Blurb:

Declan Reid is thirty-seven, well established in his job and next in line for a promotion. Then he’s transferred to Singapore after unwittingly sleep with a client, leaving him hurt and humiliated. Determined to prove to head office they made a mistake, he vows to keep his head down and work hard.

He hadn’t counted on Alvin, however: content with his job mopping floors, happy to remain in Singapore, and significantly younger than Declan. He’s the very last person Declan should be noticing, especially if he wants to get back on track with his ambitions, but the more he’s around Alvin the less appealing those ambitions begin to seem.

Fitting In Book Cover Fitting In
Sandra Bard
Romance
Less Than Three Press
April 6, 2016
NetGallery

REVIEW:

I've been putting off writing this review but only because I'm a lazy little shit. I'm going to break down this review into three parts: Plot, Character & Prose. Sit your asses down because this is going to be a long one.

PLOT: Declan gets transferred to Singapore after his relationship with a client becomes known, it’s not until later that I learnt that the client was actually a married man, I might be morally dubious sometimes but infidelity irks me. I could look past that, but not when it turns out to be the hook and punchline of the entire book.

There were no subplots; it was just one linear story, Declan transfers to Singapore after a relationship with a client- Declan meets Alvin a janitor at the gym-Declan and Alvin starts dating-Happily ever after ending. Ta-da!

I hoped both MC's would bring some emotional baggage; I hoped for some external conflicts but I didn’t get that. I'll talk about the 'internal conflicts' in the character part of this review.

The plot was weak, and too one-dimensional. It wasn’t particularly engaging or exciting to read.

There was no romantic or sexual attraction between the two men, I think the author tried, but there just wasn’t any chemistry between the two men. When they interacted, I didn’t see emotions all I saw were words. A romance book should have romance at the center, and the romance should at least keep me curious, there should be sparks dammit! I’ll settle for lust but even that wasn’t charged.

CHARACTER: For a grown ass man, Declan is ridiculously whiny, not on the outside but on the inside; he's a pushover, he sucks at Yoga (Okay that doesn’t really matter), what annoys me most about him is his half assed internal meltdown.

Really, if I was fifteen years older than my partner or prospective partner, my insecurities would be more obvious, it would show in the way I act, it would show in reluctance to stand next to them because I would think I would look like their parent or aunt/uncle  instead of their lover. It would cause some problems because I might be possessive (because I’m scared of losing then) or I might seem like I don’t care (because I think they should be with someone better, someone close to their age)

It would NOT be a weak, internal rambling with no action!

Alvin also annoyed me, because at first, he felt like a deep character; I wanted to know why he was always frowning and why he always seemed standoffish. And what did I get? I got a childish boy (he is 22yrs btw, but he's behaviors is utterly childish) who knew Declan was busy and older than him and obviously Declan has work to see too... Okay now I’m just complaining, but Alvin as a character had so much potential and yet it fell flat, his fatal flaw never got resolved, there was no character arc for him, he just remained emotionally distant.

At some point while reading the book, I thought Alvin's mother was abusive to him, and maybe it’s my fault since Alvin didn’t exactly have bruises or anything, but he seemed kind of timid and non-confrontational, also he kept avoiding his mother even to the point of crashing at Declan’s. Turns out, he was just angry with her. Dammit! The author could have used the tension between Alvin and his mother to create an emotionally charged conflict.

PROSE: The prose was light and fluid, it was easy to read, and interesting in its own way, but it really wasn’t enough to carry the story. At some point I could feel the author using the prose to create some emotional tension in the story, I wish I couldn’t sense it. But hey she tried, writing a book is hard work.

Summary: The book as a whole wasn’t emotionally compelling or gripping, the main problem wasn’t so much the plot but the characters. Characters = conflicts and if the characters are one dimensional and emotionless then the conflict will end up being weak.

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