Tuesday, May 1, 2012

I’ll Stand By You

Title: I’ll Stand By You
Author: Carol Lynne
Publisher: Total E-Bound
Publisher URL: www.total-e-bound.com
ISBN/BIN: 978-0-85715-918-2
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Series
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

Mike Shriver needs to get away from the man he loves, but can’t have, so when the construction company he co-owns gets a job in Kansas City, he jumps at the chance to leave Chicago for a few months. With the new project, building a gay athletic club in the Brookside neighborhood, he meets and falls for Ray DeMonico.   

Knowing Ray is involved in a long-term relationship; Mike knows he can’t come between Ray and his partner, Brent. Then one day he finds Brent in a compromising situation at the local gym and later, again at a local gay bar. Now Mike has to decide what to do. Tell Ray or not? When the truth comes out, everything changes…but Mike will stand with the man he loves. It also means they have to find a way around the financing because Ray can’t afford the club on his own. It’s a bad situation and Brent’s aggressive attitude isn’t helping. 

I’ll Stand By You is the first release in Carol Lynne’s new series, Brookside Athletic Club.  It’s a spin-off from Seasons of Love series but it’s not necessary that you be familiar with those characters first. 

So it doesn’t catch anyone by surprise, be aware that some may find a few events in the opening scenes objectionable. Sorry, no details-spoiler alert. I will say the occurrences fit in with the direction the plot is headed and the relationships of the characters.  

I like Ray, but he’s let his jerk partner, Brent, tromp over him for a long time. It made him appear wimpy…at least initially. Did I mention how much I dislike Brent? Whereas Ray is an unselfish, caring and tenderhearted guy, Brent is immature, manipulative and emotionally abusive. Then there’s Mike who deserves some happiness after pining after Sidney (from Seasons of Love series) for years. He’s a good guy who offers support instead of trying to break up an established couple. I like this guy. Putting him with Ray after he breaks from Brent works well, making them both happy. 

I’m rambling…back on task. The concept works, the story flows well and once the plot focuses more on Ray and Mike, it moves faster.  Their attraction is strong initially, got more so as the story progresses and once it turns physical, it is sizzling hot. These two have a lot in common and the author did a nice job expressing how well they related to each other.  

One of my niggles is the short length. While it shows as 102 pages, the story itself is 82 written pages, since the first chapter of her next standalone release and her book list is at the end. My other niggle is how the book ends. It’s just odd and I’m not sure how it will play out in the future. The next book in the series is Gonna Make You Sweat, coming in June.

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