Let’s get this out of the way: Grade of F for editing. There are so many errors (punctuation, spelling, wonky verb tenses, timeline issues, POV missteps, rushed storytelling, sophomoric narrative flow) that I was tempted to simply DNF and move on. I persevered, got to the end, and took a full day to calm down so that I wouldn’t come across as a ranty grammar bitch.
I think I’m going to lose that one.
Want reads like a rough draft, a freshman creative writing effort proctored by a TA for whom English is not his/her native tongue.
The skeleton of a story is actually there, as far as a romance goes, with the high angst, moderate stakes outcomes, and with two MCs you might come to like if they’d been given half a chance to develop their own personalities and to have a relationship not solely reliant on frantic, frequent, johnny-one-note couplings.
Want is billed as both gay romance and erotica—both genres poorly served by confusing insertions of backstories, a squad of minor characters with tell dumps that focused on so many insignificant biographical details I found myself stopping to click back through a chapter or two to try to make sense out of who was who and when such ‘n such happened.
There are timeline difficulties, congruency issues and a host of other reasons why Want faltered and comes across as rushed and in desperate need of an editor, or at least some savvy betas to rein in and refocus it towards Story and character development.
Neither character is sigh-worthy or book boyfriend material: Trevor is coddled and whiny, Dante is an alphahole but without enough going for him to justify the reader forming an attachment. Both men suffer from ego-centric viewpoints and neither seems to have a modicum of self-control or common sense, behaving like needy juvenile children in pursuit of sensory fulfillment. Dante is especially annoying when the issue of his spawn is brought up—if you have a rug rat as a plot point, it behooves you to make the sperm donor actually give a flip about the kid. That device merited a throat punch in my opinion.
As for narrative flow, the story is told in alternative first POV, but it’s almost impossible to separate the characters’ personalities, and if you missed reading the chapter heading alerting you to the fact the POV changed, I swear you’d never be able to tag the narrator correctly.
The denouement, where consequences meted out for inappropriate behavior are suddenly reversed and everyone sees the light, just had me shaking my head in bewilderment. The HEA is definitely forced, despite being a given.
I know I’m in the minority here. Want apparently appeals to a readership that favors this type of storytelling with frequent sex scenes and manufactured angst, with a phalanx of minor characters who populate the chorus but add little to the plot (giving the landscape a neighborly feel), and the guaranteed HEA.
Good shell, abysmal execution. A marginally okay read for free, but not recommended when it comes to forking over disposable income. I know this author can do better. Want is a misstep that could and should be a candidate for extensive revision.
Dante “D” Vargas is home in Miami, to stay. He has a job he likes as the new head of bonds and bounty for Mack’s Security and after six years of making a mess with Trevor Mackentire, he’s ready—he thinks they’re both ready—for them to stop playing around and figure out if what they have is real. But Trevor is his boss’s son and his best friend’s younger brother so it’s not as easy as taking what he wants.
Especially when he also has to convince Trevor he’s over being afraid of his feelings and not everything is what it seems.
Finally healthy and whole again after the effects of a major car accident, Trevor’s tired of being treated like a child by everyone he loves. He’s been handling his own for a long time. But he’s lonely. Trevor knows he shouldn’t keep setting himself up to be hurt by D’s hot-and-cold routine, but he’s cared for the man for what feels like forever, and lusted for him even longer.
Yeah, they set each other on fire, but old fears, old wounds, and being stuck in a game of push and pull makes it feel impossible to get it together. Maybe they should just leave well enough alone.
It’d be easier if every meeting, every taste didn’t leave them wanting more.