Reviewed by Chris
TITLE: Straight from the Heart
SERIES: Wilde Love #1
AUTHOR: Sam Burns
LENGTH: 207 pages
RELEASE DATE: May 27, 2017
On the same night that Alex finds himself disowned and sleeping on his best friend’s couch, he meets Liam, who saves him from being mugged. It’s a strange time for him to be starting a relationship, but everything about being with Liam feels right. When it becomes apparent that Liam isn’t exactly the prince charming he seems to be, Alex has to deal with some hard truths about not just his new boyfriend, but his own history as well.
Liam is just trying to do his job, but everything keeps getting in the way. First he gets assigned to watch some stranger, then somehow, he finds himself dating the guy. Even if it doesn’t offend the boss, Liam knows the wrong thing to do when he does it. He finds himself wondering, though: is his job really the most important thing in his life, or can he walk away from it all for a brand new relationship?
Straight from the Heart contains sexual scenes, and is intended for an audience age 18 and up.
When Alex decides to defy his mother and leave college to pursue a career as a musician, he is taking a huge risk. Not only is he left hoping that his band, Fred, can actually make it, but his mother cuts off the cash flow so now he is broke for the first time in his life. But despite how much he loved his father, Alex knows that if he was to follow in the man’s footsteps and become some type of hot-shot lawyer, he would spend the rest of his life miserable. He will also admit, though, that he has no clue how to live a life on his own terms. Hence how he almost winds up mugged and/or stabbed on his first night of “freedom.”
He is saved, though, by the rather dashing Liam. And while Alex had no clue that he might be gay…ten minutes in the presence of his rescuer has made that a rather mote point. He wants the man, and the man seems to want him…so cool. Too bad he is too drunk off his ass to do anything about it. But what starts as a drunken sleepover on Liam couch, turns out to be something much more. More than Alex even realizes, because Liam wasn’t at that bar by chance; and despite the fact that they both care for each other, their futures may not rest solely in their own hands.
Right off the bat I have to say I found the plot of this story a bit ridiculous. But it was ridiculous in a fun way. Good mafia dudes, questionable policing, and bodyguard/”pretend” boyfriend subplots are not things I particularly crave…but there was something about how this book took all those things and said, “fuck it, let’s have some fun!” that I really enjoyed. This story knew just how to approach those things in order for me to be totally willing to suspend my disbelief, and so I did. And had a really good time reading this.
I was not a huge fan of Alex when I started this story. What can I say, rich-boy woe-is-me is something I can happily live my life without. He was unfulfilled? So what? That describes 90% of the population. And most of them have to worry about crippling debt and/or starvation. Yet…there was a genuine spark about him. He seemed to actually be a nice guy. And despite my better judgment, I started to like him. It helped that this book didn’t end with him having a big wad of cash thrown at him as a reward for “slumming it” for a bit. That is something I really appreciated. He made a choice, and lived with the consequences of that choice. For both the good and the ill.
The fact that the story never really goes into details about several things in this book was probably it’s saving grace. If it had tried to come up with explanations or excuses for the actions of several of these characters I can’t help but feel that I would have had a hard time enjoying it as much as it did. Instead we were told just enough to understand we needed to, and to let our brains fill in as much details as it needed/wanted.
This was a more character-driven story, than one with a lot of action. There were certainly action bits, near the end, but for the most part this book just stuck to telling us a rather nice romance. Which was best. I will say though that I loved how those actiony bits resolved in the end. No fainting damsels in this story. It was a nice twist.
Overall I had a fun time reading this and recommend it for mafia-lovers…as long as you like it on the light side. There was good writing all round, and I never felt like it shortchanged the main or the secondary characters. And I definitely wouldn’t say no to a sequel about Keegan.