Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Sweet Surrender

Title: Sweet Surrender
Author: Ashleigh Walton
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL:
ISBN: 978-1-61581-437-4
Genre: [M/M] Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Two years ago when his doctor told him his obesity could kill him, Derek went on a health-conscious diet and lost a hefty amount of weight. Now he’s slim, trim and determined to stay that way. However, it hasn’t changed how shy and self-conscious he is or changed the way he sees himself. Ready to begin graduate school to become an architect and tired of being alone, he takes a huge leap of faith by seeking out a boyfriend on the internet. Derek winds up with Gerry, a sexy, self-assured older man who owns a landscaping business.

The two hit it off immediately, but both are willing to go slow—to not jump into a relationship or bed with each other until they’re ready. So begins a series of dates meant to allow Derek and Gerry to build a friendship before they become lovers. Yet no matter how well things are going, Derek still worries he’ll end up dumped and heartbroken. Gerry has his own secrets—secrets that could drive a permanent wedge between him and Derek. If these two can learn to fully open up their lives, they have a chance at a future together. If not, it could destroy them both.

Sweet Surrender by new author Ashleigh Walton is a sweet romance and an enjoyable read. The writing’s solid, the characters well-rounded and likable and the plot realistic, even if a bit predictable. I particularly liked Derek. The young man’s taken control, lost weight and started a new life with a guy he’s crazy about, all while attending graduate school. The plot flows in a smooth fashion, interjecting interesting secondary characters, unrest, uncertainly and family angst at appropriate intervals.

I particularly enjoyed the portion where Gerry dealt with his homophobic mother. Ms. Walton handled this all too frequent situation with taste and care, while letting the reader see another side of Gerry—the pained but dutiful son. There are several bumps in the road of Derek and Gerry’s relationship, but the defining moment comes toward the end with an unexpected event which, here, will remain hidden. Just know that it’s handled well, realistic and totally flows with the established plot. Read and enjoy.

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