Reviewed: November 29, 2009
Genre: LGBT-M/M Contemporary Romance
Series: N/A ~ (Non-Series /Stand-Alone)
Rating: 2.5 Stars
Length: 228 Pages
Formats: Print, eBook
Man, I was disappointed by Bottled Up by Andrew Grey - and I was so hoping to really enjoy it. Actually, that may be part of the reason I wasn't happier with it, because the reviews had been so positive and the themes and plot points interesting, I truly thought I was going to love it.
Unfortunately, I didn't. The main problem I have with it, in fact, is just that it seemed a little too...Hallmark Channel movie-ish to me. The lead in the story, Sean Bielecki, has a tragic past, a mobster ex-boyfriend who doesn't much like being made an ex-anything, and the sudden (ridiculously so, actually) fostering of a teen boy who was almost raped in the alley behind Sean's wine store. God, that just sounds so...meaty and deliciously complex for a book!
As written, though, it just...isn't. There's the kid, Bobby, who has been living on the streets after escaping from the drugged out, absentee mom...who just happens to shake that horror off like water off a ducks back and gets everything he's ever dreamed of with no acting out, little-to-no backtalk or sullenness or emotional trouble. He does, however, turn out to be a fabulous untrained artist and lands a lucrative art contract...at the age of sixteen. Then there's the new boyfriend, police officer Sam, who's loved Sean from afar for months and is uber-supportive of every aspect of Sean's decisions and all Sean had to do to grab this hunka hunka Superboyfriend was ditch the mobster and then fall into his waiting arms. And then there's Sean himself, who'd been through a horrifying tragedy in his past and it affects him his whole adult life...until he talks it out with Sam over the course of an evening and then he's fine. Or at least, that's how it seemed. Admittedly, by then I was sort of skimming parts.
I guess the problem that I had was that the truly gritty plot points got watered down and the truly tantalizing potential for intensity got totally bled out of this book long before the end. And while there are those who will undoubtably get a feel good reaction from everything that goes right for everyone in the book...I just prefer a bit more struggle from point A to point B to HEA. A bit more triumph. A bit more realism, I guess, before the feel good ending.
And that's just a personal preference.
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