Mitchell's got this weird, ersatz approach to romances: I call it Letting The Penises Work It Out. She makes it look so easy I sometimes wonder if it's cheating but then I remember it brought No Souvenirs into the world and how every other m/m book I've read since has been judged by that standard, so. Doubts shmouts.
Anyway, this is the one about Gavin and Jamie and how they immediately have sex (holy god, the sex. Does anyone alive or dead write sex like K.A. Mitchell? Is there a 'books that hurl your body into spontaneous masturbation without your conscious control' list on listopia? Someone needs to get on that). The getting-to-know-each-other phase was reasonably constructed though Mitchell almost always seems to run into plot vs characterisations problems and never really seems to know how to balance it out. I thought Gavin was unpacked well, but there were places where it felt like that was being done at the expense of moving the narrative along. I'm not sure I was totally convinced about his poor little rich boy persona either, but whatever. Emotional grievances in romances are as legit as the love interest lets them be, and you can't fault Jamie's commitment to digging into Gavin's psyche.
I loved this book, in case I'm misrepresenting it. I think Mitchell's a little clumsy with segueways, but she's good and raw with her characters once she gets started in on them and she gives them a lot of depth. The other thing she does exceptionally well is write very tense men who never really deliver the kind of high drama you think they're going to. For all that Gavin's damaged and hurt he's a very delicately written character, and the author does a great job of showing us that one little broken bit at a time. It's the kind of thing that makes her books - weirdly, inexplicably - soothing, in spite of all the tension and pressure she manages to create. I don't care if a little narrative gets sacrificed to make that happen. Penises Will Work it Out Or Die Trying.
Highly recommended although epilogue, Mitchell, come on. Throw us a bone.