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2 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Book Christmas Contemporary Dreamspinner Heat Index Holiday Little to no angst m/m May/December May/December Mild/low level heat Morgan New Adult Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words)

Diary Dates by TJ Masters

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/diary-dates-by-tj-masters-7305-b

30740860Blurb

Postgraduate student Andrew Chin arrives in London not only to study, but to explore life away from his traditional family in Singapore. His adventure begins at the airport, where he finds the diary of a wealthy British businessman and endeavors to return it.

James Howard is twice Andrew’s age, and he’s not used to selfless youngsters. Despite a rocky first meeting, the two develop an unlikely friendship as James introduces Andrew to the city. James is looking forward to the festivities leading up to Christmas in London and maybe a celebration with Andrew. But will a nasty bout of the flu ruin their romantic holiday?

Not if Andrew has anything to say about it.

Review

This is a short story about a 24 year old grad student from Singapore who comes to London to study. On his first day he finds a “Diary” (Day Planner) of a business man and returns it to him only to befriend him and learn about London through his eyes.

When the business man, James, gets sick, Andrew takes care of them, and their friendship turns to something more.

**

While the story started off well, Andrew seemed like an adorably sweet if somewhat naïve young student and James was the perfect cynical older man, it never felt like a complete story to me.

We get the slow building up of friendship from the first meeting where things went so wrong, but I never felt the transition to lover. When it happens in the story, it felt very abrupt and out of place. The sex scenes felt awkward and not at all romantic, and I’d almost wished it had been fade to black, they made me feel so uncomfortable.

Several aspects of James’ character were never really explained and I didn’t feel like I got to know him or ever felt his attraction to Andrew beyond that of friend, so when he and Andrew become lovers it felt too much like the uncle-figure he’d been portraying suddenly being hit on by his nephew (or something less squicky but still out in left field).

This story was just a miss for me. Other reviews out there seemed to like it, so – as always – I recommend reading a few before deciding if this story might be something you’d like to pick up.

2 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review

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