Jasper is a waiter and an aspiring author. He thinks his window of opportunity has come when he’s hired as a waiter for a big gala for the publishing world. Unfortunately Jasper freezes up. But he meets gorgeous author Isaac. To prepare for their next meeting to improve Jasper’s WIP, Jasper reads Isaac’s political thriller—and utterly hates it as a boring piece of tripe. So no matter how interested in him Isaac seems, Jasper puts on the breaks. Jasper decides to use Isaac for improving his manuscript and then focus on his favorite romance writer, the mysterious Figaro, and tracking him down. But real life intervenes, and forces Jasper to grow up and see people for who they really are.
From the blurb I expected this to be a funny little tale of misunderstandings, quirky authors, and love between two writers who do what they do out of love for their craft. Though the first chapter was humorous and lively, the rest of the book doesn’t live up to expectations.
I felt like I was reading two stories that clashed in a big way. One of them was a cute story about two authors and the multitude misunderstandings between them; the other was a boring tale of a writer, his pregnant sister, their mother on the war path, and a job from hell. Based on the blurb I expected the first; instead I got the second three-quarters of the time, and it was hopelessly boring. I kept trying to see how these two aspects of the story would mesh and blend seamlessly into a whole, but it never happened.
This book is filled with redundant scenes, like the illegal bottling scene that slowed the pace and put me in the mood to skip. I think most readers realize that authors aren’t all success stories and that evil day jobs come with the territory. Do we need entire chapters devoted to their utter boredom? No. The side plot of the pregnant teenage sister and their arguing mother was pointless and utterly irrelevant, unless the aim was to show how real life and real problems can affect an author’s motivation and level of enthusiasm. In any case, in these scenes Jasper is a passive onlooker as the two women in his life fight endlessly. I couldn’t read a single line more and jumped over each scene they were in because they were dull and repetitive, and Jasper did nothing in any of them but run away.
Based on the enticing blurb, I wanted so badly to like this. I expected engaging humor and sweet, beautiful love between two artistic souls. But we only get Jasper’s point of view. In fact, Jasper and Isaac have precious few scenes together at all. What we get instead is Jasper having sex with his ex-boyfriend Kale who is successful as a writer, but also a self-centered twat. From the first line we see his abuse, but Jasper is apparently blind as a bat. We get Jasper and Isaac scenes only for about the last thirty pages or so, and only one sex scene, while Jasper and Kale have sex several times, all scenes needlessly shown. This isn’t a romance, as that is slapped on at the last minute for Jasper and Isaac, and we know nothing more about Isaac in the end as we did at the start of the book.
This was supposed to be fun; it was boring. This was supposed to be about Jasper and Isaac; instead we get Jasper and Kale. This was supposed to have a mystery worth investigating; we learn immediately who Figaro is but not much at all is made of this plot twist. I’ve said before that my reviews are subjective, and that your own opinion is the only one that matters. Heed those words since I can’t in good conscience recommend this.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.