PRE-RELEASE REVIEW: “Fall Apart (Liasons #4)” by SE Culpepper
Dodging his ex, giving the Best Man speech, and smuggling home extra slices of wedding cake are Damon Wright’s only plans on his buddy’s wedding day. Capturing the attention of a renowned photographer with twice the sexual magnetism of James Bond doesn’t even make the list. Accustomed to a life spent keeping his head down, managing family obligations, Damon is unprepared for even a lukewarm pursuit, much less the hot, focused advances of a man like Alarik whose sophistication leaves Damon reeling.
Tired of the vapid, morally bankrupt and grasping fellows so common in his line of work, Alarik is through serving as just another step for mercenary men on the ladder to success. Damon’s kindhearted reserve excites a profound response within him, enticing him with the idea of an honest future. Compelled to dig beneath the surface in search of something lasting, Alarik can’t help but wonder if falling in love can be as easy as breathing.
Yet, fairytales don’t exist in the pace of real life; they disappear in shadow. Absorbed by the happiness of finding one another, Damon and Alarik never see the darkness coming…
I followed the series from the beginning and I really thought that book #3 was the last one. So I was curious and excited to see this story being listed as book #4. Unfortunately, I didn’t loved it as much as the previous three. In fact, this one was my least favorite so far. Let me list down what I dislike first …
WHAT I DISLIKE
- The start was rather shaky – the whole cast being introduced in the beginning, with the wedding going on, became a bit too much for me. Too many names to keep up with.
- The story also felt a bit all over the place. There were more than one ocassions where I said to myself, “where is this story going, exactly?” – including one scene where the groomsmen deflowering a virgin BMW. It was fun but I just didn’t see it as important. I felt like too many times Damon’s friends became a bit too much of a focus instead of Damon and Alarik as a couple.
- There was a bit heartbreaking twist in the middle – which indeed brought tears to my eyes – but at the same time, it made me a bit upset with how Alarik handled it. He was ‘playing’ with fire with his sudden indiciveness regarding Damon and this other character named Max.
- This story also had Mark and Zane (from book #2, Questioning Mark) as a secondary story. I felt that the sudden change from Damon/Alarik to Mark and Zane’s life didn’t go smoothly. It felt like there were two different stories happening at the same time. Especially because Alarik’s relationship with Zane was only as a friend – and I felt at times Mark/Zane even stole the book from the main couple.
- Because of all that switch of focus, I wasn’t thoroughly convinced with Damon and Alarik as a couple! It was quite difficult to like a story about a couple, when I didn’t truly connected with them and liking them as a couple in the first place.
WHAT I DO LIKE
- Having said that, I actually loved Mark/Zane scenes the best. It was wonderful reading about them again as married couple. Zane was lovely as a husband – I loved the part where he took care of Mark who was suffering from flu. So sweet.
- The heartbreaking twist (about 2/3rd of the book) – I totally didn’t see coming and it was adding a different nuance to the story in over all.
- I was also a bit intrigued and then excited about the possibility of redemption. See, the Max character, was set up a little bit like Christian from book #2. Max definitely needs his own redemption story told – and if he is paired against this homophobic actor (Zane’s nemesis!) it would be an explosive story, I’m sure. Especially because I think S.E. Culpepper does redemption stories amazingly.
So, I didn’t love it but I didn’t exactly dislike it as well. It might be because this seemed to be a set-up to a different cast of characters. I already get the information that Max’s story will be book #5, so I’m definitely be there for the next book.
RATING: 3 STARS
Title: Fall Apart
Author: SE Culpepper
Release Date: October 28, 2013
Purchase Links: will link once released