Tuesday, December 22, 2015

ARC Review: On The Clock by L.A. Witt and Aleksandr Voinov

On the Clock (Market Garden, #8)Blurb:

When Blake Raleigh’s favorite rentboys retire from Market Garden, they’re sure their friend Jason will be a perfect replacement. Though Tristan and Jared are a tough act to follow, Blake returns to London to test out their recommendation.

Jason is right on the money. Negotiations turn him on. Getting paid turns him on. The higher the stakes, the hotter things get. Each trip to London is more expensive than the last, and the webcam sessions don’t run cheap, but Jason is well worth the sticker shock.

The more time they spend together, the more Blake wants, and not just sex and transactions. But Jason’s been burned before by men who thought they were in love with him, and he’s not making that mistake again. When the lines between personal and professional start to blur, it’s going to take more than money, jewelry, and sports cars to keep Jason from clocking out and walking away.

My rating:

When I first got this book and finished reading it, I thought it was fabulous - a fitting end to the series, with Rolex finally finding that what had seemed elusive to him all along. I didn't have the words ready for a review, so I left it sitting at 'currently-reading' for a while, until I could read it again.

And the 2nd time round, I wasn't as enamored with it. It's still a solid piece, no doubt about that, and the sex is as smoking hot as I've come to expect from this series, but something was missing. I took me some time to figure out exactly what that was.

The entire book is told from Blake's (Rolex) POV, and while I appreciated very much getting to see what goes on in his mind, considering how elusive that mind was in previous installments, I missed getting the view of Jason. I'm not sure why Jason's voice wasn't included, when all the previous books were told from two POVs. I would have liked to hear from Jason himself, outside of what he tells Rolex/Blake, and get a bit more of his true motivations. While the blurb alludes to some of them, I didn't get the feeling that Blake really understood him, at least not until the end. And without Jason's POV, I couldn't really connect with his character, so his portrayal fell a little flat for me.

I liked how creative the author duo got with the sex scenes in this one. Especially the one via Skype where we get to meet Jared and Tristan again. Holy shitballs, folks, my Nook burned up! Those two are without a doubt one of my favorite couples from this series, and I loved how they were included here, in a scene that was rather kinky, but perfectly Rolex.

I also felt a bit let down by Blake/Rolex himself. And then again, not. Allow me to explain - In the earlier books, we don't really see him as anything beyond a voyeur/client who pays handsomely for the privilege of having another man at his beck and call, but in this book, we see a man who, while at the height of financial and professional success, is very much alone and sad, sort of in the closet, searching for something he doesn't even know he wants. He seems to tell himself that he likes the NSA sexual encounters, having someone do exactly as he's told, because he's paid for doing so, but to me, Blake just felt like a sad, sad man without any personal direction in life. He, for lack of a better term, seemed more human, which appealed to me.

It's almost comical to watch how Blake's perspective changes as he spends more time with Jason, spends more of his money on Jason, and then realizes that all the money in the world doesn't buy him what he's really seeking.

The climatic ending notwithstanding (which was truly well done and believable), this book sadly didn't pack the punch of the previous ones. As with most of these books, the ending is realistic in that the two MCs don't ride off into the sunset, but get a strong HFN.

Will there be another? Something for the fans, just to catch up with how the couples from this series fare in the future? I'd definitely be interested.

** My copy of this book was provided by the publisher. A positive review was not promised in return. **

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