Reviewed by Dan
TITLE: Love Me
SERIES: Lightning Tales #4
AUTHOR: K. C. Wells
PUBLISHER: Island Tales Press
LENGTH: 114 Pages
RELEASE DATE: July 6, 2016
Trent Sutton doesn’t ‘do’ monogamy. He spends his days on the road in his truck, and his nights hooking up with anyone who catches his eye. Casual sex, no strings – Trent likes his life just the way it is. He sees what his friend Connor has, but he’s just not interested. Until he meets Aaron, who gets under his skin, into his head, and finally to the spot no one has reached in a long time – Trent’s heart.
Aaron Calder doesn’t ‘do’ casual. After a few health scares and a couple of traumatic relationships, he’s decided that love – and sex – are not for him. He concentrates on his charity fundraising and ignores the offers that come his way. Until he meets Trent, a man whose dictionary does not contain the word ‘monogamous’. He shuts down Trent’s advances and tries to keep away from Costello’s, the gay bar where they first met.
Except Trent is proving hard to resist….
Because this book instilled some major feelings in me personally, I’m breaking my review into two pieces. I’ll start with “The Cons” and tell you what I didn’t like, basically the first 10% of the book. Then I’ll give you “The Pros”, basically the other 90% of the book.
I’ll be honest, I almost made it a DNF. I hated the opening scene. Full on butt sex in paragraph one was a definite turn off, as was the loathsome character of Trent, who couldn’t even remember the name of the man he was doing. I wasn’t interested in getting to know his character a bit after that section.
Then my biggest complaint. Flash forward ten pages or so in the book, and we get to the part of the book that made me put it down, delete it from my Kindle and tell Dani that I wouldn’t read it. I felt the (what read to me as having been obviously added after the fact) section about the Pulse tragedy was contrived and inappropriate in the story. Yes, I can see that the author was trying to make it current, and a bar in the Orlando area would of course have people talking about the event still. But it hasn’t been a month yet at the time of my reading and writing this review, and the way the piece was written, kind of blaming the poor attendance at the bar on people being afraid, then moving into the two characters being maudlin, then instant switch over to “oh look a hottie just walked in”, was in poor taste in my opinion. I feel the book could easily have left that reference and a couple other small references to the event out and been a better book. Others might disagree, but as a gay male Floridian I didn’t like it. A couple of my close friends had friends killed there that night and it is still too close and too personal.
Now to the fact that I actually liked the book. I really liked the book. After I got over my anger at the beginning of the book, I went back and read the whole book. I’ll be honest, my expectation was to hate it. But I couldn’t. The book is well written, and I really liked the characters and the storylines that came together in this story. I’ve read and reviewed all the books so far in this series and loved them all, so I shouldn’t have been surprised, but that stuff up there in “The Cons” had thrown me.
Let’s talk about the story. We already know that Trent is a jerk, plain and simple. He treats men like they are a breathing fleshlight. There to use, dump a load, and leave. Never a second date. I liked Dan in the beginning of the book and how he called Trent on his faults, and made Trent start to wake up and look around at the rest of the world.
When Trent is at the bar one night (the scene with the piece above that I hated), the hottie that walks in is Aaron. Aaron has issues. He is seeing a therapist, for reasons we don’t immediately learn, and this is the first time he has been in a gay bar in a decade. Almost immediately, Trent hits on him for a hook-up, but imagine Trent’s surprise when Aaron turns him down. Flat.
The intrigue is on. As the story continues we learn the background of both broken men, and why they are as they are today. It was a good read. I liked it more as I worked my way through the pages. I particularly liked the nephew’s side story, and the events related to him and the rest of Trent’s family. There is a brief visit by some characters from a previous installment in the series, but this book could easily be read as a standalone. I’m hoping we see more of the nephew in later installments.
I’m going to recommend this one, even with my strong dislike of the beginning. The other ninety percent of the book would have been a 4.5 stars (“I loved it”) on our rating scale, but because of that ghastly sex beginning on line one and the references to Pulse, I’d give the first 10% a 1.5 stars (“I didn’t Like It / Not for me”). I’m going to blend them , so blended I’m going to call this one a 4.0.