Author: Kay Doherty
Publisher: NineStar Press
Length: 113 Pages
At a Glance: Though the plot tests the bounds of believability a bit, overall, this is a solid little story with likeable characters.
Reviewed By: Cassie
Blurb: Dekker Callan is content with his life though he knows something is missing. Wanting the kind of love his friends share with their partners, Dekker is talked into taking part in a modeling and dating show as part of a fundraiser. He immediately falls in love with the anonymous, sexy voice on the other side of the wall, but fate has a surprise in store–his mystery man isn’t single.
Slade Gannon wasn’t supposed to take part in the dating show. That spot was for his roommate, Phil, who becomes ill and asks Slade to take his place. Slade has just recently gone through a breakup with his cheating boyfriend, George. Shocked and pleased when he wins the interest of handsome Dekker Callan, before he can go on the obligatory blind date, his ex asks for a second chance. Believing Dekker can’t possibly be as good on the inside as he looks on the outside, Slade agrees.
Dekker and Slade hit it off immediately, drawn to each other despite Slade being involved with someone else. They finally get their opportunity to be together when Slade finds out his boyfriend is still cheating, but just as they seem to discover the happiness they’ve been waiting for, George throws them one last hurdle—and this one may prove to be insurmountable.
Review: This little novella was a nice way to spend a couple of my vacation hours. It was like cotton candy, not a lot of nutritional content but fun in the right amounts.
Dekker’s desire for that something more in his life is relatable and sympathetic, though I thought the nearly god-like physical descriptions applied to him were a bit over the top and repetitive. Slade is mostly likeable, though why on God’s green earth he didn’t tell his cheating ex-not-ex that he’d changed his mind about that second chance post-blind date, I could not figure out. I liked these two well enough to care about where the story would lead them, but they were actually overshadowed a bit for me by some of the secondary characters.
The secondary characters had that developed, lived-in feeling that made it seem like they had more story somewhere. I had to double check to make sure I hadn’t accidentally started in the middle of the series, but this is the first book, so I don’t think I missed anything. The twins and their boyfriends, in particular, were problematically intriguing; at times, I was much more interested in them than I was in the main characters. I wanted more of their backstory in the worst way. I’m hopeful that we’ll see more of them as the series progresses, but also kind of disappointed that their coming together stories are chronologically past. Though more than one author has back-tracked to cover backstories, so I’m not in total despair (and if these stories exist somewhere in another series, HOOK ME UP, because I did some research and couldn’t find them).
For me, the characters (main and secondary) are what make the book. I just liked them, faults and all, and likeable characters go a loooong way with me. The plot itself was just okay. The setup was an upgraded version of the whole love-of-my-life-is-dating-someone-else trope, but it was kind of tenuous as far as believability went. Maybe I am just an impatient and unforgiving person, but I could not relate to Slade’s decision to give his ex a half-hearted second chance. Either commit to working it out or cut bait. Sticking to the agreement to give it another go while half in love with someone else just felt dishonest.
The ex is obviously a dick, which would have been fine, but that one last hurdle mentioned in the blurb was WAY extreme. Let’s just say things escalate quickly, and kind of ridiculously. There’s some weak, but patent, foreshadowing, but even that did not prepare me for how far out of whack things went. Even with those hints, the climax just felt a bit unbelievable and out of the blue. I’m not a huge fan of the habit of rendering an ex loathsome to the reader just to make the primary relationship more reasonable. It’s enough for me that Slade wasn’t in love with George. Add in that the guy was already a cheater, and Slade was justified in walking. I was already on board the Dekker/Slade express; there was no need to dropkick me onto the tracks in front of the train.
So pick this one for your end of summer bit of fluff, and spend an hour or two with some fairly likeable guys. The plot? Well, it may work better for you than it did for me.
You can buy Blind Date here: