Saturday, March 24, 2018

Going Off Grid by SJD Peterson

Clay and Elliott are working toward a dream—working sixty-hour weeks for one of the oil companies that recently sprung up in North Dakota. The pay is good, but is it a fair trade for never seeing each other? The point becomes moot when the company folds, like so many others, and the couple is left with a difficult choice.

Should they find comparable work somewhere else, or is it time to throw caution to the wind and go after their goal—years earlier than they intended?

What they’ve always wanted is to be together and have time to enjoy it, so they follow their hearts. They’re going off the grid and fixing up an old cabin so they can be self-sufficient. But when they go from all the conveniences of the modern world to outhouses, solar power, a shoestring budget, and more mosquitos than they ever thought possible, will they find there’s such a thing as too much time together?

States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Nope. No way. No how. Not me. Never gonna happen. Nooooooooo. There is absolutely no way I would ever consider going off grid to live in a cabin in the woods, with no electricity, no modern plumbing, and no internet. I’m the girl who will die early in the post-apocalyptic world because I am spoiled by modern conveniences. The idea of living off the grid only appeals to me after multiple bottles of wine and in my entertainment, hence my signing up to review Going Off Grid for our blog. Now that I’ve got all that out of my system, on to the review…

I actually enjoyed Going Off Grid quite a bit. I liked seeing Clay and Elliott work together to get the cabin ready for full-time habitation. Also entertaining were Elliott’s efforts to distract Clay from their long to-do list from time to time. The men certainly had their fair share of obstacles to overcome, some of which tested the strength of their commitment to living off grid and to each other. Despite that, I never felt like I actually got to know either of the men. Peterson relies upon a seven-year relationship and history to forge the bond between the men, and this kind of built-in history is an approach that I like in novellas because it makes it easier for me to believe in their love. In this case, however, it was as if there was too much reliance on their shared history, with the author not sharing much about the men outside of their present-day interactions and inner musings. I never doubted that Clay and Elliott loved each other, but I didn’t feel as fully invested in them or their story as much as I expected to be.

I’m a novella lover. I love full-length novels as well, but there are times when I want to read but don’t have more than a couple hours of reading time available and this is when I tend to look for a novella. Keeping that in mind, this is one of those rare times that I wish a novella had been fleshed out more and expanded into a full-length book so that I could have seen more character development, gotten to know the characters better, and been more invested in their outcome. Don’t get me wrong, Peterson has penned an entertaining novella and one I’m certainly glad I had the opportunity to read, making Going Off Grid a solid three-star read for me. It’s just that I needed a bit more from the characters to connect with them.

SJD PETERSON, better known as Jo, is a bestselling and award-winning author of gay romance. She lives in Michigan with her Itty Bitty Kitty and Little Man. She does her best writing when under pressure of deadlines and at 3:00 a.m. when the world is quiet. Jo loves to tell stories about real people with real flaws. The happily ever after isn’t guaranteed unless it’s earned through hard work and growth. Oh, but when it comes, the rewards are all the better!

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Going Off Grid (States of Love) by SJD Peterson to read and review.

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