Title: Decisions (Drop Dead: Book Three)
Author: Peter Styles
Length: 163 Pages
At a Glance: I’ve really enjoyed getting to know these characters and am completely charmed by Peter Styles’ storytelling as well as his skill at creating a contemporary romance built around such a quirky bunch of people.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: It’s easy to say that money can’t buy happiness. But when Geo and Lex find themselves between a rock and a hard place, they have to decide which is truly more valuable: being happy or making their dreams for their life together come true.
Geo Durand is finally at a good place in his life. He’s living with his loving boyfriend, Lex, he and his twin brother are closer than ever, and he can focus his energy on his true crime podcast. The only downside is that his car is busted, he has bills to pay, and he has to support Lex while he gets back on his feet after losing everything. In a moment of desperation, he’s forced to turn to the person he least wants to ask for help: his rich father.
When Geo finally agrees to go on a ritzy vacation with his dad in the hopes of asking his dad for some money, he starts to remember why he couldn’t stand his father in the first place: he’s narcissistic, self-aggrandizing, and flirts with every cute guy within a ten-mile radius. The worst part about it is that Lex doesn’t seem to mind him. The two of them have to choose which is more important: getting money to support themselves and being miserable, or being broke and happy together.
Review: There are about a thousand little platitudes I could throw out there to describe the events in this book. Or, at least five, maybe.
If I were Geo’s Life Sherpa (he kind of needs one), the first thing I would shout at his head is, “Make good choices!” Then I would read him the fable The Scorpion and the Frog and remind him a tiger can’t change its stripes. Also, fool me once shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. Then I would tell him that the road to hell is paved with good intentions—even though you try to do the right thing, it can still come back to bite you on the ass. And then I would advise him to junk-punch his dad, which is not a platitude but it would be super therapeutic.
Robert Durand doesn’t suffer from pathological narcissism. In fact, he rather seems to revel in it, and it’s been a long time since I’ve loved to loathe a character as passionately as I detested Geo and Mark’s sperm donor. His presence in more than name only in this installment of the Drop Dead series pretty well proves that some people may never intend to breed but can, with all intent, go about screwing up their offspring as much as is psychologically possible without turning them into fully non-functioning and maladapted members of the human race. I have no idea how Geo and Mark turned out as well as they did (apart from the author writing them that way, of course), but it sure isn’t because they hit the genetic jackpot. If I’m being honest, Daddy makes Mommy look sane and saintly in comparison.
Money is a motivating factor in Decisions (isn’t it always?). Geo and Lex’s remarkable lack of it and Robert being flush with it introduces a massive conflict of common sense when Geo is faced with the fact that a deal with the devil might give him and Lex some financial breathing room—Geo only has to trade on the valid disgust and justifiable mistrust he has for Robert, and if there’s one thing that can be said about Durand senior, it’s that he’s consistent in his slimebally repugnance. Robert being gay, and then finding out he has a gay son, wasn’t a bonding moment as much as an opportunity for Robert to parade Geo around and use him as bait to pick up guys. And, good old dad also has a habit of sleeping with Geo’s boyfriends, soooo you can see the dilemma when Robert invites the boys on an all-expenses paid vacation to Aspen.
Remember the fable of The Scorpion and the Frog? Well, you really can’t be surprised when the scorpion acts according to its nature, can you?
There is, of course, some angsty stuff that results from Geo’s good intentions—these guys are far from perfect and they don’t always make the best decisions. But, there are also some sweet moments mixed in there, as is Peter Styles’ style, and there are even a few occasions where Geo gets to check his privilege—lots of little reminders that no matter how bad you’ve had it, there’s always someone else who’s had it worse—and Geo’s silver spoon upbringing, even as terrible as it was, was still a thousand times better than the life Lex was born to.
An unexpected little surprise, the coincidence of all coincidences, surfaces in this book—nice for readers, less so for Lex—and I continue to be impressed by the author’s skill in introducing characters and then making them both real and interesting. Mark is still an awesome brother, even when he’s doing craptastic stuff to Geo that only a brother would do, and I missed him in this book. He’s not around a lot but is still there for Geo when he’s needed.
Normal is as normal does in this series, in that there is no normal just usual. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know these characters and am completely charmed by Peter Styles’ storytelling as well as his skill at creating a contemporary romance built around such a quirky bunch of people.
You can buy Decisions here: