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When his regular masseuse is called away on a family emergency, Tomas does not expect Darren, her temporary replacement, to be such an attractive distraction. Tomas has always been a serious, no-nonsense type of swimmer; after all, elite competition leaves no room for unprofessional conduct. However, he finds it extremely difficult to stay on the right side of the professional line with Darren tending to his needs.
Hmmm … for the most part, this novella was quite fluffy sweet. But at the same time, it also fell on the “more telling, less showing” spectrum of writing, which wasn’t particularly a favorite of mine.
I especially loved Darren, he was adorable with his insecurities – that he thought Tomas was out of his reach. I loved how he talked to himself to stay in control when he had to touch Tomas’s body to give the swimmer a massage. And I loved his friendship with his ‘brother from a different mother’ Will.
Tomas, unfortunately, it took awhile for me to warm up to him. Even until the end, I didn’t particularly like him. Maybe because I thought he was a bit hot-and-cold towards Darren, and his lack of communication made Darren confused (and made me slightly annoyed with him). Since the story also included his POV, at least I knew it was because Tomas didn’t have experience with relationships and was afraid of making the wrong moves.
The dual POVs were nice … but I was having issues with the “told not shown” style. It made me feel less involved with these characters. When it said that they had good conversation, I wanted to know what that was. When it said that Tomas discovered they had a lot in common, well, I wanted to actually read about it. All those good things that said made these two guys clicked were summed up into paragraphs, and that made me cranky.
So it was an okay read but not particularly offering something that stood out against other stories I have read lately. However, if you were looking for a sweet story with less smut and low drama, this could be an option.
Title: Different Strokes
Author: Nico Jaye
Publisher: Less Than Three
Release Date: December 11, 2013
Purchase Links: Less Than Three