Reviewed by Susan65
Title: The Rekindling of Love
Author: Derrick Knight
Series: The Innkeeper #1
Heroes: Dwyer Von Strohm/John Fitzgerald
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 350 Pages
Publisher: Derrick Knight
Release Date: April 10, 2014
Available at: Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Dwyer Von Strohm thought his life was perfect. He had a great job as a pharmaceutical sales representative; he lived in Chicago’s premiere gay community, drove an expensive car, and had an unlimited number of hot gay men to pursue. Dwyer thought his was living the life he had always dreamed. Then one day he becomes a causality of a poor economy. In a very short time, Dwyer loses his job, loses his status in the gay community and is reduced to living a lonely existence.
Dwyer’s situation forces him to move back home and live with his parents in the small town of Glasburg Illinois. Dwyer had left Glasburg many years ago because the love of his life, John Fitzgerald, had broken his heart. Dwyer reunites with gay friends from high school who are facing their own life challenges.
Soon Dwyer and John’s paths collide and it is evident both men still have strong feelings for each other. Will Dwyer find it in his heart to forgive John or will he let the demons from their past prevent them from rekindling the love they once shared?
I have never struggled so hard to review a book more than I did this one. I am so conflicted that I had to walk away, talk it over with others, and then sleep on it before I decided to just be as honest, and as specific, as possible with my likes and dislikes, with what worked and what didn’t.
Mainly because this is the first book in the series, and especially with the way it ended, I really want to read the sequel. But before I challenge myself with that I need to constructively explain why I struggled so much.
Firstly, I want to list what I liked. The prologue was intriguing and grabbed me right away. The storyline was really very interesting and I can easily see what the author was trying to accomplish. I cared about the guys, I really did, and I wanted them to settle their issues. I liked the mysterious villain, known as the “other” and was surprised when they were finally revealed. And I liked the ending, even though that evil villain was probably one of the worst I’ve ever read in a MM novel.
Secondly, I want to list the problems I ran into while reading this story. The writing style was so unbelievably difficult for me. I found myself comparing it to an outline, as if the author was writing down his step-by-step guide for the story but then forgot to smooth it out. It was very stilted and flat. I need more dialogue and action and less telling when I read. I have a hard time getting into a book when I am being told what is happening instead of living it with the characters. Plus, there was way too much detail about every little thing. It is not necessary to fill in every blank. Let the reader fill in the blanks on specifics that are not plot related. I don’t care that his shirt was a red, long-sleeved polo and that their dishes are Fiesta-ware. It is too much unnecessary detail that loses me as a reader and tempts me to skim. I hate skimming.
Thirdly, I think the blurb does this book, and the readers, a grave injustice. By the blurb alone one would deduce that Dwyer and John are the main characters in this story. Yes and no. They are two of many main characters. There are multiple set of guys, and their families, who each have major roles in this book. Each couple has a lot of page time and nearly every person has a point of view. I think the author has a great mind, and a great story that he wanted to get across. The problem I faced was that there were way too many characters and too many storylines running simultaneously. I believe that this story would have been better served if it was broken up into multiple shorter books. Allow the reader to slowing become acclimated instead of brain overload. It makes it very hard to recall just who each person is, and their roles, when they are all thrown at you in one big book.
So in closing, I am very impressed with the author’s imagination and creativity. The storyline’s for each couple were complex and important to the plot. They were all intertwined and that takes some serious skill. Had the writing been a little smoother and less choppy than I would have rated this review higher; but for now I must be honest and hope that the author takes into consideration my suggestion, because I think he has a bright future ahead of him.
I look forward to the sequel, I hope the villain dies!!! I just hope it’s shorter and contains more action and less telling.
Overall Impression: It was good
*I received a copy of this book from the author in return for a fair and honest review.*