- Loose Id
- Release Date
- March 2014
Contemporary Romance, LGBTQ
Hawk pulled the trigger too soon. He invited his boyfriend, Jarrod, to live with him, and the man balked. When Hawk decides to show him there are no hurt feelings with a gift basket from Sundae's, what could go wrong?
Ask and you shall receive. Hawk, the ever-doting boyfriend, delivers the basket in person only to meet Jarrod's twink-on-the-side. Hawk finds himself with a broken heart, an unwanted gift basket, and an entire weekend to either mope or move on.
With the help of a sexy book and the wise words of a novelty magnet found in the basket, Hawk begins the journey of healing his heart and learning his lesson. But will Hawk recognize new love when the time comes, or get stuck on his solo flight of self-discovery?
Apr 08, 2014 [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
155 people found the following review helpful
A surprisingly unconventional, yet ultimately fulfilling story, Pia Velano's new book uses some hard lessons and a mysterious dose of magic, to change two men's lives forever. Though uneven in places, I applaud this book for its central message, and enjoyed the surprisingly novel approach to romance.
Hawk has been trying for ages to convince his boyfriend to move in with him and start their happily-ever-after. But after one too many fights over the issue, he's decided to send along a gift basket in order to show Jarrod that he supports him and their relationship no matter what. But when the basket gets delivered to Hawk's door by mistakeŚand by a very enticing deliverymanŚHawk has little choice but to take his present to Jarrod's door himself. The plan might have gone just fine, if only Jarrod's other lover hadn't answered the door.
Up until now, Hawk has dreaded being single and alone more than anything else, but the only place that got him was in a string of heartbreaking, stagnant relationships with people who didn't truly care. This time, Hawk resolves to make a change for the better and learn to stand on his own. And what better way to start than with the goodies in his gift basket? There seems to be more to these baskets than just frivolous toys, and slowly, Hawk realizes that they have helped transform him for the better. But just when it seems Hawk might actually be learning to enjoy life on his own, Joe, the incredibly attractive and definitely interested deliveryman reappears. Will Hawk have the courage to risk his heart again?
At its core, this book is a single character's journey to self-acceptance and self-respect, with the romance playing a somewhat secondary part. It was refreshing to see the emphasis placed on Hawk as an individual and his revelations of his self-destructive behavior. It is an element of romance novels that goes overlooked more often than otherwise, despite its vital importance. I also particularly enjoyed Hawk's discovery of erotic novels, thanks to his omniscient gift basket. This book itself, Hawk's identification with the characters, and his own imagination provided plenty of sizzle to the plot even before Joe made his meaningful entrance.
Joe is a wonderfully warm, considerate man, especially when compared to the men that Hawk knew and dated previously. His honesty and openness made it very easy to sympathize with him from the start, even though he didn't have as large a part in this book as most significant others. I loved his blend of practicality and imagination, especially as he and Hawk began exploring the powers and potential magic of the gift baskets.
This plot is slower than many, but not to the detriment of the story, overall. The chemistry that Hawk and Joe share seems realistic in many ways, and they grow together in distinct contrast to Hawk's new erotic novels, making what they have appear more deliberate, but also more believable. What I found difficult however, was the lack of individuality of the main characters. It is clear how Joe and Hawk fit together and how they fulfill each other, but the tension is lacking, and there is a good deal of telling instead of showing. The dialogue tends to sound stilted in places, making the conversations that build towards a lasting connection feel somewhat artificial. While I could sympathize with Hawk, and with Joe, as individuals, I had a hard time empathizing with them as a couple, and the distance between them and myself meant it took me longer to get involved in their relationship than I usually do.
Nevertheless, this story is premised on a vitally important and often-overlooked aspect of the romance novel, and that is the development of the individual. The scenes of Hawk learning how to take care of himself were the best part of this book for me, and I truly wanted him to find his happy ending (however he choose to define it), after all his hard work. His development is the true strength of this unexpected novel. Thus, while not every aspect of this novel appealed to me as strongly as others, I still found much to like here, and much to recommend. Pia Veleno certainly has quite a productive imagination, and I am interested to see what kind of characters she crafts for fans in the future.
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