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Any Closer de Mary Calmes
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Any Closer

de Mary Calmes

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaConverses
346568,313 (3.17)No n'hi ha cap
Charlie Ryder has a colorful past, painful memories, and an embarrassing secret. After three years working for Leo Foster's construction company, Charlie's worst fears are realized, and Leo finds out what Charlie has worked so hard to hide. When Leo meets the revelation with absolute love and acceptance, Leo has to trust that Charlie's love isn't just gratitude, and Charlie has to learn to trust again, period. It's going to take a lot of work for these two men to get any closer.… (més)
No n'hi ha cap
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Es mostren 1-5 de 6 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Needed a quick read and thought something from Mary Calmes would be nice.
I love the drama Mary creates, MC's are great, but all the family comings and goings kill it for me :(
When do I learn? ( )
  Mrella | Mar 8, 2021 |
Too short! Too short! Too short! As always, Mary Calmes' characters work for me. Especially Leo the Oblivious! ( )
  Bookbee1 | Oct 3, 2020 |
What is this?

I mean, I read it, and I really can't answer that question. I could probably stop the review right here, but I feel a rage on coming, so let's not! :D

Charlie Ryder has a secret; he used to be a porn star. And, presumably, when he told his agent that he wanted to leave, his agent decided to set up a gang rape, videotape it, and then sell it under the title of Rough Love. Because, you know, nothing makes you want to stay a porn star than having your gang rape filmed? Anyway, Charlie hasn't done a porno in four years; he's worked for Leo's construction firm for the past three, and he seems to want to leave his past in the past. Except Leo's friend (?) puts two and two together, and Leo tells Charlie that he knows about the porn star part (he learns about the stuff under the spoiler fairly quickly, too).

So this is set up for some great hurt/comfort. But...it doesn't happen that way.

I usually have a problem with novellas, especially when they're romance, because I feel like they're too short and that the romance always feels like instalove. I mean, I've read a few great novellas where I didn't get that feeling, but for the most part, novella's are a straight shot into "falling in 'love' so quickly that the reader gets whiplash" territory. And this novella not only jumps onto the train to instaloveville, but plunges full speed ahead.

Honestly, if this had been the first offering from Mary Calmes I'd read, I probably would have put her on my "never again" author list. It is THAT bad.

There seems like there is a decentish story...somewhere...in this novella. A decentish, full-length story. But instead of fleshing out the story into a full length book OR cutting out a few of the bulletin points (there were like four or five of those), the author just haphazardly strings the points together with the least amount of dialogue and development possible.

Let's start with Leo and Charlie's relationship. They go from boss-employee and friend-friend to OMG WE ARE FATED TO BE FOREVER AND EVER in like a day or two. Yeah, you read that correctly. And Leo is so anti dating his friends that his abrupt shift feels even weirder than Charlie's. No. This is not how the real world works, and you might argue that this is fiction and therefore not part of the "real world," but I don't care. Who really wants to read about two people "falling in love" for no real, discernible reason?

And then there's Leo's sister and Leo's business partner, Paul. They were married once (I think for thirteen years? I might be wrong and I don't care enough to look it up, but I feel it was a long time), have at least two children together, but divorced because Leo's sister wasn't happy. Leo internally derides his sister's decision to divorce Paul because it isn't enough to be unhappy in a relationship to seek a divorce. Or something. And Leo thinks that Paul's a standup guy, so he really wants Paul and his sister to get back together.

I'm...okay...with this at this point. It's not a big deal.

Until the author throws in, randomly, an abusive boyfriend who slaps the sister. The sole purpose of this domestic abuse, which partially took place in front of two young children, is to make the sister see that Paul is a great guy and she should have stuck with him because she's never going to get any better and who really needs to be happy, anyway? She and Paul start reconciling, after Leo mentally rakes her over the coals for daring to date and bringing the guy home.

I am shitting you not.

Oh fuck this very much. I don't like domestic abuse being used as a plot point like this, and this TOTALLY could have been kept out of the story without ANY detriment to the plot at all. Instead, the author wastes at least half a chapter on this rage-inducing bullshit for no real reason, except to "punish" the woman who left a "good" guy because she DARED to think of her own happiness.

Fuck.
That.
So.
Hard.


And then there's Leo's ex, Ethan. After dumping Leo a few years ago, he randomly shows up with his new fiance in tow, RIGHT at the point that Charlie wants to start dating Leo, too. How convenient. And Ethan wants to have a threesome with his fiance and Leo? I...don't understand how we went from point A to point F here. Ethan's an ass, Ethan's fiance is even more of an ass, and it's pretty clear that Ethan wants Leo back in some form. I really think that Ethan was introduced into the story to make Charlie "fight" for Leo, and I am so not feeling that at all. GTFO of the story please.

Then, to top it all off, the comfort never really came. Charlie tells Leo, even though hasn't slept with ANYONE at all since the gang rape, he is somehow miraculously completely over the trauma that happened to him. And he wants Leo to bone him big time.

Look, I know that emotional trauma doesn't last forever, necessarily; even if it does linger, it generally fades with time. So I get that everything isn't super fresh in Charlie's head - it's been four years.

But look at it this way: Charlie's gang rape was instigated by one of the people he trusted (his agent) and facilitated AND participated in by his boyfriend (!!!!!). Yes, Charlie's boyfriend was one of his rapists. We never learn, by the way, how Charlie's boyfriend was completely oblivious that Charlie was being raped. (And, also, how did they film the "date" that Charlie and his boyfriend were on before the gang rape without Charlie being like...uh...what's up with the cameras? So much of this story makes no fucking sense!)

So Charlie was betrayed BIG TIME by two people he thought he could trust. It's okay, though, because he has absolutely no trust issues at all.

Instead, Charlie shows up when Ethan and his fiance are at Leo's apartment and practically pisses on Leo to prove that he's Charlie's man. And there's a lot of cattiness between Ethan and Charlie that really didn't need to happen.

And Leo's vehement separation between friends and lovers is breached without real mention or complaint.


I regret the $3.03 I spent on this book, not to mention the hour of my time wasted reading it. In fact, I regret it so much that I'm going to request a refund from Amazon because it was SO BAD, and I have NEVER done that. ( )
  schatzi | Aug 7, 2017 |
4 stars A real keeper. It may be a short story , but it delivers. Recommend. ( )
  Penny01 | Feb 1, 2014 |
Sweet short story. I really would of liked the story to be a bit longer and the relationship between Charlie and Leo more fleshed out (but that's just me). ( )
  vampkiss | Oct 23, 2013 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 6 (següent | mostra-les totes)
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No n'hi ha cap

Charlie Ryder has a colorful past, painful memories, and an embarrassing secret. After three years working for Leo Foster's construction company, Charlie's worst fears are realized, and Leo finds out what Charlie has worked so hard to hide. When Leo meets the revelation with absolute love and acceptance, Leo has to trust that Charlie's love isn't just gratitude, and Charlie has to learn to trust again, period. It's going to take a lot of work for these two men to get any closer.

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