This is my third book review in the same week. I’m setting a personal best.
Today I’m reviewing Riley Hart’s Crossroads. Overall this book wasn’t bad. There are no warnings to speak of, some physical altercations, but nothing too horrid or graphic. It’s 340 pages long according to Amazon, but I destroyed it in about 2 days, so while it may be a lengthier read it isn’t a hard read.
Let’s take a look at the blurb.
After divorcing the woman he’d been with since he was seventeen, Nick Fuller is starting over. He owns the restaurant of his dreams and he’s determined to meet new people, find new passions, and experience life to its fullest. Easier said than done—that is until he meets his new neighbor, Bryce Tanner…
Bryce is all about a good time. He plans to show Nick how it’s done, help him meet a few women, and enjoy the gift of the single life he’s been given. But things don’t go as planned, and soon they realize they’d rather be together than with anyone else.
Neither man has ever wanted another guy, but there’s a connection between them from the start—a spark they can’t deny. They find themselves navigating an unfamiliar new world and dealing with unforeseen obstacles. Physical desire isn’t enough, and now Nick and Bryce are at a crossroads. They have to decide which way to go: the easy path they’ve always followed, or the one that’s determined to trip them up at every turn.
I liked the premise of this book. I was a Gay for You virgin and Crossroads popped that cherry. (Or at least I think I did…geez…but, I don’t remember reading any other Gay for Yous. Maybe I’m a born again Gay for You Virgin and I just don’t remember. Hell, and I wasn’t even drinking…) And it was a double gay for you, which is like, awesome to the second power. I like this because it’s pure fantasy, not that it doesn’t happen occasionally—I read a real life cute story last year about a couple of straight guys that fell in love. But, mostly guys don’t just wake up and realize they’d like to start fucking dudes. Mostly.
Nick is a chef and I like any book that has a chef in it. It’s kind of my thing. My significant other is a wonderful chef and I like to dabble in gastronomical delights, so it only fits. When I start reading I immediately want to cook whatever it is they’re making, so we had some Italian food at my house this week. I ended up making a white lasagna—vegetarian because the significant other is a vegetarian who takes me along for the ride most of the time. I don’t think I’ll ever make it over the hump into full vegetarianhood because…bacon. Which is terrible because pigs are cute and intelligent (and taste like meat candy).
I liked that the backgrounds for the characters were realistic, or at least something that I could see happening. Nick’s early marriage explains a lot how he could have potentially been bisexual and not realized it until after his divorce. Bryce…eh, less so. He’s very adventurous though, so I could see him delving into a new sexual experience enthusiastically. I guess what I’m getting at is all parts of the book coalesce into something that makes sense as you’re reading. There’s never a point where I was ejected harshly out of the book because of the book details.
Nick is hung. Like, apparently, grade A thick penis man. That’s awesome, but he couldn’t get it in Bryce the first time they tried. That was hilarious but degraded into a pride point for Bryce. I also liked how realistic that scene was. Sometimes having sex isn’t easy. If you’ve ever been with someone and you’re like “just get it in” and they’re like “I’m trying” you either take that with a grain of salt and laugh about it and readjust positions (or expectations) or you’re going to have a bad time. I’m glad the main characters kept on trucking and had some really good sex.
Balls are mentioned a lot in this book. I’m basically a large child so every time I read the word “balls” I giggled and my significant other would give me the squirrely eye, and then three sentences later I would read the word balls and giggle again until finally he came over and started reading over my shoulder. “That’s a lot of ball talk,” was all I got before he went back to whatever enlightening thing he was reading on his own computer. I laughed for about ten minutes and then called it a night because….”balls”. I actually liked that Nick liked his nuts to be played with though. Frequently they’re ignored in fiction and they are an erogenous zone.
The sex in this book was good, hot, plentiful, and generally had an air of lighthearted enjoyment around the sex itself, even if the fact that they were doing it was causing a lot of angst in the rest of the story.
First, I wasn’t a fan of the tense this book was written in. It’s a personal preference issue, mainly, and probably not something a lot of other people would notice, but it’s limited third person past tense and my favorite is probably present tense first person or present tense limited third person.
There were points where the book seemed to drag as I was reading it and I was tempted to skim. The problems in the book were kind of beaten into the ground and I think the entire thing could have been condensed into something a bit shorter. After the seventh or eighth time of Nick angsting about his mother and the tenth time of Bryce wondering if he would hurt Nick by not being able to take their relationship seriously I was like…okay, enough. It didn’t exactly ruin the book or anything though.
The worst part of the book for me was probably the fact that I had trouble keeping apart all of the different family members for the guys. They both had large families and we didn’t see enough of the families for me to get any personality for anything to sink deep enough into my head to keep them apart as I was reading. So they were basically just “family extra A” and “family extra C” when they came onscreen, except for Mitch in Bryce’s family who actually gets a bit of talk time.
This is a contemporary, character driven romance. The entire story is about the guys and getting together, resolving their relationship and familial issues. There’s no bad guy or hullaballoo going on. It’s a solid read. I’m not sure it’s something I will ever revisit and if I had it as an actual book and not an e-book I would probably give it away to a friend. I’m glad I read it though because it was a good diversion for a few hours.
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