Reviewed by Morgan
Title: There’s Something About Ari
Author: L.B. Gregg
Narrator: Nick J. Russo
Series: Bluewater Bay #2
Heroes: Buck Ellis/Ari Valentine
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 2 Hours, 41 Minutes
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: May 9, 2016
Available at: Amazon, Audible and iTunes
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Buck Ellis’s future seems pretty damn bright. With a full college scholarship in hand, he’s going to ditch Bluewater Bay and pave the way for his kid brother Charlie to do the same. The only fly in Buck’s ointment is his ten-year addiction to his best friend since second grade, his true love, and his Achilles heel: Ari Valentine, Mr. Least Likely to Succeed.
But then Buck’s mother dies, changing everything, and five years later, his future is still on hold. It’s a struggle to keep food on the table, a roof over their heads, and Charlie on the straight and narrow. Buck can’t afford any temptation, especially in the form of the newly returned, super hot, super confident, super successful television star Ari Valentine.
ADHD poster-child Ari Valentine left for Hollywood and lost everything, including his bad reputation. Then the breakthrough role of his skyrocketing career lands him back in Bluewater Bay, to the stunned disbelief of, well, everyone. But there’s only one person Ari longs to impress—the only person who ever really mattered to him, the person he left behind: Buck Ellis.
Review – Book: We start out meeting Buck and Ari at their first meeting in elementary school. Buck – slightly outcast, overweight, “other”, lonely – and Ari – new kid, hyperactive, petite and friendly to everyone. They form an instant bond that sticks with them all through high school until suddenly, just when Buck’s life is falling down around his ears, Ari leaves town for Hollywood not to be heard from for the next 5 years.
As the story progresses, we learn that Buck has fought the attraction he felt for his best friend for years and never voiced it aloud. He’s crushed when Ari abandons him and is unwilling to just let bygones be bygones when Ari suddenly returns as his new neighbor.
Ari, meanwhile, has grown up and found himself in a lucrative acting career. He’s ready to come home and wants to be back in Buck’s life.
This book was a solid 5 star read for me up until the ending. Unfortunately, I’ve found this to be true with several of the author’s books. It’s like once the couple has even a hint that things might be on the path of happiness, the story ends. It feels like slamming into a brick wall!
There is no way this feels like a resolved story to me. Yes, the boys are in a good place, and yes it feels like it might be “forever,” but we just spent all this time with them apart and just as we get a glimpse of “happy” – BAM – the story’s over.
Sure, I found the writing to be engaging and well done – Buck is a fun character and I loved being in his head at times! – but I also wished we’d seen a bit more from Ari. He’s barely a character as this is so much a Buck story and less a Buck and Ari story.
In any case… there was much to like about this story but I really wish there’d been more to the ending.
Impression – Book: I liked it
Review – Audio: I picked up the audio because Nick J Russo is one of my favorite narrators and I couldn’t wait to see how he could help this story along for me. I was right. I definitely felt better about the story after listening to it because he adds so much to the overall experience. I love his take on emotions and when things are funny he’s at his best.
I highly recommend his narrations and he did a great job with this one.
Impression – Audio: It was amazing
Overall Impression: I really liked it
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*