Reviewed by J. Taylor
TITLE: A Little Complicated
AUTHOR: Kade Boehme
LENGTH: 104 pages/27,000 words
BLURB: Ryan Borja met the guy of his dreams in college. Brady Novak was kind, responsible and easy on the eyes. Yeah, the guy had a kid but Ryan loved her too. What could go wrong? Well, Ryan’s sister Ellie, that’s what. Ellie is a flighty, love-em-and-leave-em kinda girl with a big heart who doesn’t realize she dated the guy Ryan had fantasized about. But, like all of Ellie’s other relationships, this one ended within two months, just in time to send Brady running off to take a job in Phoenix, taking Ryan’s heart with him.
Ryan never thought he’d see Brady again until eight years later Ryan’s sister blindsides him by announcing that not only is Brady back in Atlanta but she’d asked him out on a date. And he’d accepted. As if that wasn’t enough to send Ryan on a tailspin, a neighborhood girl brings him face to face with Brady in an unexpected way.
Brady can’t believe when he sees Ryan again. He assumed Ryan had moved on from Atlanta, like he’d always said he would. But Brady hasn’t forgotten his cute, nerdy friend and wants nothing more than to have a chance to try the relationship they never got to have all those years ago, but convincing Ryan that he hadn’t slept with Ellie proves difficult. Ryan is still hurt over the way they left things and makes it an uphill battle, but Brady has waited too long. He’ll damn well give a good go of trying to get his man and with the help of his precocious teenage daughter and a little help from friends they may just get their Happily Ever After.
So, sorry, I’m going to say it. This was just really bad, and the author had the bones of a decent story there, but that editing…
I don’t know who looked over this, but there should have been several other people or someone else entirely. Spelling mistakes, character name switch outs, missing words, tense issues, etc. And this wasn’t every blue moon. This was close to nearly every page or so. Then there’s the content.
Aside from that, I just wasn’t invested in the characters or the plot. I don’t like flashbacks, especially when they continue over and over within a novella, even alternating POV. I don’t like when the flashbacks are repetitious, either. The plot needed to be bulked up with new events or ideas to keep things fresh.
The humor was sorely lacking. I didn’t even crack a smile once, and I get that the main characters’ thing was awkward humor, but this just didn’t work for me.
I loathe masturbation scenes, but at least this one wasn’t in the shower. Still, the sex scenes weren’t hot for me, so they felt like throwaways.Clichéd phrasing such as: “…coming unglued in my hands.” Or “I felt myself coming apart at the seams.” Even the orgasm seemed very unsexy to me: “I’m coming. Jeez.”
That sister annoyed me beyond reason. Flighty, selfish, and one-dimensional. She really was only in the novella as a way to provide a way to bring the couple back together after years apart and to provide imagined tension. How hard would it have been for Brady or the sister to quickly tell Ryan there was nothing between them and there never really had been? It went on and on, which just felt repetitious and unnecessary.
Then there was the Big Misunderstanding that I’m never a fan of in my books. During a flashback, Ryan and Brady kiss and fool around the last night Brady is in town before he takes himself and his daughter out of state. Immediately after the sexual activities, Ryan flees in the night, and Brady takes off the following morning. They don’t speak again for seven years, and low and behold they are neighbors in the same apartment complex. And I simply don’t understand how Brady could have been comfortably bisexual hanging out with a comfortably out gay man for a couple months, attracted to him, and never once did the topic of his bisexuality come up in conversation. Yet, they were best friends… Also, if Brady was genuinely attracted to Ryan, and had never brought up his attraction why on Earth would he think dating Ryan’s sister (and not having sex with her, really what was the point?) be a smart idea?
The writing felt simplistic and very much like a first draft, and like I said above, with another round of edits – both copy and content – this might have worked better for me.
BUY LINK: AMAZON
Jenn Taylor is one of the official reviewers on The Blog of Sid Love.
To read all her reviews, click the link: TAYLOR’S REVIEWS