Reviewed by Heather C
Title: Trowchester Blues
Author: Alex Beecroft
Series: Trowchester Blues #1
Heroes: Michael May and Fintan Hulme
Genre: MM Contemporary Romance
Length: 77,300 words
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: February 9, 2015
Available at: Riptide Publishing
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Michael May is losing it. Long ago, he joined the Metropolitan Police to escape his father’s tyranny and protect people like himself. Now his father is dead, and he’s been fired for punching a suspect. Afraid of his own rage, he returns to Trowchester—and to his childhood home, with all its old fears and memories. When he meets a charming, bohemian bookshop owner who seems to like him, he clings tight.
Fintan Hulme is an honest man now. Five years ago, he retired from his work as a high class London fence and opened a bookshop. Then an old client brings him a stolen book too precious to turn away, and suddenly he’s dealing with arson and kidnapping, to say nothing of all the lies he has to tell his friends. Falling in love with an ex-cop with anger management issues is the last thing he should be doing.
Finn thinks Michael is incredibly sexy. Michael knows Finn is the only thing that still makes him smile. But in a relationship where cops and robbers are natural enemies, that might not be enough to save them.
When Michael May “snaps” during a kidnapping/murder investigation, he decides it’s time for a life change and moves from busy London to the town of Trowchester where he spent an unhappy childhood. By going “home”, Michael must now exorcise his past ghosts before he can ever have a chance at a happy future. When Michael meets Finn, an eccentric bookstore owner, trust isn’t something that comes easy for Michael. And what will happen when he discovers Finn has an old habit of breaking the law.
Hmm, so I liked this…but I didn’t love it.
First, I want to put it out there and make it known that this is my second experience with this author and think it’s possible that the writing style just might not be for me. I tend to love the slow-to-start stories with heavy imagery, but this time, I kept getting lost in the descriptions. So, no, I wasn’t hooked in the beginning, but my interest did spike about midway through.
Then, there seemed to be more “telling” than “showing”, and I’m the type of person that wants, no NEEDS, all those little scenes in between where the characters build up the tension and build up the relationship so I can FEEL what the characters are feeling…FEEL that connection between them. That did not happen for me with this story and I kept thinking: “Stop TELLING me what happened, and SHOW me!”
Also, it was a bit too insta-love for my tastes. I mean, Michael and Finn spend ONE night together and Michael is all ready to build him a boat. No way! Both these characters have so much baggage. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but much of it needed to be explored on a deeper level. For example: Michael’s anger and Finn’s desire for pain and control. This was brought up numerous times throughout the story, but it seemed to be pushed to the side with all the other “complications”.
I liked what was happening with Sarah and Tai. I felt like Sarah’s purpose in the story was very important to Michael’s new life and him finally being able to do something “good” when he had failed in the past. Again, I felt like there was more story there to tell.
The villains and that whole plot with the stolen book was a bit over the top. For one thing, why did Finn keep opening his door without looking to see who was knocking??!!! That was driving me crazy!!! And the ENTIRE bit in the end with the magistrate…ridiculous and too easy.
The good news: there’s a sweet happily ever after in the end and I was glad to see Finn and Michael finally move out of the past.
Whew, I feel like I’ve almost written myself out of a 3.5 rating, but overall, I DID enjoy the story as a whole and I’m looking forward to the other books in the Trowchester Blues Collection.
Overall Impression: I Liked It
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*