Reviewed by Becca
TITLE: Second Drafts
SERIES: Matchmakers #2
AUTHOR: G.R. Lyons
LENGTH: 316 pages
RELEASE DATE: July 24, 2016
Novelist Shain Ahren is committed to only one thing: himself. Living alone and having an endless string of one-night stands, Shain’s carefully crafted routine ensures no one will ever control him again. But one trick he met at Matchmakers, years ago, he can’t get out of his head.
Painter Elliden Crawford yearns to be controlled. Born with an extreme chemical imbalance, Elliden struggles to keep the fits at bay so he won’t be a danger to others. Only once in his life did Elliden ever truly feel safe, just one night when he met a stranger at Matchmakers.
When Matchmakers brings them together again, Elliden finally gets what he needs, while Shain’s world is thrown into complete disarray. Will Shain ever relinquish control, or will they be fated to remain a discarded first draft?
As I sat here and finished this book, I got to thinking. I really hope that you guys actually consider what we all write as reviewers about the books we read. Part of what I love about doing this is that it has allowed be to branch out even more and find authors I’ve never heard of or have heard of but have never read. And while I don’t always necessarily like the books I read, I hope you guys are branching out and giving these authors a chance. I know I’m not always eloquent with words in trying to convey how I really feel about a book, but I hope that I give some glimpse into what gave me joy about the book I was reading. And if I didn’t like it, that too. I hope I conveyed enough that if I didn’t like it maybe you as a reader would. I know we all have our favorite authors, but I really want to encourage you guys as readers to break out of that shell and give more a try. And if you are, great! Because that being said, I have found another author I’m falling for so much. And not in a weird way, lol. But this book, this series is fantastic. I literally can not put it down. I thought I was going to wet myself, because I waited too long to use the restroom from reading this book. I know….TMI! But I was just trying to make a point. And I’m going to tell you, I struggled with this book. Not because it was bad, quite the opposite. But because I have a very strong love/hate relationship with one of the main characters. And through most of the book, it leaned towards hate. But the author just has a way of roping you in and boom! I loved him.
If you have read book #1, then you remember in it that Chance had a brother whom he had a very strained relationship with named Shain. Their father had kicked him out for being gay at 14, and Chance tried to find him and help him while hiding his own secret of being gay. Well this book is about Shain. And his life and his past and everything in-between and forward. Shain has struggled for most of his life. Since that day he was booted out. But now he has made a name for himself as a bestselling author. He has everything under control. Just the way he likes it. He has his routines, from the moment he wakes up to the time he goes to bed. Even if there is a man involved. They never stay over, they are never allowed to speak and always have to be in submission. Control. Until one fateful night, he meets a man whose eyes he swears see into his soul. And after they were done, he made him leave. He let him get away. And it has haunted him since. So much so, that he wrote a book in one night. And refuses to publish it. But he can’t bring himself to read it or throw it out. The only memento he has is a silver band he wears on his first finger, one he refuses to ever take off. Elliden is that man he can’t get out of his mind. Elliden can’t forget Shain either. He has gotten into Elliden’s blood so bad that Elliden had to paint him. It has been a painting that has been circulating galleries for 5 years. People are in awe. Elliden can’t get the feeling of rightness and safety out of his head. Shain calms the voices in his head and gets to him in a way no one else can and he wants that back. When fate has a way of bringing them together again, it doesn’t go so well. And Elli is lost. Shain’s world is turned upside down. But the two can’t get each other out their minds and hearts.
So Elliden is so enraptured with Shain that he paints him. From memory. And it’s likeness is so real it looks like a photo or almost like the image is real and in front of you. For five years this painting has circulated and one day Shain finally gets to see it. To see himself in the eyes of the artist and he is floored. He quickly buys the painting to try to figure it out and has no clue it came from the man who haunts his dreams. The problem with Shain, he such an ass most days that he can’t see why someone would paint him. Shain is my love/hate. Most days in this book I want to reach through and punch him. I understand have to have control over your life. Leaving yourself closed off to a point to not be hurt. But to be such a dick about it. Gah he is such an asshole the way he treats people. He uses men left, right and sideway, and it’s always, ‘no talking, no kissing, (that one I kind of get), and they have to always submit. That one I kinda get too. Once they are done, he tells them to get out and doesn’t even get a rats ass if they get home safe or not. Doesn’t care about their name, nothing. His brother has repeatedly tried to mend their relationship, but Shain is such an asshole to him as well. And when he does finally agree to sit with them for dinner, he’s a dick to Remy. I just want to throat punch him through this whole book. Because once he finally starts to get together with Elliden after they meet again, every time you turn around he is an ass to Elliden. He goes so far as to bring a man home to screw right in front to him. I know! Asshole right! So my disdain for this man made me struggle a bit with this book. But Elliden made up for it.
Elliden is a sweet painter with issues of his own. A chemical imbalance in his brain makes him prone to raging fits out of the blue. And it’s so hard for him to be around people. He gets closed off and nervous to the point of curling in the fetal position to try to calm down. As long as he has his paints, he’s usually ok. But with all the turmoil Shain is putting him through, he is having a hard time coping. Things are setting him off and although Shain has a way of getting through and calming him, it’s harder when Shain is actually the problem. Elliden just wants Shain to stop pushing him away. He wants what he knows Shain can give him. Stability and calmness. Control and hopefully love. It’s through all this I feel for Elliden so much. He doesn’t ask for much in life. He does his best to be there for people but always leaves himself last. And I want him to have what he needs. Which makes me want to throat punch Shain some more.
Like most authors know, most often the first draft needs lots of work. It needs editing, polishing, and so much more. Shain had to learn that he himself was a first draft. That he needs Elliden to polish him out and edit him. To make that Second Draft much better. To make himself better. And he knew as long as he continued to push Elliden away, he would never become that second draft. When he hit this realization, and I learned more of his past, I learned to love him.
What an amazing book. Another one that rides you on a roller coaster of emotion and hopefully leave you happy in the end. This series has been just incredible so far and i’m looking forward to the last book, where Danyel, the one that sets all these boys up, get his story and hopefully a happy ending himself. I hope you guys enjoy this series as much as I have and if you haven’t started it, please give it a chance.