Monday, December 31, 2012

Last Stop by Lou Harper

Why I read it: This book has been on my radar for a while and I bought it the other day at the ARe sale.

What it's about: (from Goodreads)  When love drifts into his life, danger isn't far behind.

Sam Mayne's life is as dull as the dishwater in his small-town Montana diner, and that's just how he wants it. Quiet, uneventful, safe from his shadowy past. The breezy young drifter who answers his help-wanted ad makes him uneasy in ways he dare not examine too closely. Except he can't help but be pulled in by Jay Colby's spunky attitude, endless stories, and undeniable sex appeal.

Fresh off yet another romantic disaster, Jay doesn't understand his attraction to the taciturn line cook, but there's no fighting the chemistry that lands them in bed together. Where Sam's subtly dominant streak takes command, and Jay delights in discovering the pleasures of his submissive side.

Safe in the assumption their relationship is temporary, neither lover holds back when the heat is on. Until Sam's deadly past catches up with them with a vengeance, forcing him to drop the life he's built, pick up his lover, and run. As danger cuts closer to the bone, Sam and Jay are forced to face the truth. About themselves, about the depth of their love-and the newly forged bonds that are about to be tested to the limit.

What worked for me (and what didn't): Unfortunately, the book didn't quite live up to my expectations.  The main lack, for me, was the relationship build.  I didn't see Sam and Jay fall in love. I  saw a lot of (pretty hot) sex and some action but the falling in love part was kind of missing for me.  Jay seemed fairly sad - someone who'd been rejected time and time again, who traded a roof over his head for sex and nothing really changed in his relationship with Sam, other than that they ended up staying together.  I didn't see any cue which told me this relationship was different to Jay's other relationships - other than that I knew that Sam was the hero. Jay didn't seem empowereed to me, he seemed unhappy.  I didn't see Sam falling for Jay really, there wasn't much introspection on his part so I couldn't see why Sam fell for Jay other than that he was available for sex.  

Also, (and this is mildly spoilerish) I found it hard to like Sam once I knew about his past.  While people can change and redemption and rehabilitation is a good thing, Sam didn't fit my own personal preference for hero material.  Because I didn't feel any particular emotional connection to either Sam or Jay, his past bothered me.

Still, the sex was hot and there was the occasional line which struck me somehow and was enough to keep me reading.
"Look, I'm not good with words.  All I know is I want to put a big fucking brand on your ass that says you're mine, so everybody knows.  Don't look so happy.  I mean it literally."
I needed more romance and courtship and emotion to really buy into the story.  Unfortunately, this one was shy of "just okay" for me.

Grade:  C-

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