A.E. Via is a new author for me and I was delighted to read the first in her Blue Moon Series, Too Good To Be True. Before I begin my review, I want to caution those of you who may struggle with out for you and insta-love themes in an m/m novel. This is a story that you will most assuredly need to suspend your disbelief for, but there are some really smart and tender moments written in that make it a satisfying read for the right audience.
The book revolves around firefighter, Maximus Strong. Max is straight and trapped in a relationship with a woman who is too clingy and just a bit controlling. When he is called to the hottest nightclub in Virginia Beach on a false alarm, he meets the club owner, Angel DeLucca. Angel is a striking figure with his dark looks and waist length black hair and Max is left flustered and just a little aroused after speaking with the club owner. Thus begins an affair that rapidly morphs into murmurings of undying love and rampant sex. But all is not rosy in Angel and Max’s world. There are unseen foes abounding in this novel and, before long, the cast of secondary characters grows beyond Max’s brother Ryker and Angel’s friends, Jazz and Bass, to include Angel’s gay father, former army seal and his band of brothers. Introduced along with these muscle bound and testerone-laden men is Jazz’s husband and another coworker from the FBI.
As the story progresses, a strong secondary subplot develops between Ryker and Bass which involves some serious BDSM and actually made for a loving view of this type of relationship. All in all, the main plot of this novel has some serious twists and turns and, at times, becomes a bit over the top with the added layers. As more and more characters were heaped on, small editorial flaws began to creep in, but still the overall arc to this novel remained strong and the story, engaging.
The saving grace was the main characters, Max and Angel, and Ryker and Bass, who were very likeable and while there were rapid decrees of long lasting love made by all the men, their relationships continued to morph and grow stronger as the novel progressed. There were times, unfortunately, where I felt the author tried to take on too many story lines at once. I believe that introducing Ryker and Bass and letting us just see the interest they had, but saving their story for another full-length novel would have been best. That way, we could have focused more on Angel and Max and with more page time their insta-love and out for you themes could have been more fully developed, making it more palatable in the end.
The overall plot of the novel was heavy laden and with growing numbers of side characters, at times, it was just a bit too much to handle. However the last third of the novel was action packed and really a strong way to finish a story that tended to meander down many avenues. I felt the author really pulled her storylines together for a solid finish and for that reason alone I would be interested in moving on to the second book in this series.
Too Good To Be True (Blue Moon #1) by A.E. Via had some sweet tender moments, hot passion, and serious ending action. While there were definitely places in this novel where keener editing was needed, this story was a good introduction to a cast of characters that I think have more stories to tell.