The Bucket ListRating: 3 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | All Romance | Amazon UK
Length: Novella

When Quinn’s parachute malfunctions while skydiving, his life passes before his eyes, although, he doesn’t find too much to look at. If he makes it safely to the ground, Quinn promises he will change his ways and live his life. But putting himself out there isn’t something he’s comfortable with. He grew up in Utah with strict Mormon parents and, while he broke away and moved to Las Vegas, Quinn is still completely uncomfortable in his own skin. It’s been five weeks since the sky diving incident and Quinn is still in the same routine. That changes when Gabriel steps up to the roulette table where Quinn is a dealer.

Gabriel is easy to look at and confident. His ex was interested in one thrill after another and Gabriel is determined to take things slow in his next relationship. But when Gabriel sees Quinn, the only way he can think to get his attention is to make a sexual wager.

When the wheel lands in Gabriel’s favor, the men begin a series of sexual hookups, but secretly they both want more. Quinn knows Gabriel is out of his league and is only looking for a little bit of fun while he is in town and Gabriel certainly isn’t ready to get involved again, or is he?

This book opens with a visually rendered action sequence of Quinn falling through the sky. After that first scene, however, this book crashed for me. Quinn had a rough upbringing with overly religious parents, and while he managed to break free physically, his thoughts won’t allow him to get on with his life. Gabriel has an instant appreciation for Quinn and to get his attention makes a wager involving sexual favors. That was fine, but it was the execution throughout the entire story that did not work for me.

Gabriel and Quinn had no chemistry, in addition to the larger plot not being engaging. When Gabriel wins at roulette, the deal is that he will get on his knees for Quinn. The men meet in the parking garage and Quinn is completely uncomfortable. He talks himself through it on the basis that he wants to broaden his horizons and also that he has to honor the bet. While it’s consensual, Quinn was so uncomfortable that the scene became uncomfortable for me as well.

The entire storyline here was the men making additional bets in return for sexual liaisons. They remain strangers throughout most of the book and Quinn is always reluctant after the fact and his fear or reluctance made the characters not have any chemistry for me and the scenes then lacked the erotic feel they were probably supposed to have.

We get bits of both of their back stories wedged in between the encounters and while we learned a little about them, neither one was overly interesting. Their ending was predictable but not believable for me given the path that their relationship was on. The book was shorter and did read quickly, but the erotic feel this book was going for missed the mark for me.

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