Reviewed by Morgan
Author: Marie Sexton
Narrator: Paul Morey
Series: Coda Books #7
Heroes: Dominic Jacobson/Lamar Franklin
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 8 hours, 31 minutes
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: August 31, 2015
Available at: Amazon, Audible and iTunes
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: As a young man, Dominic Jacobsen already suspects he’s gay, and he gets all the confirmation he needs when a rich boy from out of town climbs into the back seat of Dominic’s GTO. One night with Lamar Franklin is all it takes to convince Dominic he’s found the man of his dreams. Unfortunately, that one night is all he’ll get before Lamar returns to Tucson.
Fifteen years later Lamar returns to Coda, Colorado, after ending the latest in a string of bad relationships. He’s alone, depressed, and plagued by late-night phone calls from an unidentified caller. Lamar’s ready to give up when he comes face-to-face with his past.
Since he was seventeen, Dominic has dreamed of a reunion with Lamar, but that doesn’t mean he’s ready for it now. Facing small-town rumors and big-family drama is bad enough, but Dominic won’t risk losing custody of his teenage daughter, Naomi. The only solution is to make sure he and Lamar remain friends and nothing more. Clothes stay on, no matter what.
It seems simple enough. But for better or worse, Lamar has other ideas.
Review – Book: First, the Coda series is one of my favorite m/m series. I love all the guys: Zach and Ang, Jared, Matt and Jonathan and Cole. So I was way psyched to see a new addition to the series. It can, however, be read as a standalone, Lamar and Dom aren’t in the previous books as far as I can remember.
The basic idea of this book is coming out of the closet, owning who you are and embracing the life you were meant to live.
Dom has been hiding for years because he’s afraid of what people will think. He hurt Lamar 15 years ago and when Lamar returns to Coda, he hurts him again, and again, and again.
Finally – finally! – he pulls his head out and realizes how important Lamar is to him and gets with the program.
Lamar just keeps picking the wrong guy, over and over. (In my opinion, I’m not sure he ever does find the “right” guy…) He returns to Coda when the latest “wrong guy” screws him over.
When Lamar gets to Coda and realizes Dom is still there, he wants to start things again. Dom doesn’t then he does. Then Lamar pushes too far and Dom retreats. Then Dom goes to Lamar and then Lamar pushes too far. And so on.
There are some fun times with the previous characters – again only fun if you’ve read the series – but that back and forth between Dom and Lamar takes up a lot of the book.
I was disappointed with this book. I really wanted to see some of the unique relationships that Marie is so good at describing. Matt and Jared, Zach and Ang, Jon and Cole all have slightly unique power dynamics in their relationships and it makes for interesting reads even in sequels.
Dom and Lamar’s story is just cliché. One guy in denial. One guy with lousy taste. I just never really liked Dom (even at the end) and that made it hard for me to root for this relationship. There is hardly any sex in this as well – which can work in favor of a story at times, but here just serves to emphasize the disconnect between these characters in my mind.
Marie is a great writer who excels at her descriptions (especially of Colorado) but this story lacked chemistry for me.
Review – Audio Book: Paul Morey is a favorite narrator for me. I love him! I think he added to my overall enjoyment of this book because I like listening to him and find it relaxing and entertaining. I love his southern accents and Lamar has a lovely one. I would definitely recommend listening to this audiobook.
Overall Impression: I liked it
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*