- Books Release Day Review: There’s This Guy by Rhys Ford
Release Day Review: There’s This Guy by Rhys Ford
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CC Cat Clontz
About the Author
Rhys Ford is an award-winning author with several long-running LGBT+ mystery, thriller, paranormal, and urban fantasy series and was a 2016 LAMBDA finalist with her novel, Murder and Mayhem. She is published by Dreamspinner Press and DSP Publications.
She’s also quite skeptical about bios without a dash of something personal and really, who doesn’t mention their cats, dog and cars in a bio? She shares the house with Yoshi, a grumpy tuxedo cat and Tam, a diabetic black pygmy panther, as well as a ginger cairn terrorist named Gus. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird and enjoys murdering make-believe people. s
March 17, 2017
epub, mobi, pdf
This book contains remembrances of past physical abuse, past and current verbal and emotional abuse, suicidal ideations, past murder, and past rape. If any of these are triggers, please consider these before you read.
Read the excerpt at Dreamspinner Press.
How do you save a drowning man when that drowning man is you?
Jake Moore’s world fits too tightly around him. Every penny he makes as a welder goes to care for his dying father, an abusive, controlling man who’s the only family Jake has left. Because of a promise to his dead mother, Jake resists his desire for other men, but it leaves him consumed by darkness.
It takes all of Dallas Yates’s imagination to see the possibilities in the fatigued Art Deco building on the WeHo’s outskirts, but what seals the deal is a shy smile from the handsome metal worker across the street. Their friendship deepens while Dallas peels back the hardened layers strangling Jake’s soul. It’s easy to love the artistic, sweet man hidden behind Jake’s shattered exterior, but Dallas knows Jake needs to first learn to love himself.
When Jake’s world crumbles, he reaches for Dallas, the man he’s learned to lean on. It’s only a matter of time before he’s left to drift in a life he never wanted to lead and while he wants more, Jake’s past haunts him, making him doubt he’s worth the love Dallas is so desperate to give him.
Deep, Angsty, and Heartbreaking
I am an avid Rhys Ford fan, and I tell the entire world about it in every review I write on her books. That said, this is such a drastic departure from her usual stylings that it almost felt like it was written by someone else. Now, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but if you are unfamiliar with her work, do not gauge your opinion based solely on this book.
Dallas is a happy-go-lucky man with a happy-go-lucky life, and a change is in order for business. Deciding to open a club with his best friend leads him on the path to Jake, with whom he is completely taken.
Jake’s life is devastating to read about. Full of pain, anger, heartbreak, and resignation, he wanders the world while seriously thinking of taking himself out of it. He hates himself, he hates the promise he made his mother, he hates his father, and life has beaten him down to virtually nothing.
The book primarily details the growth of Jake from the downtrodden man we meet through the great strides he takes to recover, blossom, and then bloom. It’s an intense ride that had me by turns angry, sad, and in tears, yet through it all I remained a cheerleader for Jake’s recovery with Dallas’s never-ending enthusiasm and support.
The plot is okay, but too focused on some aspects while glossing over others, making it a more stilted read. As always, the locations are described in detail and you can see and smell them clearly in your mind. The secondary cast is few, but Dallas’s best friend and Jake’s boss are both excellently written characters. The spoken words are witty, snarky, and full of life. Unfortunately, the thoughts are not so much. There is a lot of ornate and flowery language, and that lost me a few times.
The romance is slow to develop, which I generally love, but it is almost so slow as to lose its way. It didn’t feel organic, and therefore didn’t resonate with me. The first love declaration came in what I feel was entirely too soon. This is a heavy book, daunting in the weight of its drama, and there were subplots and scenes that seemed superfluous to me, making it more difficult to read. In the end, it felt to me less like an HEA and more like relief that Jake has a future to look forward to.
This is a shift in genre for this author, the first contemporary. It’s a good effort, but needs some refinement. I’m rating this at three stars, and am absolutely willing to read another to see how the author’s knowledge base progresses.
**Same worded review will appear on Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.**
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