Delivered Fast, Annabeth Albert
Review from Jeannie Zelos Book reviews.
Genre: GLBT, Romance
This is part of a connected series, featuring different characters in each book, but as a stand alone novel. I hadn’t read any of the others but found that wasn’t a problem, everything was made clear and it read easily.
Chris, Mr Grumpy. He gave up his dreams to follow those of his ex, an older man. At the time it didn’t seem like a sacrifice, everything was fun and went well until they opened a second shop and fell apart years later. I like Chris, he’s loyal, a good boss, hard working and even though he comes across as a bit gruff and irritable he clearly has a very loyal staff who care for him. Life for him seems to just be existing from day to day, working, sleeping, eating and fun and frivolity seem lost. He’s only 35 but seems much older, kind of resigned to his life and I felt so sorry for him. He deserved love – his ex is a jerk, and Chris needs someone new, someone better.
Then Lance drops in to his life. There’s an attraction there straightway but Chris thinks nothing can come of it – he’s so much younger at 22. Lance is determined though – he wants Chris and has that dogged, never give up outlook. Somehow he wears Chris down and they have one hot and sensual time together – that Lance then stretches to a second and then to a friends with benefits relationship. He wants more but Chris can’t, or rather won’t, do that. He’s scared, he doesn’t want the heartbreak that comes from a breakup he sees as inevitable, the age gap figures large with him, and knowing Lance is off to uni hundreds of miles way he’ll only agree to the summer as the FWB affair. Its odd isn’t it this hook we have about age gaps? Usually we see the concern being older woman younger man, other way round it seems to get applauded ….In a gay relationship though it varies. I can see much of Chris concerns stem from how he now regrets giving up so much for his ex, and he worries that in time Lance could feel the same. Plus of course Lance has had this dream of going to that uni for so long, and has worked so hard. Chris is making decisions for him though, not recognising that Lance is an adult too and capable of making his own mind up. Its a huge block for them, and creates a real problem.
The decision needs to be made, and the way it looks it seems as if both are going to get hurt…can they find a way forward, a way to keep together? They really work so well as a couple and complement each other. Can Chris stop comparing Lance to himself at a younger age, and what went wrong? Can Lance persuade Chris that he knows his own mind, that one persons mistake doesn’t mean another will make the same error? Its a compelling read, and with real problems and concerns that faces many couples whatever their sexual orientation. There’s a good balance of sex to story here too – enough to give some heat, some spice, but not to dominate the story. That’s how I enjoy books best.
Stars: Four, a fun read with very realistic feeling characters and issues.
ARC supplied by Netgalley.