Title: Maybe This Time
Author: Annabelle Jacobs
Publisher: Self-Published/Kindle Unlimited
Length: 246 Pages
At a Glance: Maybe This Time fell short of being interesting enough to hold my attention.
Reviewed By: Sammy
Blurb: Moving into a new home starts with a bang when Ryan Blackwell celebrates turning thirty. Being hungover means he’s bleary-eyed and clumsy the next day, but even in that state, he can appreciate how sexy and fit his neighbour is.
Matt Thomas isn’t looking for anything long-term—one and done is usually his life rule. Why settle down early, like his sister, when casual relationships are so easy? With Ryan living in the same building, chance encounters are inevitable. When one night together becomes two, a friends-with-benefits deal seems a natural progression.
There’s only one problem: sex with no strings relies on matching expectations, so Ryan can’t help worrying. His huge heart always wants more, but Matt’s been clear about his limits. As passion leads to caring, they’ll have to make some tough decisions—maybe this time, breaking some rules will be worth it if that means they’ll get to share a future.
Review: Matt Thomas has spent most of his life denying that he needs a permanent partner to be happy. Balking against his family’s hopes that he will settle down, and his best friend’s disbelief that he doesn’t secretly want more than just casual sex, Matt has convinced himself that he is quite happy being a loner with no ties to anyone. Then he meets his new neighbor, and what begins as a no-strings-friends-with-benefits arrangement slowly morphs into something more. But Matt is spending so much time and energy fighting against his attraction for Ryan he almost loses not only their friendship but the reality that both men could maybe make a go of something more—a deeper and more meaningful relationship, one that scares Matt completely.
Ryan has had his fair share of heartache and getting too far ahead of himself in a relationship. So when his smoking hot neighbor offers no-strings-attached sex, he is positive he can handle it. The only problem is that somewhere along the way, the message never got from Ryan’s head to his heart. Before he knows it, Ryan is falling for Matt, but those feelings are never going to be reciprocated…or are they?
I really wanted to love this story—I truly did. Ryan was just incredibly kind and humorous. His bumbling ways accentuated by his tender heart really made for a character that sunk his teeth into the reader in all the good ways. I found myself rooting for him despite the fact that Matt often appeared to be a real horse’s you-know-what. Matt was rather full of himself and had bought his own insensitive loner cred hook, line and sinker. I found it really hard to like this guy, primarily because he actually didn’t like himself all that much.
The attraction between the two men was labored, at times, primarily because Matt was so determined to remain emotionally aloof. That whole shtick wore thin after a while as the main plot device keeping this story from progressing. I found myself wanting something to happen, even if it was a tired old trope of two men bogged down in miscommunication, which actually nearly happened at one point when Matt sees the office lothario trying to kiss Ryan. But, alas, that too seemed to fizzle much too quickly, leaving behind this laboring story about one guy denying he needs more than a series of detached one-night stands to fulfill him.
It wasn’t so much that Maybe This Time was too slowly paced (although it was, at times), but more that it lacked a certain spark that made me hunger to see how the whole story played out. I lost interest in these two guys about halfway through, and the author did little to recapture my attention, unfortunately. With both characters bent on denying what they felt, the novel never seemed to take off, the men never seemed to really connect emotionally, and that was truly unfortunate.
In the end, Maybe This Time was just an average story that fell short of being interesting enough to hold my attention. I feel this author has real talent and will be on the lookout for another of her stories, as I think this one does not do her talents as a storyteller real justice.
You can buy Maybe This Time here: