Tuesday, February 19, 2019

ARC Review: Helix by Anna Martin

When high school student James has trouble with his truck, Dylan, who is studying to be a mechanic, comes to the rescue. James thinks he hides his immediate attraction well, but is happy to be wrong when Dylan asks for his number. Since James is new to romance, they take things slowly, and because Dylan is in college, James keeps the budding relationship secret from his overprotective dad. 

Across town, Mark, a teacher and single father to James and his sister, Frankie, meets Steve at a bar for what both believe will be a quick hookup. Mark doesn't see any reason to tell his kids about Steve or press Steve for details about Steve's adopted son.... It's just sex between them. Isn't it?

Two very different love stories grow side by side, each hidden from the other. 
But all of that changes at a family barbecue, when Mark decides it's time for his kids to meet Steve and for him to meet James's boyfriend, who none of them realize is Steve's son, Dylan. The inevitable explosion means the two couples have some explaining to do to soothe the hurt feelings of their families--and lovers.

Todd's rating:

As much as I'd looked forward to reading this book, it sadly didn't work as well for me as I'd hoped it would. : (

The first parts of the story I enjoyed, where 18 y.o. James met 20 y.o. Dylan and they stumbled around one another in sort of an adorable, dazed dance of attraction.

We also met James' 45 y.o., science teacher dad, Mark, and Dylan's 39 y.o. adoptive father, Steve, as they first screwed their brains out (in an *open* public toilet stall in a bar, yikes), then decided to try dating afterward.

I much preferred the younger couple's slow-burn approach to their attraction to the dads' fucking like bunnies method, which felt sort of sleazy to me. Just, the way it was written, that's how it made me feel, sorry.

I was much more invested in James and Dylan's relationship, feeling almost nothing at all toward the possibility of growing feels between the dads.

By the half-way point of the story, the pacing of the story also left me feeling a huge case of the blahs, which I think was partially due to James and Dylan's scheduling conflicts, forcing them to go a week at a time (or more) without seeing one another.

The romantic in me *loves* seeing when newly-in-love MC's, especially "first love" couples, practically living out of one another's pockets, or close to it. This didn't feel like that, so I found myself slightly bored and longing for more face-to-face time between the MC's.

In spite of the relatively-short separations, I did still buy into the feelings between James and Dylan, but never truly invested in the feels between the dads, who seemed much more casual about the whole romance thing -- even as the epilogue concluded.

With my lack of feels toward the dads, I found myself skimming over their steamy scenes, in stark contrast to the scenes between James and Dylan, as the virginal James experienced several thrilling, sexy (and somewhat scary) first times.

I'm sure many readers will absolutely adore all aspects of this story, but I tend to be a moody reader and my last read contained four MC's that I absolutely adored, each as much as the others, so not really connecting with the second couple here, I'm pretty sure that affected my overall enjoyment.

I'd rate this one at around 3 stars.

My ARC copy of the book was provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair, unbiased review.


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