Wednesday, January 14, 2015

ARC Review: WaterColors by Trina Lane


Phil Alcorn is a vivacious artist living a lonely life. He has hundreds of acquaintances, dozens of casual lovers, but few know his real story. His best friend has found the love of his life, but that leaves Phil with a lot more time to think about the man who opened his eyes to a new and terrifying world one winter night eighteen months ago. Will Archer has spent his life competing around the world for the US Swim Team, but his mind frequently drifts toward the hills of San Francisco, where Phil lives amidst the fog.

Sparks flare hot in the bedroom, and their friendship deepens each time the two meet. Keeping their arrangement on the down low prevents friends’ inquisitions into their relationship. Will’s heart beats for the artist whose paintings and sculptures move his soul, and Phil’s antics fill Will’s stressful life with laughter. Phil has never believed in happy ever after, but he’s drawn to Will over and over.

Despite their deepening connection, they fear that if they change the rules now, the very thing that captivates them will disappear. Can the pair create a masterpiece all their own, or will their fears drown any chance at happiness?

Dani's rating:

This story irritated me initially when one of the MCs, Phil, had sex with another man on page after already meeting and sleeping with the other MC, Will.

Despite this ridiculousness, this was mostly a low-key, low-angst read about two friends-with-benefits becoming a committed couple.

Phil, a former college swimmer and an artist, has serious commitment issues. He does not want to be tied down and doesn't think love can last.

Will, a competitive swimmer and Olympic medalist, wants Phil forever, but knows he can't push or Phil will bolt.

The story spans more than three years. The men meet up whenever they can and make steamy, sweaty love. And there's a lot of sex in this book. A LOT. Some of it was a bit repetitive, but the guys were, uh, flexible in every way, so it was pretty hawt.

You can tell Lane did her research for this book, but the information (on history, art, swimming) was sort of thrown in there in long monologues and not particularly well incorporated into the story. There was an entire chapter of Will competing in a meet, and it was like reading a newspaper article
. . . boring and dry.

Some of the moments the MCs spent together were nice. I especially like their Christmas in a cabin in Ireland with their besties Nick and Gabe (a couple from another book). But these moments always gave way to long summaries and passage of time.

Parts of the book felt like filler, but then there were plot points, like one of Phil's friends dying, thrown in that should have been big but were brushed aside.

Phil, especially, kept debating whether he loved Will or not. After a while, this just became redundant and dull.

Also, I think it was a mistake to pick matching names for the MCs. Will and Phil, Phil and Will; it's kind of like a Dr. Seuss poem, no? The POV shifted between them, but I would lose track of who was doing the talking or thinking.

Phil was definitely the jokester, and Will called Phil "honey." But for as much information as we got about their professions, they didn't feel distinct. Both were rich and handsome with perfect bodies and fast metabolisms.

The dialogue was a tad awkward, and the writing smacked of purple prose with writhing and soul searching and all that. Even so, the ending was sweet and sexy, a very strong HEA, and I'm a sucker for those.

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