Saturday, October 26, 2013

ARC Review: You Were Always the One by Hollis Shiloh

You Were Always the One Title: You Were Always the One by Hollis Shiloh
Genre: M/M Romance, Contemporary
Expected publication: October 30th 2013 by Dreamspinner Press
Length: 104 pages

Rating: 3 Stars
ARC Provided by Author

Blurb:

Max struggled through every day in high school, especially when his hormones seemed to crave boys rather than girls. His best friend Mason and Mason’s younger brother Jamie made a bright spot in his teen life, until he confessed to Mason he was gay. Mason responded by ripping away all his joy, ending their friendship, and warning Max against seeing Jamie. Max is a policeman now, comfortable in his sexuality but private and wary, taking solace in his job and the friendship of his golden retriever, Alex. But the past he thought was behind him demands resolution when a prickly, wounded, shockingly sexy Jamie gets arrested, and Max comes to the rescue.

Purchase Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4284

Review:
3.5 Stars

This is a sweet romance between a policeman and an artist, who were each other's first loves. Max finds Jamie in jail as a suspect for prostitution. Max vouches for Jamie's innocence and offers him a place to stay. They renew their feelings for each other and tries to build a relationship. Unfortunately, Mason, Jamie's older brother, butts in and tries to break up the couple. Then a tragedy hits at an inopportune time and threatens their relationship again.



I can't connect with the characters to a deeper level because nothing is explored in depth. I didn't feel the despair from the characters and issues are not fully explored. The story just grazed the surface of them. Jamie's involvement in the escort business is not really talked about. Jamie quits for Max but the story doesn't go into the why. He doesn't talk about it because it upsets Max but isn't that a part of who he is? They just pretend that part of his life doesn't exist and forget about it. And it shows that the couple doesn't communicate enough.

Jamie is too emotional and he seems to be all over the place. I don't understand how someone can be so whiny. He doesn't really have any defining moments of character. A defining moment is the deeper, personal challenge of choosing between two or more ideals in which both are believed to be right. I didn't see that in Jamie so he appears as a flimsy character.

By the end of the book, the character that really evolved and changed by love is Max. Max was not afraid of revealing his sexuality but he was careful of Mason's opinions and his coworkers and uncomfortable with Jamie flaunting his sexuality at the police department. But by the end, he stands up for Jamie and announces his love for Jamie in public.

The story flows smooth and is a quick read. It shows a complete picture of a happy couple from how they met (again) to their status as an established couple. It leaves me feeling happy and very hopeful. Of course, the dog, Alex, on the cover is an important character. She is the perfect pet companion and thankfully, does not cause a rift between Max and Jamie. As a whole, the story is very sweet and a very picturesque, which you should definitely read for the sweetness factor.

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