Reviewed by Susan65
Author: Taylor V. Donovan
Series: Bylaws #1
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 299 Pages
Release Date: May 28, 2014
Available at: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, All Romance Ebooks
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Senior associate attorney Derrick Swain wants it all: a loving husband, a fulfilling career, and a couple of kids. After years of hard work he’s on the fast track to a promotion. He’s also met the man of his dreams. A week of daily lunch meetings in Central Park provides the perfect setting to get to know him better, and Derrick thinks it won’t be long before they take the next step and go on a date. But instead of asking him out, the object of his affection stops showing up without explanation, leaving him to wonder what went wrong.
As part owner of one of the most prestigious law firms in New York City, Roman Bradford knows that professional success isn’t the be all end all. Although he’s been lucky in life, true love has eluded him for the most part. One too many failed relationships have caused him to be leery of trying again, until he meets a man that can only be described as temptation personified. A few conversations is all it takes for Roman to start believing things will be different this time around. It doesn’t matter that they are boss and employee, or that he’s feeling too much, too fast. Not when he can see the same emotions in Derrick’s eyes. Then life turns on a dime, and Roman has no option but to let his chance at happiness go.
A battle of wills ensues when a life-altering case brings them together a year later. Roman wants to do the right thing by not letting anything happen between them, and Derrick is determined to prove they’re meant to be together. Evidence will be presented and final arguments will be made. Will they be able to come to an agreement, or will they opt to have their potential relationship dismissed?
I am a huge fan of TVD, and love her Degrees series, so I was really looking forward to this new series. It did not disappoint. But don’t go into this expecting Roman and Derrick to be carbon copies of Mac and Sam. These two boys come with a whole new set of issues and totally different personalities. We do still get the signature TVD storytelling and complete characterization even though this installment does end on a ”to-be-continued” note, which is kind of alluded to and expected when it’s the first book in a new series.
I would summarize Derrick and Roman as two very successful and powerful men on the outside, but who are both completely struggling inside. Roman is dealing with a fresh breakup from his six year relationship and a recent diagnosis of an illness that floors him. He has been attracted to Derrick from the get-go and they became friends, but then he just loses it during one of their lunch rendezvous’ and stops showing up…crushing Derrick without explanation.
Derrick is a bi-racial man who falls head over heels for Roman, but taking into consideration Roman is literally his boss, he needs to watch his step when Roman cuts him off at the knees when he stopped showing up for their lunch “dates” and now avoids him all costs.
I know people come in all shapes and sizes and personalities, but for an attorney Derrick came off a little weak. I didn’t like his relationship with Tashana, probably because I really didn’t like her. She was just too brash for me; she may have loved Derrick but I wasn’t sold on her. Some may like that type, but sadly, I am not one of them. Derrick was the friendly sort, and very real, not appearing as one would expect an attorney working for a large law firm. He is the kind of man I would love for a friend…he just needed a little more self-confidence. Maybe he really did need a friend like Tashana, huh?
Roman needed a real kick in the ass. Who just martyrs themselves, and their future, without even trying to make a relationship work? He disrespected the man he was easily able to see spending his life with because he didn’t trust Derrick enough to tell him the truth. His illness is potentially catastrophic, yes, but his self sacrificing drove me bonkers. Speaking of his illness, which was easily figured out from the beginning, so I don’t believe it was meant to be surprise when it was finally disclosed.
Once Roman and Derrick finally air all their dirty laundry and decide to make a go of it, we get to the point where the story behind the story takes over…that Derrick is being wrongfully accused of sexual misconduct involving a minor, for political gain. This is where the story comes to an end, with Derrick about to turn himself in and the evil district attorney intent on destroying Roman via Derrick.
I can’t wait to see where this goes from here, and I hope it doesn’t take too long for the sequel “Gainsay” to be released. I am sure we are in for a battle and I can’t wait to see Roman in action.
Overall Impression: I really liked it
*I received a copy of this book from the author in return for a fair and honest review.*