Books Release Day Review: Bleu Balls by Tara Lain
Release Day Review: Bleu Balls by Tara Lain
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Balls to the Wall (Book 7)
About the Author
Tara Lain, like so many novelists, wrote her first book at five. Writing ability got her through college when there wasn’t enough time in the day, and, shortly thereafter, it became a marketable skill. Very early in life, people started paying her to write — scripts for industrial films, brochures, magazine articles on semiconductors. She became a really successful non-fiction “ghost-writer”.
When you’re being paid well to write non-fiction, it’s tough to spend time writing fiction that nobody pays you for for a long time. But then Tara found EROM (erotic romance). Always a lover of fantasy, she got hooked on the beauty, emotion, and happily-ever-after of these books (to say nothing of the great sex) and was finally inspired to write one of her own. But writing fiction is different than non-fiction. There was so much to learn, and after writing her first book she went back to school (via online workshops) and got down to learning the craft. A year later, she had rewritten that book, and created another one, and a very supportive publisher said yes! Today, she’s an established writer of romance fiction with 40 books to her credit.
Married to her soul mate, a wonderful man who surprises her every day, and living with her honey and her soul dog in Laguna Niguel, CA., Tara continues to love semiconductors and software and medical devices — all with a little touch of romance.
January 09, 2018
ePub, Mobi, PDF
Read an excerpt at Dreamspinner Press.
Double trouble. The McMillan twins, Robin and Bobby, are renowned for their talents—both as fine artists and for thrilling the various men who catch their eyes. As different in style and personality as their DNA is identical, they’re nonetheless best friends who divide and conquer, with Robin doing the serious painting and Bobby adding the sunny salesmanship.
But when their most important client decides Bobby must wield the paintbrush, the brothers revert to childhood tactics and switch places. Then along comes Micah, a handsome doctor who’s attracted to Bobby but invites Robin out to try to please his homophobic brother, and Paolo, the pain-in-the-butt client who thinks he’s wooing Bobby when he’s actually after Robin. Paolo harbors his own hidden pain that weirdly intersects with Robin’s, but pride and privacy conspire to produce what will either be a masterpiece—or end up as Dogs Playing Poker.
It’s amazing to me that this is the seventh book in this series. I have thoroughly enjoyed the vast majority of them, but this was an exception. Please remember that your mileage may vary and take my words with a grain of salt. My opinion may not match your own.
First introduced in Snow Balls, Bobby and Robin McMillan are artists in the painting medium, both quite talented, but with vastly different approaches to life. While Bobby is so lighthearted he comes across as vapid, Robin has a much darker soul, and is clearly the leader of the duo.
Known as Double Trouble in the club scene, men clamor for their attention, but Bobby is getting tired of hookups and wants an actual relationship. The DT plot line takes up a good portion of the book, pulling the attention away from the two budding relationships.
This is a twin-flip book, where one is portraying the other due to a conflict with a client at their initial meeting. With Bobby, normally the mouthpiece/salesman of the duo, sick, Robin must put on his best sales face and make nice for a potentially huge contract. I liked the way Robin’s mind worked, and I appreciated the snark this character displays along with his obvious intelligence.
Paolo and Micah are the other half of the relationship pair, and while I liked them both, even they didn’t really get a fair shake in character development. Paolo is an architect where the contracted art will be done, and as Robin annoyed him from the start, he only wants Bobby to do the painting. Unfortunately, Robin is also the better of the duo, so the twin switch is easy…or should be. Most of the book is spent in subversion where he is concerned.
Micah is a family doctor, taking over for his semi-retired father, and meets the twins when Bobby is ill at the beginning. Intensely attracted to Bobby, but knowing that the bubbly man is unlikely to be accepted by his brothers, he takes the easy route instead, and their date is probably one of my most favorite scenes in the book.
There aren’t a lot of secondary characters, but I appreciated the levity that they brought (brothers excluded). Far and away my favorite secondary character was Micah’s sister. She’s smart, doesn’t put up with nonsense, and simply adores her brother. She brought a freshness that was desperately needed.
The romance aspect felt nearly nonexistent. Because of the dual roles each brother portrays, there isn’t much time for them to embed themselves in their prospective relationships. And don’t even get me started on the bizarre insta-love of Bobby and Micah. The tie-up for the HEA felt contrived and rushed as a result.
Even the conflict of the story fell a little flat for me. It just all kind of hit me wrong, and I’m sorry to say that, because ordinarily I love this author’s work. I liked a great many aspects of this story, but I felt that Bobby’s character really brought down the appeal for me. I don’t mind femme, but this went overboard ad nauseam. I also had issues with Robin being used repeatedly as a Bobby substitute, and because of it he didn’t get the story he deserved.
I’m rating this at 2.5 stars, but rounding up for sites that don’t accept halves. I think it had a ton of potential that just never manifested. Give it a shot if you so desire. You may absolutely love it and think I’m bonkers, and that’s okay!
**Same worded review will appear on Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.**
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