goal that pushes the reader through to the end. It didn’t lag. The writing was sparse on description and to-the-point. For a novella, it worked.
Mark is an interesting character, and I liked learning more about his past relationship bit by bit. The deliberate suspense the author employed to keep us interested and involved in the story worked just nicely.
That being said, I feel there was so much more potential for this story—particularly in the romance department. I found Liam was difficult for me to grow attached to. He wasn’t often in scenes, and when he was, it was hard for me to like him. I just couldn’t get a good feel for him. There were also a couple of points where I wanted to shake him for just leaving after having sex without a word to Mark. Ah, no, you don’t just do that without a reason.
Also, the book ended with no clear HEA, only the hope that there might be one.
Still, I have to say I really liked that there was a lot of action in the story. I’m a fan of unanswered questions that are over-and-above the ‘will they get together or won’t they?’ It felt like there was a solid plot here. Though I would have liked if the ‘love’ had been amped up a bit for an even more satisfying ending.