Reviewed by Kiwi
TITLE: What About Now
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
RELEASE DATE: May 9, 2016
SUMMARY: Five years ago, everything went wrong. Braden Kirk and Rafe Jessen’s long-term relationship started unraveling. They stopped talking, fears mounted, then Braden walked in on Rafe and another man, completely misreading the situation. Without giving Rafe a chance to explain, Braden walks out. Out of their home, their relationship, and the game development company they started together in college.
After months of therapy to deal with the attempted rape Braden walked in on, Rafe begins to understand that his dominant tendencies in the bedroom aren’t a bad thing and that Braden’s submission is likely what scared his partner into silence. But Rafe isn’t ready to let go of the man he loves more than life itself. He arranges for himself and Braden to end up on the same charity cruise, knowing Braden won’t let his phobia—terror of vast, deep waters—rule him.
With a plan and twenty-eight days, Rafe is determined to get Braden back, make him see there’s nothing wrong with being submissive, and find a way to get Braden to stay with him when they get home to LA.
REVIEW: Umm. This is a case of a story’s blurb sounding a lot better than the actual book reads. That’s not to say this book was poorly written just poorly executed.
The story starts out at a snail’s pace and remains in that pace throughout the story. You know that both Braden or Rafe hasn’t recovered from their breakup several years prior and still love each other. You just never really find out exactly why they broke up; not until more than halfway through the story. And when I did finally get to the reason behind the split, I was left with a ‘is-that-ALL?!’ feeling. The conflict felt contrived considering the amount of angst these men are experiencing in the story. It just fell flat for me.
The story wasn’t bad or poorly written. The editing was lovely, the characters were well developed, the dialogue not bad—if a little on the dull side. The story just…drags. The constant…avoidance, this feeling that you never really get to real heart of what went wrong between these two. Yes, you find out what caused
‘The Big Split’ but you’re left with a sense of something more that went on, something that’s left out that neither man will discuss and you never find out.
It was just unbelievable that this misunderstanding can be the sole cause of Braden’s decision to walk out on a business partnership and relationship. And then to have absolutely no contact with each other for years? If anything they still had a business relationship so you would think that it wouldn’t be that easy to just not have any contact with the person that you’re in business with. It just didn’t make sense and it felt contrived
So, Braden’s family comes up with this big plan to get Braden on this cruise and Rafe comes up with this plan to get Braden to him and then…nothing. They do this weird tap dance around each other that causes the story to drag along even slower than it already is.
I also wasn’t buying Rafe as a Dom. He came off as needy and lacking confidence. Maybe if he was a bit more confident and or comfortable in his abilities as a Dom the story could’ve been a lot more interesting than what it was. As it was, it looked like something tossed in to try to make it more interesting? Everything in the story was just bland and that’s unfortunate because the author had really good ingredients to make this into something delicious.