Saturday, January 9, 2016

ARC Review: The Stolen Suitor by Eli Easton

All of Clyde’s Corner, Montana, knows local dandy Chris Ramsey will marry Trix Stubben, young widow and heir to the richest ranch in the area. But one woman isn’t too keen on the idea. Mabe Crassen wants to get her hands on that ranch, so she sets her older son to court Trix, and her younger son, Jeremy, to distract Chris and lure him astray.

Jeremy Crassen thinks his mother’s scheme is crazy. But he wants desperately to go off to college, which Mabe will agree to—if he seduces Chris. How will shy, virginal, secretly gay Jeremy attract Chris, who seems determined to do the right thing and marry Trix? Jeremy can’t compete with a rich female widow. Or can he?

Dani's rating:

I read The Stolen Suitor in one sitting. I find Eli Easton's writing accessible and engaging, and this story is no exception.

Jeremy and Chris are charming MCs, and I liked the romance between them. I just wish they'd been given more page time to grow as characters. Their relationship lacked momentum. Many of their interactions happened off-page, and the steam level was quite low (the one truly racy scene in Jeremy's bedroom was HOT, though).

Jeremy is a dreamer, a writer, a quiet and thoughtful young man. He's also a (sexual and emotional) virgin, which sadly wasn't explored in any meaningful way. I liked Jeremy and wanted to get to know him better.

Chris is described as a "dandy" in the blurb, but I didn't really see that. Wearing a purple shirt and putting gel in your hair hardly makes you a dandy. I understood Chris even less than I understood Jeremy. Chris just seemed wishy-washy and unfocused. One boyfriend cheated on him, and he's done with men and all set to marry a woman, even though he's gay.

While much is made in the blurb of Mabe's, Jeremy's mom, scheme "to get her hands on that ranch," this is nearly inconsequential to the story. Mabe initially comes across as a bitter, old woman. Imagine my shock when she turns out to be 42!

42, people! Forty. Two. And she has two grown sons. Who are dating. And having sex.

What is the world coming to???

The multiple POVs here were distracting; besides Jeremy and Chris, we get the POVs of four secondary characters, including Mabe and Mabe's old flame Billy.

Eric, Jeremy's brother, and Trix, Chris's best friend's widow (whom Chris is determined to marry), get nearly as much page time as the MCs. That's not to say I didn't like these two, because I did (especially Eric), but I'm not a fan of having a M/F romance inserted in the middle of my M/M novel.

By the way, there is no cheating in this story. Chris and Trix are never engaged or physically involved. They're sort of dating, but it's a friendship, a relationship of comfort.

The dramatic scene at the end related to Trix's 4-year-old daughter: Sorry, but no 4-year-old, however precocious and bright, would do that. I don't buy it.

The HEA is there, and it's a lovely one at that. This is a cute, quick read. Everything comes easily, and everyone wins. I think that's the point of the Dreamspun Desires series. I've just decided that I prefer more meat in my stories.

If you like 'em light and fluffy, with some family drama on the side, you'll like this one. Eli Easton's stories are always fun to read.

Get the book:


You can't get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.
~C.S Lewis

An ARC of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

Download links are provided as a courtesy and do not constitute an endorsement of or affiliation with the book, author, publisher, or website listed.

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