When an approaching winter storm puts Remmy between a rock and a hard place, he reluctantly accepts a ride home from his secret crush, Carter McCormack. It’s either that or he misses Christmas with his family and he doesn’t want to disappoint them. Being stuck in a car for hours with Carter is both terrifying and exciting. When he finds out that Carter has broken up with his boyfriend, Remmy wonders if he might have a chance.
A sudden squall traps both men in the car and then a hotel unexpectedly. And while the situation invites temptation, only time will tell if Remmy and Carter have what it takes to make love last.
All or Nothing is a lot of things, save memorable. This novel uses a well-worn trope to little effect and I found it really difficult to engage with either character. The writing is fine and the author does a good job setting up the situation. We have a classic snowstorm and a boy who needs to get home. Enter the dashing crush who offers a ride and there we have the plot. Remmy is hesitant to accept a ride from Carter and it feels believable because we’ve all had the flutters around someone we find intriguing. Unfortunately, it’s the last moment of realistic tension the book offers.
Aside from being rushed, the relationship between Carter and Remmy reads as boring. It plays out just like you’d expect and without the needed depth to give it a solid anchoring. It also seems rather juvenile. These are college-aged men, but it almost felt like a YA novel, even though I don’t think it is supposed to be. There wasn’t much dimension to either character and by the end of the book, the only thing I could actually remember about either of them was that Remmy had a wild dye job and Carter had no connections to his family. I mean, that’s it. Normally a book resonates longer with me than that, but everything about All or Nothing was just forgettable. There’s nothing egregiously wrong, but there’s just an overwhelming lack of substance. And maybe that makes it worse because even a bad book leaves an impression. All or Nothing left me with just that…nothing.
All or Nothing isn’t terrible. It is bland though and failed to leave any meaningful impression on me. The characters are flat and the story feels played out and lacking in realism. I think there was a lot potential on tap with this one, but it never managed to materialize.