Sunday, May 6, 2012

Hunter's Prey by Moira Rogers

AUTHOR: Moira Rogers
LENGTH: Novel (roughly 45k)
GENRE: Steampunk paranormal erotic romance
COST: $4.50

Two people attempting to change their lives. Ophelia, an ex-prostitute, has taken over the job of housekeeper for the bloodhounds in Iron Creek, while Hunter, a bloodhound, is trying to learn how to exist outside a cage. Neither wants to admit their attraction to the other. But when desire and emotions take charge, neither one really has a choice…

The world-building in the first book of this series intrigued me enough to invest in getting the second. However, I’m not completely sure it’s enough to keep me going after this one.

In this installment, our romance occurs between Ophelia, an ex-prostitute who has been given the job as housekeeper at the manor where the bloodhounds of Iron Creek live, and Hunter, a recently rescued new bloodhound who is still learning what it means to be one. Ophelia is done with being a pawn for men, as well as only being valued for her sex appeal, but being a housekeeper isn’t exactly what she wants either. She’s too independent and intelligent for such menial work, and decides she’s going to quit once the new moon is past. The one thing that gives her pause is the latest bloodhound at the manor. Hunter had been caged by vampires ever since being created, used as a feeding source for Nate (who has become a sort of vampire/bloodhound hybrid), and is just starting to learn what it means to be what he is. He’s afraid of what he can do, of how out of control he gets, and he’s especially afraid he’ll hurt Ophelia, since she seems to be the one woman who can really get to him. He turns down her offer to help him through the new moon (a period during which they need to feed off their partner’s lusts and desires, which is basically an excuse for lots and lots of sex over a three day period), but when she makes the arrangements for him to be seen by someone else, he refuses, demanding only her.

The story goes on from there, though honestly, there’s not much that isn’t horribly predictable. The bulk of it is spent on Hunter’s internal angst about who he really is and Ophelia’s flip-flopping back and forth on her feelings for Hunter, with a subplot about a threat running through Iron Creek supposedly bringing things together. While the world is just as fascinating as it was the first time, it’s less developed, relying too heavily on previous knowledge to work well as a standalone. I hadn’t read the previous book again before tackling this one, and found gaps in my knowledge that this one failed to fill in. For a new reader to the series, I don’t think it serves it well at all.

It’s not helped by the fact that the characterizations for both leads aren’t strong. Hunter’s primary conflict is his internal battle trying to figure out who he really is – the man he was before he became a bloodhound or the monster he is now. But because Hunter doesn’t know, we as readers don’t ever really get to find out either. It leaves him as a shell for me to project upon, an archetype to imagine going through the motions of what are meant to steamy love scenes. It’s boring, frankly. Ophelia fares slightly better, as she has a stronger sense of who she is, but just because she’s strong-willed and independent, that doesn’t necessarily mean she’s interesting. She’s not. And the sex isn’t written well enough to make up for the deficiency in either of the characters.

The broader cast of characters is interesting, with both new and old faces, but the story is too short to give any of them a decent treatment. There’s barely enough time to get the main conflict resolved, let alone touch on the multitude of subplots that get thrown into the mix (most likely fodder for future stories). I would have much preferred getting some meaty time with just one or two, rather than the plethora that took over the pages.

Will I read the third book when it comes out? I honestly don’t know. This one had such potential, with a hero type that usually falls right in the middle of a bulletproof kink (the broken alpha struggling for identity), and yet, didn’t follow through on its promise. I guess it’ll be a matter of evaluating it on its own merit rather than as an autobuy as part of a series.

8/10 – Clean and does the job
5/10 – The problem is, since he doesn’t know who he is, the reader doesn’t either
6/10 – Being strong-willed and independent doesn’t necessarily make her well-rounded
Entertainment value
5/10 – As much as I love the potential in this, I never believed the romance enough to invest in it
World building
8/10 – As fascinating as this world is, it doesn’t work as a standalone as well as it should

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Bust #5

While I was away, I didn't have much opportunity to read. Unfortunately, that seems to be the case when trouble in real life rears its head. What I did read...most of it was pretty bad. I was looking for shorter works, things I thought I could read quickly and escape with, but very, very few were actually finishable.

Two that especially disappointed were His Darling by Ashley Elizabeth Ludwig, and Demon's Fall by Karalynn Lee. The first was a contemporary romance from Wild Rose Press about a filmmaker and a musician, and hinted that it would bring in some classic Hollywood elements with her grandmother, but it was a chore from the onset. The hero was kind of a mama's boy, and the dialogue and situations just sincerely unfunny when they were meant to be charmingly awkward. The second was written by an author I've read before, one whose voice really got to me. I had high hopes for this novella from Carina, but honestly, it was a letdown in every way. Characterizations were shallow, there was zero build-up of tension (the hero went from wanting her soul--just because--to wanting her love--again just because), and the gorgeous prose I fell in love with in the first story I ready by this author was nowhere to be found. So a bust from me tonight.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Convenient Strangers by Cara McKenna

AUTHOR: Cara McKenna
PUBLISHER: Ellora’s Cave
LENGTH: Novella (roughly 20k)
GENRE: Gay contemporary erotica
COST: $4.45

Stephen left England behind to follow his lover back to the States, but when it finally becomes clear his lover is not coming out of the closet for him, Stephen calls it quits. He goes out to drown his sorrows and runs into the handsome Adam, himself the product of a recent break-up. The two men hit it off, ending with an offer to crash the night on Adam’s couch. In spite of their intent to keep it simple, the chemistry between them is too hot to ignore…

I’ve been on a kick recently with this author, and this is hardly the last book I have of hers on my TBR pile. It succeeds where the previous erotica book I read by here didn’t quite, though, which just makes me more excited about getting to the rest of her backlist.

English Stephen followed his lover back to the States in hopes that this relationship was going to be the one. However, the in the closet tendencies his lover displayed never go away, frustrating Stephen more and more as time passes. Finally, he can’t take anymore and walks out. Heading out to the bar, he gets hit on by Adam, a physical therapist who is coming off his own recent break-up. After a rough start, they hit it off, and decide to take it elsewhere, especially since Stephen doesn’t want to go back home. They agree no anal on the first date, but as the tension between them rises, they both realize they need to renegotiate those boundaries.

This is not a romance. There’s no HEA, and it’s branded as part of the Exotika line at EC. I say this only because of reader expectations. My previous experiences with McKenna’s erotica have blurred the lines between erotica and romance, making it difficult to accept it as either. Thankfully, this one doesn’t fall into that trap.

That’s not to say it doesn’t have an emotional payout. It does, to a degree. Both Stephen and Adam are sharply drawn, and the sexual tension between the two ratcheted up so well, the sex is a relief when it finally occurs. Because they both feel very real, and their emotions are just as vital as their physical attraction, I became attached to both men, eager to see how their one-night stand was going to play out. While there isn’t an HEA, there’s a hint of an HFN, which in the case of erotica, is really all that’s needed (and anybody expecting otherwise isn’t paying attention to how this is being sold). It works. Surprisingly well. Because the sex is hot and satisfying, the characters solid and sympathetic, and the writing clean and concise.

9/10 – Hot and well-paced
8/10 – The chemistry between these two is delicious, which helps with the eventual sex
8/10 – I liked both these guys for their very different personalities
Entertainment value
8/10 – There’s nothing wholly original about the story, but it delivers what it promises
World building
5/10 – Takes a back seat to the characters and sex

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Back to reviewing

Real life has been taking precedence the last month or so, so I put reviewing on a back burner. Now that everything is calming down, I'll be back to posting tomorrow.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Willing Victim by Cara McKenna

TITLE: Willing Victim
AUTHOR: Cara McKenna
PUBLISHER: Ellora’s Cave
LENGTH: Novel (roughly 41k)
GENRE: Contemporary erotica
COST: $5.20

An attraction to blue-collar Flynn seems simple until Laurel sees his rough-and-tumble attitude inside the ring of an underground fighting club. According to his friend with benefits, Flynn likes his sex rough. Very rough. An intrigued Laurel agrees to watch to see if it’s something that might interest her, but her reaction is far stronger than she anticipated…

I had some issues with the first erotica title I read by this author, and though this doesn't knock it out of the ballpark, it still manages to be hot escapism.

Laurel is twenty-nine and waitressing at a tourist trap, disenchanted with the opportunities her engineering degree has scrounged up. In an attempt to have a peaceful afternoon, she ends up witness to an argument between lovers, but they ignore her attempts to keep it civil. A stranger appears out of nowhere, manhandles the boyfriend into moving it elsewhere, and then walks away. Laurel is intrigued and chases him down. He takes up her offer to buy him lunch, but when she gathers the nerve to ask this man out, he turns her down, saying he’s not most women’s type. She presses, and he finally tells her to show up at a bar on Saturday night, tell them Flynn sent her, and then see if she’s still interested in a date. On Saturday night, she witnesses an underground boxing club, with the man – Flynn, she learns his name is – one of the most brutal in the ring. She also sees him kissing a woman, and discouraged that he’s got a girlfriend, confesses to her that Flynn invited her to watch. The woman laughs it off, saying they’re just friends with benefits, that Flynn likes his sex rough and is willing to take her to dark places most men won’t. She invites Laurel to come watch them after the fight, an offer Laurel eventually accepts. What she sees about Flynn intrigues her even more, and she and Flynn then arrange to hook up on their own.

There’s a warning on the publisher’s site, stating that though everything is purely consensual, the role-playing and rape fantasies that get acted out might prove too much of a trigger for some readers. While this warning is valid and probably necessary – it’s better to err on the side of caution when it comes to these sort of triggers – the story isn’t nearly as rough as I expected it to be. Sure, Flynn uses rough language, spanks and slaps, bosses women around as he wants, but in all honesty, it never feels overboard. That’s largely due to remaining in Laurel’s perspective throughout the entire book. Because she always feels safe, the reader does, too. Flynn is never as menacing as he could be.

That being said, most of the sex is hot. Very hot. Very, very hot. The base nature of their first encounters do smooth out as the story progresses, and honestly, I didn’t care for the final sex scenes nearly as much as the initial ones (nor the implication that developing feelings means kink preferences aren’t important anymore), but that’s likely due to a pacing and structural issue rather than the scenes themselves.

See, this is erotica. It’s sold as erotica. For three-fourths of the story, it is erotica. But suddenly, in the last quarter, a bunch of emotions are introduced that are likely meant to show the viable shift from hooking up to dating. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s all so rushed and out of the blue that it never feels genuine. Flynn doesn’t suffer from it; his casual comment that Laurel was supposed to ask him out for a date but instead they’ve only hooked up is proof he’s been thinking about her and dating prospects. Laurel is the one who suddenly spills secrets, and it just never makes sense.

Up until this point, though, I liked Flynn and Laurel for what they were. Flynn is blue-collar Boston, surprisingly articulate even with his often brusque manner, while Laurel is relatable in her insecurities and desires. The ending is meant to introduce a potential HFN (unnecessary in erotica, in my opinion), and I think I could be convinced these two have a future based on the characterizations I saw up until that jarring last chapter or two. But that’s not the point of erotica. This should have been all about the heat. In that respect, it worked, providing an intense exploration into less romantic fantasies. I’m in for more. Definitely.


8/10 – Until the last fourth that didn’t seem to fit, hot and heavy


8/10 – Though it devolves into more vanilla as the story progresses, it’s still pretty darn hot


7/10 – I liked them more for the first ¾’s but found the emotional dumps in the last bit unbelievable and out of place

Entertainment value

7/10 – If this had stayed firmly within the realm of erotica, this would’ve been higher. As a hybrid, it doesn’t work as well

World building

8/10 – I don’t know if the boxing is necessarily realistic, but damn if I couldn’t see and smell everything



Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Family Business by Emma McKee

TITLE: Family Business
AUTHOR: Emma McKee
PUBLISHER: Wild Rose Press
LENGTH: Novel (roughly 62k)
GENRE: Contemporary romantic suspense
COST: $3.99

Loan officer Nora Bainbridge’s great-aunt is as eccentric as they come, but then again, as an aging actress from Hollywood’s golden era, she’s expected to be. When she breaks her leg, she asks for Nora to move in and take care of her cat, a financial arrangement Nora can’t refuse right now. Little does she know that the TV producer poking his nose around, looking for information on her Aunt Elnora’s ancient connections with the mob, is really an FBI agent, or that he just might be the answer to her recent dry spell…

When an author’s humor works for me, I’m much more inclined to finish a book, even when I can see its flaws. This was one of those cases.

It opens with FBI agent Luke McKinnon staking out aging Hollywood actress, Elnora Bainbridge, in hopes he can determine whether or not his teenaged crush is involved in a stolen art scam. He witnesses her take a fall while chasing her cat and calls 911 anonymously. That same fall puts Elnora in the hospital, and prompts her to pay her great-niece, named after her, to housesit and take care of the over-indulged cat. Nora agrees only because she needs the money. She’s barely making ends meet as she struggles to regain her financial footing after her ex cleaned her out. Luke shows up and introduces himself as a television producer, interested in doing a show on Elnora. He’s struck by the physical similarities between the two women, and it becomes harder for him to separate his growing feelings for Nora with the pressing evidence that Elnora really is involved in something illegal. He should know, after all. His grandfather was one of the mobsters who fought over Elnora before she gave up her acting career for good.

I fell for this story very early on, mostly because I was laughing out loud in the first few pages at Luke’s spying antics. The humor in this worked for me, mostly because I got sucked in by Luke’s appalled thoughts that he would now be scarred with memories of his favorite teenaged crush running around naked in her eighties. It’s a little silly, but that farcical nature worked within the context of the story, keeping it light for most of its length. Not all of it was a success. I’m not a fan of puns at all, and having the nosy neighbor named Ima Payne was mostly just eyeroll-worthy. Still, I liked Nora and Luke’s self-deprecating humor enough to like them in conjunction, thus making it easier to invest in their potential romance.

The supporting cast is colorful as well, from her spirited Aunt Elnora with her illicit online businesses, to Elnora’s attorney Albert, all the way to the overweight, over-indulged cat, Mr. Witherby. Nora bounces around from person to animal with a refreshing aplomb, and if she sometimes seems a bit scattered as a result, it’s nice to be remembered that events are happening very quickly within the story (so quickly that at least once, the author messes up the timeline). More get introduced as the story progresses, and it’s the firm addition of the Mob (as opposed to the hints that they might be involved at the top of the story) that actually starts weakening the tale.

So much is made about what might have happened, the truth is very anticlimactic when it comes out. Then, it plays out so quickly, in a scene that’s far too talky even for a farce, that I was left with a vague sense of, “That’s it?” Add to that a time jump at the end that, while justified, watered down the response rather than heightened it, and I was a little disappointed by the time I got my HEA. If only the last third had lived up to the hype of the first two. This could’ve been truly remarkable then.


8/10 – Humor goes a long way in smoothing over rough transitions and an anticlimactic ending


7/10 – His perspective was what enticed me to make this a definite finish, funny and just deprecating enough to be charming


7/10 – Self-aware with just enough of an edge

Entertainment value

7/10 – I responded to humor in this, as well as the obvious love for old movies, though the ending didn’t live up to the promise of the first two-thirds

World building

7/10 – Enough hints to make it interesting, not enough to make it rich



Monday, April 2, 2012

One Good Year by Rowan McBride

TITLE: One Good Year
AUTHOR: Rowan McBride
LENGTH: Novella (roughly 824k)
GENRE: Gay paranormal romance
COST: $4.99

A year after Spade was on in a card game, he’s still devoted to his master Ace but wondering why he doesn’t feel more secure in the relationship. Ace does everything he can to convince him, but it takes another of Spade’s kind threatening to tear them apart forever for the lovers to face what it means to belong to each other…

Revisiting loved characters in subsequent books is often dangerous, especially when a lot of time has elapsed. Unfortunately, this short sequel to One Good Hand fails to deliver much of anything except a brief walk down memory lane.

Told in 1st person from Spade’s POV, this is a short revisit in Spade and Ace’s lives together, almost a year after Ace won Spade in a poker game. Spade is an alien species, designed to be the perfect match for whoever owns him, and in the first book, proved he was the right partner for Ace when their bond was solidified. Spade meets another of his kind who has been looking for them ever since they crashed fifteen years ago, but his intentions soon become evident. He thinks Ace will hurt Spade, so he’s determined to separate the two permanently by erasing their memories.

While I really enjoyed the first book, and often find this author very enjoyable, this story ultimately didn’t work for me. First of all, it relies too heavily on knowing its predecessor, with characterizations that tell more than show and too little attention breathing fresh life into them. Even recognizing it won’t work as a standalone, however, it becomes mired in its own over-romanticism and sentimentality. These guys are mushy from the very start, and it borders on nauseating because there’s just no ebb and flow to make their relationship feel real.

On top of that, we’re introduced to Ancel, another of Spade’s kind, who was defective and thus has other abilities that Spade doesn’t. He becomes this omnipotent force that threatens to come between Ace and Spade, but his conflict is introduced too late in the story for it to have much impact, not to mention I had very little opportunity to really get to know him as a character before the threats began. Maybe if he’d seemed more genuine or if I’d known him better, I wouldn’t have been as annoyed by what felt like manufactured conflict.

In all fairness, I think this short novella would do best with readers who were highly invested in the couple as based on their first story and really want to see something – anything – with them again. Otherwise, I’d pass.


7/10 – Overly romantic and too repetitive to be a quick read

Hero #1

5/10 – Even though we’re in his POV, I felt I knew him better in the first book than this one

Hero #2

6/10 – His constant indecision and fear were grating

Entertainment value

4/10 – Doesn’t work as a standalone at all

World building

5/10 – Too much is left unexplained, new readers won’t get it easily



Friday, March 30, 2012

Bust #4

Being on vacation for two weeks meant I should've had a lot reviews lined up, but unfortunately, I ran into quite a few duds in my reading choices.

One was a truly awful novella by Jo Barrett called "Doorway to His Heart." I thought it would be a sweet time travel-type story, but it was riddled with so many editorial mistakes, it was a joke. Even laugh out loud funny. For instance, in the first chapter, the heroine has woken up in the body of a different woman in a different time. There's this line: “Okay,” she whispered. “There’s a perfectly good explanation. I’m either dead or—I’m in a comma! Of course! ” I laughed for five minutes solid.

The second novella wasn't awful, just utterly forgettable, a ghost story called "Ride the Lightning" by Rebecca Goings. The story was short, but it took me forever to finish it, mostly because it felt so by the numbers. I was bored out of my head with it.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Waltz at Midnight by Crista McHugh

TITLE: A Waltz at Midnight
AUTHOR: Crista McHugh
LENGTH: Novella (roughly 19k)
GENRE: Historical romance
COST: $2.69

Southerner Susanna Parkwell has been forced into a life of servitude after the Civil War, and when she is offered payment to write some letters for one of the college girls in the house where she works, she takes it, desperate to help her injured brother achieve his dream. Deceiving the girl’s suitor should’ve been easy. After all, all she has to do is convince him he doesn’t want anything to do with courting. But when she begins to have feelings for this man she has never met, she can’t quite bring herself to end the masquerade…

I love epistolic stories, and the romantic premise of this appealed to me. However, the end result proved too simple for my tastes, ultimately becoming something I had troubles remembering just a day later.

As a tale, it’s a simple one. Susanna works as a maid in her aunt’s boardinghouse for young women attending college. A transplanted Southerner, she is now reliant on her aunt’s good graces to support her and her brother who was injured during the war. One of the girls in the boardinghouse receives a letter from a would-be suitor, but because she’s in love with someone else, she asks the more eloquent Susanna to write a letter back posing as her to discourage him. Susanna agrees to do it only after she is offered payment, but after she exchanges a couple letters with the man, she begins to realize it’s not quite the onerous task she originally thought it would be.

Knowing the length ahead of time, I didn’t expect much. There wouldn’t be time for real depth, just some letters back and forth, hopefully romantic, and a sweet HEA. That’s what there is, but the problem lies with the fact that the conflict that gets introduced – a surprising depth to Theodore’s issues as well as his feelings regarding the duplicity when he finds out – get completely dismissed in the transition between his discovery and the ending. All of a sudden, there’s the HEA, with no real explanation as to how Theodore suddenly is okay with the fact that he’s been deceived for so long when more is really needed. He comes across as incredibly wishy-washy as a result, which does nothing to bolster him as an appealing hero.

Susanna fares slightly better, as she at least has a spine and stands up to some of the more awful girls in the boardinghouse as well as Theodore’s rather obnoxious responses. But my respect for her wears thin as her letters progress, mostly because I can’t fathom how the early ones are ever meant to truly discourage him from courting her. The intelligence I’m told she has doesn’t seem to manifest, and I’m left only half-invested in whether or not everything will work out.

When all is said and done, it’s a forgettable story with unmemorable characters that never seem to have to live up to the promise that’s hinted at several times within the text. Even for a short novella, it failed to do much more than kill the time it took to read.


7/10 – Simple and direct, easy to read but rather superficial


5/10 – Rather generic, and the switch at the end came too abruptly


6/10 – Has a spine but seeing those letters as off-putting made me question her so-called intelligence

Entertainment value

4/10 – I love the potential of this, and there were hints of what I love about epistolic stories, but it felt too glossed over in the sections where the conflict should have been prevalent

World building

7/10 – There’s no doubt about the time period, though it took a lot to get me past the initial set-up since it felt so abrupt



Monday, March 26, 2012

The Rebuilding Year by Kaje Harper

TITLE: The Rebuilding Year
AUTHOR: Kaje Harper
LENGTH: Novel (roughly 80k)
GENRE: Gay contemporary erotic romance
COST: $5.50

After a horrific accident on the job, Ryan Ward has switched from firefighting to medicine, returning to college at thirty. When his bad leg goes out on him on campus, he’s helped by the groundskeeper, thirty-seven year-old divorced John Barrett, and the two strike up a friendship. That friendship provides the basis of John offering to rent a room to Ryan in his house, a move both of them need. But as their friendship deepens over the months, the last thing either of them expects is for attraction to grow from it, too…

One thing I’m coming to appreciate about this author is how very readable she is. Even though I had certain issues with this book, and ultimately didn’t quite enjoy it as much as the other stories I read recently by her, I still read through it in only two sittings, engaged with her voice and the believability of her men enough to get immersed. I even trusted her enough to read a gay for you trope, which tends to be on my list of “oh please no” tropes when I’m looking for something to buy.

This is the story of two thirtysomething men, returning med student Ryan and groundskeeper John. John is divorced and taking a step back from his corporate career with his new job, while Ryan has recently survived a horrific accident as a firefighter and is changing tracks because of that. The title is completely apt for their state. Both are in this state of flux, not just about each other, but about finding their feet in a life they can accept. Ryan has a living situation with a roommate he can’t stand, so when John offers to rent him a room in his house, Ryan jumps at it. Their friendship builds slowly, until gradually John realizes he’s interested in more from Ryan than what they currently have.

This careful build and methodical creation of these two men and their relationship is what anchors this book. I liked both men, though I had a preference for John and his more solid, protective ways. Their friendship felt genuine from their first meeting, and I enjoyed seeing these two discover how to live together as adults. The relationship faltered for me when it began to shift to something romantic. I bought them liking each other, but I never saw the physical attraction until suddenly, it was there in my face and they were struggling with this newfound thing between them. I imagine this is probably as much my issue as it is anything else. While I believe strongly that we love who we love, I don’t buy most gay for you stories because it feels like too much of a copout most of the time (like mating). I need to see and believe in the desire before the author tells me it’s there, or I’m yanked out of believing anything romantic or sexual can happen. Too often, these tropes are used as shortcuts for actual storytelling. In this instance, I think it’s a combination of failing to see the possibility of sexual attraction before it was on the page and my natural reluctance to give in to the fantasy element of this particular trope.

It does smooth out as the story progresses. The sex is reasonably hot, and the emotions at the end are deep and believable. It’s just that hump to get over as the transition happens that lowered my enjoyment of the overall story.

The other element that doesn’t really serve the story well is the side mystery that winds through the plot. There’s a girl John finds wandering on campus, clearly high, that later become instrumental in both of their lives, but the way it kept popping into the story never sat well with me. It felt very shoehorned, like there needed to be specific scenes scattered in the first three-fourths of the story (and very few of them at that), in order to justify the big climax. I didn’t buy it, and actually got annoyed when it would take a sudden left turn into this police investigation.

Overall, this would likely work best for people who enjoy this trope or are already fans of the author. It’s refreshing to see time being taken in creating and building realistic men in an m/m romance, however, and that alone makes it worthwhile to continue following this author’s books.


8/10 – Slow-paced and methodical, my only complaint rests in the mystery that attempts to get woven through the plotline, it felt very shoehorned

Hero #1

7/10 – Believable and steady

Hero #2

8/10 – While I thought the switch to bi was too abrupt, I liked him more as a person than I did Ryan

Entertainment value

7/10 – Though I appreciated the slow build and the friendship, I didn’t completely buy the turnaround or the mystery aspects

World building

9/10 – Easily the best parts about it, felt very authentic