Reviewed by JustJen
Title: What It Looks Like
Author: Matthew J. Metzger
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 264 Pages
Publisher: JMS Books
Release Date: August 20, 2016
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Eli Bell is the only son of a police chief inspector and a forensic scientist. He’s grown up wonky in a world that only deals with the straight and narrow — and his new boyfriend isn’t helping.
Rob Hawkes is six feet of muscle, tattoos, and arrest warrants. A career criminal and a former guest of Her Majesty’s Prison Service, he’d rather hit Eli’s parents than sit down to dinner with them. One wrong move, and Rob could destroy Eli — and his family — without a second thought.
But this isn’t what it looks like.
Rob’s not in control here — and Eli’s the one to blame.
Review: Boy did I enjoy this wonderful story! It grabbed me from the get go, with the gorgeous cover, the intriguing blurb, and everything after. I must admit that I didn’t really know what I was in for, nor was I expecting to be riveted from beginning to end, but such was the case.
I absolutely loved Mr. Metzger’s writing style. It reminded me of J.L. Merrow’s writing in that it was very British with unpolished, imperfect characters that you can’t help but love. Don’t judge a book by its cover is the theme that is prevalent throughout this story – From sweet Eli to the big sexy Rob and a few others in between.
This story jumps right in with Eli and Rob showing us a bit of their power dynamics in the bedroom. Again, all is not what it seems. I loved how different their use of BDSM was, how they each changed roles and were able to be exactly what the other needed. I absolutely love finding a story that contains BDSM elements outside of the typical club rules, and this one fit that perfectly. It wasn’t until quite a ways in that the truth about Eli came out, and once that happened, the story really took off for me and made their dynamic even more powerful.
Much of this story centers around Eli and Rob’s relationship and how Eli’s family feels towards Rob, whom they believe is and always will be nothing more than a petty criminal. That causes a lot of friction on their relationship with Eli, as well as with Eli and Rob. Eli has struggled with his family who had been somewhat accepting but not entirely supportive through the years. It was Rob who shined as the strong supportive star in Eli’s life. These two could not be more perfect for each other, and I was rooting for them the entire time.
There is fabulous banter and dialog, lots of luscious dirty talk and sweet gestures of romance. Rob has had a difficult life, but he loves Eli and it is the little ways he shows it that warmed my heart. I also loved Rob’s derelict brother, Danny. He was much like Rob in many ways, from his quick wit to his easy acceptance of Eli. To see them accept and love Eli because Rob did made it that much more difficult when Eli’s family was unable to do the same.
I have to say, this was my favorite trans story to date. Perhaps it was because Eli was already in a relationship and in the middle of his transformation, or the way everything about what Eli was or had gone through, or would still be going through, was explained. It didn’t skip over too many details, yet it all felt so natural in the way it was told that I was fascinated and thoroughly enjoyed seeing these guys together and how they made things work. When there were worrying aspects, they talked about them. They argued and acted out, but working through things when they were in their “scenes” was beautiful to watch. These guys were such genuine characters who showed us some extremely intimate moments. I loved reading about them and felt I could continue doing so long after the story ended. I highly recommend this book, and though this was my first book by Mr. Metzger, it definitely won’t be my last.
Overall Impression: It was amazing!
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*