Title: Not Another One Hit Wonder
Author: J.M. Snyder
Publisher: JMS Books
Length: 130 Pages
At a Glance: If you like a slow and steady, low angst, second chance romances, I think you will enjoy this sweet story.
Reviewed By: Lindsey
Blurb: When best friends Jamie Eckert and Derek Duran realized they were in love, they took their relationship to the next level. But then Derek’s budding music career took off, and so did Derek.
Twenty years later, Jamie still lives in the small town of Ashbury, Virginia, where he grew up. He’s grown up and moved on — now he owns the family funeral home business and is raising Riley, his precocious six-year-old adopted daughter.
But emotions Jamie thought long buried are stirred up again when he gets an early morning removal call. The deceased is Derek’s mother and Riley’s babysitter, Mrs. Duran. Now Derek’s back in town for the funeral, and he turns to Jamie for support … in more ways than one.
Angry at Derek for not keeping in touch, and angrier at himself for still loving the man who left him behind, Jamie is torn between his professional duty and his feelings for Derek. Will he be able to put aside his past with Derek to carry out Mrs. Duran’s final wishes? Or is Derek interested in rekindling their relationship after all this time?
Review: Most of the books I have read recently have either had high tension, lots of angst, are fast paced, or are a combination of the three, so I found myself enjoying the slow and steady pacing of the sweet second chance romance that Not Another One Hit Wonder provided me.
The story, told in first person present from Jaime’s perspective, starts off with receiving the call that brings Derek back to his life. As often happens, his memories start returning, both the good and bad. It is clear Jaime never really got over Derek. There was no big fall-out, more that they drifted apart, and both young and immature emotionally, they expected the other to just know what was happening and what they wanted. Because of the fact there was no real point in which their relationship ended, there really wasn’t closure. Jaime struggles with the feelings he buried that surface, and his surety that Derek will be gone and break his heart all over again. It doesn’t help that Derek doesn’t seem to want Jaime to forget those feelings, but doesn’t really let his full intentions be known—other than he misses Jaime and wants him still.
Both Jaime and Derek have serious communication problems. Even in the present they both tend to keep what they are feeling close to their chests, which causes the main problem with their renewed romance progressing in any way. They talk plenty, but the words that should be said aren’t, more often than not. Jaime assumes a lot without any real information.
Riley, Jaime’s adopted daughter, plays a significant role in the story, because this story is more than just Jaime and Derek; this story is about Jaime’s life. Riley, along with the funeral home Jaime runs, is his life. The parenting portion was done in a realistic way, scheduling dates around finding sitters, the way children can often consume all the conversation and demand attention, how they often push boundaries. Many times in stories involving children, the kids are on the peripheral, giving the protagonists plenty of time together on page. But for this story, it seemed to me the aim was to be a somewhat more realistic tale of two men who loved each other, and then twenty years later finally find their way back together; but life happened during that time, and Riley was a part of Jaime’s—a huge part.
Overall, the story was on low on the angst side, other than the shared history and Jaime’s fears, both very realistic and common with nothing done over the top. If you are someone who needs sexy times for a story to work for you, this one would disappoint, as the focus is on Jaime and Derek rekindling their feelings through dates and conversation.
I do wish I could have had more conversations or interaction on page with Derek. Though his character was likable, because of the story being written from Jaime’s perspective I didn’t get to experience a lot of what was going through Derek’s mind, except that he cared for Jaime and, eventually, his version of what happened so long ago. I couldn’t help but wonder, how was he handling his mother’s death? How did he feel about Riley? When Jaime kept putting distance between them and pushing him away, what was going through his mind? I think this is often something that readers face with books written in the first person narrative. I just didn’t get much of a sense of Derek other than he adored Jaime and hoped to salvage their relationship.
If you like a slow and steady, low angst, second chance romances, I think you will enjoy this sweet story.
You can buy Not Another One Hit Wonder here: