Reviewed by Ami
Title: Beyond the Grill
Author: Tracey Michael
Heroes: Justin Walker/shane Steel
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 96 Pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: October 5, 2016
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Justin Walker is used to being the hookup but never the boyfriend, and that’s okay. Justin has goals—he might sling burgers by night and work on his car by day, but he has plans to go to school and make a life for himself. He also has a few friends and loving parents.
What more could a guy ask for?
Hot, muscular, manly Shane Steel is a walking wet dream. Justin fantasizes about having Shane as more than a casual acquaintance, and one night he works up the courage to flirt with Shane. To his surprise—and terror—Shane is interested. Very interested.
As they bond over their love of cars and drag racing, Justin begins to believe he can be more to Shane than a side guy. Too bad Shane’s manipulative and dangerous ex is dead set against letting that happen.
Review: I hate to say this, but this is one case where the blurb is more exciting than the story itself and I struggle to find something good to say about it. I think I had a big issue with the writing – there isn’t enough characterization and relationship building in this. It felt on the humdrum side of storytelling as well.
I felt like I was being shoved into a story without context, where any development resided solely in the author’s head. I didn’t get any background information about either Justin or Shane. There isn’t enough chemistry showing as well.
When the ex-boyfriend appeared on page, he was almost like a cartoon villain: two-dimensional with an evil plan that was a combination of over-the-top dramatic and unreasonable motive (again, probably because not enough given to building the suspense for it). Of course it didn’t help that Justin and Shane easily fell into the ‘lack of communication’ trap as well.
I am a bit reluctant to recommend this – but hey, maybe someone else will enjoy this more than I. If you like blue collar men or being surrounded with cars, you may like it.
Overall Impression: It was okay, but not good
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*