Monday, September 19, 2016

Gambling On Love by Jane Davitt

When Gary and Abe came out to each other in their final year of high school, a longstanding friendship turned into a new love. Keeping their feelings a secret was easy until a coach caught them together in the locker room, and their fragile relationship shattered around them. Panicked, angry, and rejected by his mother, Gary fled town, breaking Abe’s eighteen-year-old heart.

Eleven years later Gary returns just as unexpectedly, crashing into Abe's truck during a blizzard. He’s as arrogant and stubborn as ever—and just as irresistible. Time has changed them both in ways they never imagined, but the heat that flares between them is enough to thaw any ice.

While Abe discovers what Gary did to survive in the city, Gary realizes that Abe has grown into a man with needs to match his own, and they fall in love all over again. But Gary’s determination to carry out one final order from the rich, older man he lived with—and obeyed—for years means that a dead man's plans might split them apart again...this time for keeps.

Publisher's note: This title is an edited second edition, previously published in 2011.

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Riptide Publishing

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

The prologue of this book had me falling in love with Abe and Gary aka Fox. I felt their connection and I couldn’t wait to read their story. I feel like the prologue and the book were written by two different people. I felt no connection to either character, and the story really had no substance. Fox didn’t want to share his past, but wouldn’t stop talking about Peter. Abe wanted nothing more than to fill in the gaps and start over. The whole story was vague and we didn’t even have other characters to liven things up. Then the whole Vegas thing, ugh, don’t get me started. I was hoping the epilogue would have been good, but it was just as vague.

Characters: Couldn’t connect with them
Sex: Yes
Religious: No
Would I recommend to others: Yes
More than one book in the series: No
Genre: M/M
Would I read more by this author: Yes

Oh My Gawd – the angst! A chance meeting in a snowstorm brings former teenage lovers back together to wade through all the anger and bitter resentment they’ve both soaked themselves in for the past eleven years.

Neither Abe nor Gary does forgiveness well. Neither man can forgive himself or the other for the mistakes made as teenagers and it takes nearly half the book for them to actually tell each other what happened when they were kids. The result is a string of angry, recriminatory half-conversations and some equally angry sex.

Once Abe and Gary actually started talking, I realised that I didn’t particularly like either man. Gary’s long term D/s relationship felt opportunistic and calculated. The setup was too close to prostitution for my liking. He comes across as materialistic, self-centered, and very immature. There is some self-awareness in this book – both characters mention that Gary isn’t terribly likeable – but I felt like I was still supposed to want to see him happy.

I think Abe is supposed to be more likeable, but he is a 30-year-old man who has only held down odd jobs for his entire adult life – an adult who fears leaving the parents he effectively still lives with. Urgh. Both of these characters have effectively wasted their twenties and neither really works for me as a romantic leading man.

The plot of this story also felt odd. Gary is on a road trip planned by his dead partner as a memorial. In this context, the love story between Gary and Abe feels more than a little wrong, especially once Abe starts help Gary fulfill Peter’s last wishes. Peter is an even more unlikeable third character in this story and his presence continually intrudes on Gary and Abe’s story. I did enjoy the story in Vegas somewhat more than I did the claustrophobic days in the cabin.

There are some hot, rough sex scenes in this book. While I enjoyed the chemistry between Abe and Gary, I didn’t always enjoy the angry sex or the sex used to prove dominance. I need a few tender moments to believe in a relationship and I’m not sure either of these two men is capable of tender.

At the age of eight I decided to write a book. What I really meant was: I will find a blank notebook, write “Chapter One” at the start, scribble a few hundred words about triplets with improbable names, and lose interest. Jump forward three decades and I still wanted to write a book, but the dim realization was dawning that to do that I had to actually, well, write something.

Yes, it surprised me too.

So I did. Not about triplets (though if they were guys and weren’t named after my dolls, who knows, I might one day) but love, angst, and hot and spicy smut, and for the most part they’re m/m romances.

I look at the shelf in my library where I keep the books with my name on them and yeah, there they are. I did it.

That eight-year-old me expected a lot of her future self though. Being an astronaut was definitely on the list. Did not do that.

Sorry, younger me. Here, have a wine gum.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Gambling On Love by Jane Davitt to read and review.

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