Finally going from fake-boyfriends to the real thing, Spencer Cohen and Andrew Landon are trying to take things slow. They know what they have could be something special and despite the flammable sexual tension, they don’t want to crash and burn.
Spencer is learning to open up, sharing the secrets of his past with Andrew. Afraid to put his heart on the line, yet seemingly unable to stop it, Spencer knows he’s falling in love with him. Andrew is petrified of leaping in blindly, yet it seems the slower they go, the faster they fall.
As they navigate their new relationship, Spencer worries Andrew will freak out when he takes on a new client. But it’s not a normal case and Spencer soon realises things are not what they seem. When things take a downward turn and they work together to help the client, Spencer and Andrew need to decide if they’re ready for the next step.
The second book in the series starts right where the first one left it. I was very excited about this book, and well… I ended up feeling quite disappointed with it.
After loving book one, and loving Spencer and Andrew, and their story, and their dynamic, I was hoping for something as engrossing and fun. The second book didn’t live up to these expectations at all.
There was an interesting plot line but it didn’t work for me. See, Spencer gets a new client, Lance.
Lance wants something entirely different from Spencer – He doesn’t want our guy to help him get his ex back by making him jealous and showing him what he’s lost, no. What he wants is for Spencer to find the man he had been dating and who suddenly disappeared. It was shady, he was shady, and Spencer knew this. I was really excited about this, and about the potential of seeing Andrew and Spencer working together in this particular job/case… But the plot became secondary because Spencer and Andrew spent the first 65% of he book doing sexual things or talking about sex, or joking about sex. The first jokes were funny, the first sex scenes were hot, but after the second sex scene in a row, i got bored. It went on and on and on… And it was tiring.
Finally we get to the part where Spencer finds Yanni (his client’s lost ex), but then it all happened so quickly that I didn’t have time to savor it. It’s sad because it really had lots of potential. Spencer and Andrew are amazing characters, and so was Yanni, who had an interesting backstory which wasn’t explored because.. Sex. All through the book.
I’ve loved books with lots of sex in them, but the sex scenes need to show character and relationship development. They need to advance the plot somehow. They need to show me something new, and be different. These sex scenes weren’t very different one from another. Spencer and Andrew did grow stronger, but it was after they talked, after they argued and had to fix things. It was refreshing after the repetitive first part of the book. We get to see more of Spencer and why his relationship with Andrew is so important to him, why it’s so scary too. But it still wasn’t enough for me. 😦
There were other things that bothered me, and I’m sorry but I have to bring them up. This is the moment you close the browser tab if you want to avoid a rant.. Really.
In my review of book one I said that there were a couple of things that were bothering me. You see, in book one we get to meet Emilio and Daniela. They are a couple and are very good friends of Spencer’s. In that book we are told that Emilio speaks in Spanish to Daniela… I wondered what their nationality was but it wasn’t mentioned. Not once. In book two, somewhere between 80-86% we find out that Emilio is Mexican. This because there is a talk about teaching Spencer’s new client “a lesson the Mexican way”, which consisted in calling his two cousins and dress them all in black suits and threaten the guy. They “looked like the Mexican mafia”, you see..
Lance was an asshole and deserved jail, or worse.. But.. Stereotype much? Not to mention that their nationality was not once brought up until the need for “staged violence” came up. I don’t think it was intentional, but it still was not nice to read. Or to realize how, in contrast with Yanni, who we know is Greek from the moment his name is dropped on page, I had to wait for almost two whole books to know where Emilio was from.. It’s a pity because Emilio really could have been a great character had he been represented well, but he wasn’t. I actually loved Emilio. He’s talented, successful, loving and a good friend. It was the way he was managed what I hated – that he didn’t seem important enough to represent his Mexican persona in a good way. Or at all.
Secondary characters matter. Don’t minimize their role (and backstory) by misrepresenting them like this. As a Mexican woman I found this very frustrating, and extremely irritating.
N.R Walker is a great writer, but having ethnically diverse characters is not just about picking a nationality, add one stereotype and hope it works. There’s people out there craving to find themselves in a book, craving to read a character and think “I’m like him” or “I’m like her” “they are like me”.
I still wonder what she thinks the Mexican mafia looks like.. And I do wonder if she’s really ever seen one.