Rating: 3.75 stars
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Alex’s mother has kicked him out of the house. Alex came to her and told her he’d dropped out of law school and wanted to play full time with the band he’s in. Yeah. Mom didn’t take it very well. They’re a wealthy family, and Alex was expected to work for (and eventually take over) the law firm his father started. Arriving at the bar to drink with his friends, Alex gets very drunk, and while waiting at the restroom, a mugger jumps him.
Liam is working. However, when he sees Alex is in trouble, he jumps in to help him. There is an instant attraction between the two men and they leave together. Liam takes Alex back to his place, hydrates him, and puts him to bed…innocently. It turns out, Liam has been watching Alex. That’s the job his employer has given him. He has no idea why, but he intends to do what he’s told.
Neither man expected to meet someone, or fall as hard and fast as they did. The question is whether or not they can stay together when the chaos of Liam’s career insinuates itself into their budding happy romance.
Straight from the Heart was a decent book. It wasn’t too long, and I was able to read it in one sitting. It was a nice distraction from all the stuff real life had been throwing me. I picked up the book because the blurb was intriguing. It didn’t give too much away, but it seemed like it was going to be right up my alley. I love stories where on of the MCs has been disowned because that means they’ll have to fight to get past that trauma and find their true love at the same time.
Alex and Liam meet cute (if you consider an attempted mugging cute), and BOOM! — Instalove. There isn’t anything wrong with that. In fact, it’s one of my favorite tropes. They have good chemistry, and I liked how noble Liam was when he took Alex home with him, simply putting him to bed and not taking advantage of the situation.
Alex was adorable. I admired him for quitting law school. How many books have I read where the MC is miserable because he did what made his family happy? He was a good guy. He loved his friends, he loved his music, and he even loved his Mom, even though she kicked him out. He was a virgin, which I thought was interesting. In fact, he didn’t have any sexual or romantic feelings toward anyone until Liam came around. I wouldn’t have considered him asexual or anything like that. It just seemed like he didn’t have the time to be in love.
I loved Liam. I kind of have a thing for strong, silent types. He doesn’t just participate in conversations, he observes. He takes in his surroundings and the people involved…like he’s always looking for an angle to work to his advantage. He captured my interest and held it. His chemistry with Alex is great. Their scenes were sweet and sexy, and they seemed to be made for one another.
There was a relatively large cast of background characters. Alex’s band mates, his mother, Liam’s coworkers, and his boss (bosses). I was able to keep track of everyone without being confused, and they moved the story along at an even pace.
There is a mystery/action story underneath Alex and Liam’s romance. It was a good idea, and it had potential, but I have to confess, it felt a bit convoluted. I saw where it was going, but it felt like it took longer than necessary to get there. I had to go back and read several passages twice to make sure I knew what was going on. I’m not going to go into detail, though, because I could quickly cross over into spoiler territory. Just believe me when I tell you the story was well intentioned. It just took awhile to get to where it needed to go.
The ending tied up neatly, if not a bit too neatly. I had some issues with certain things winding up too quickly. I’d have loved to see the book be 20 or so pages longer, so more time could be dedicated to things like Alex’s relationship with his mother and how he felt about Liam’s role in how everything went down.
I’m not saying Straight from the Heart is a bad book. It’s not. It was fairly enjoyable, and I’ll recommend it. However, these tiny issues I’ve talked about worked together to keep it from being outstanding. I am most definitely interested in reading more books by Sam Burns.