I love books from all genres, but right now I'm on a mystery, contemporary, and YA kick. I have two cats, Monkey and Peepers.
So, sorry, I'm going to say it. This was just really bad, and the author had the bones of a decent story there, but that editing...
I don't know who looked over this, but there should have been several other people or someone else entirely. Spelling mistakes, character name switch outs, missing words, tense issues, etc. And this wasn't every blue moon. This was close to nearly every page or so. Then there's the content.
Aside from that, I just wasn't invested in the characters or the plot. I don't like flashbacks, especially when they continue over and over within a novella, even alternating POV. I don't like when the flashbacks are repetitious, either. The plot needed to be bulked up withnew events or ideas to keep things fresh.
The humor was sorely lacking. I didn't even crack a smile once, and I get that the main characters' thing was awkward humor, but this just didn't work for me.
I loathe masturbation scenes, but at least this one wasn't in the shower. Still, the sex scenes weren't hot for me, so they felt like throwaways. Clichéd phrasing such as: “…coming unglued in my hands.” Or “I felt myself coming apart at the seams.” Even the orgasm seemed very unsexy to me: “I’m coming. Jeez.”
That sister annoyed me beyond reason. Flighty, selfish, and one-dimensional. She really was only in the novella as a way to provide a way to bring the couple back together after years apart and to provide imagined tension. How hard would it have been for Brady or the sister to quickly tell Ryan there was nothing between them and there never really had been? It went on and on, which just felt repetitious and unnecessary.
Then there was the Big Misunderstanding that I’m never a fan of in my books. During a flashback, Ryan and Brady kiss and fool around the last night Brady is in town before he takes himself and his daughter out of state. Immediately after the sexual activities, Ryan flees in the night, and Brady takes off the following morning. They don’t speak again for seven years, and low and behold they are neighbors in the same apartment complex. And I simply don’t understand how Brady could have been comfortably bisexual hanging out with a comfortably out gay man for a couple months, attracted to him, and never once did the topic of his bisexuality come up in conversation. Yet, they were best friends… Also, if Brady was genuinely attracted to Ryan, and had never brought up his attraction why on Earth would he think dating Ryan’s sister (and not having sex with her, really what was the point?) be a smart idea?
The writing felt simplistic and very much like a first draft, and like I said above, with another round of edits - both copy and content - this might have worked better for me.