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REVIEW: “Tread Marks and Trademarks” by SA McAuley

ABOUT:

Alex Maddox may be a genius. Or not. In thirty-four days he’ll know for sure. The robot he’s been perfecting for the last four years is finally ready. Alex won’t accept anything less than perfection—if he can keep a broken air conditioner, a flaky twin brother, a thirtieth birthday, and falling for the Norse god of advertising from derailing him.

Christian Lawson is an advertising god. A blond hottie with the beautiful brains to match. He’s worked hard to move past the accident that nearly took his legs, but it’s been years since he let any man get close enough to see just how deep his scars really go.

Christian isn’t the advertising executive Alex expected, and Alex isn’t the coolly confident inventor Christian’s had his eye on for years. But what they discover in each other may just be better than what either of them could have hoped for.

Note: This is a novel that is an expanded and re-edited combined version of the two novellas previously published as The Maker Jock and Tread Marks and Trademarks.

REVIEW:

Ok, so…I have to say that I think SA McAuley is one of the most exciting newer authors out there.  She’s quickly become a favorite of mine and I’m always wishing for more people to read her stuff (most especially The Borders War series!)

With that out of the way, it pains me to admit that I just…didn’t love this book!  Urgh.  I think (assumption?) that this is one of her earlier works and the writing style and flow and the dialogue all felt very forced…bland, amateur…surprising to me since her newer works are very dynamic, exciting, layered…tighter.

True to her very creative and FUN mind, McAuley has the bones of a great story.  Alex is a genius…he’s a “maker jock”…he builds things with…things…like robots and stuff (<-sorry…clearly I’M not a descriptive writer! ha!).  He meets Christian, a marketing guru who’s going to “brand” him and his vision.  There’s instalove and so the story goes.  Geek meets sauve “Nordic god” (so they call him, though he’s Australian…?)…I should love this!  And the whole maker community is a cool backdrop…

But the basic story goes off the rails in so many ways:  Alex has a flamboyant twin, Micah.  Micah has a steady lawyer boyfriend JT. Alex has a work nemesis, Stratton.  Christian has an ex who’s also an investor, Jeromy.  Christian has an injury from a motorcycle accident.  Alex happens to work fixing motorcycles.  Alex’s robot is going to change the world. Alex, Micah, Christian, and JT all start a company.  There’s a kid involved.  There are zombie bride costumes.  YOU STILL WITH ME?

There is just…a LOT of noise…and I would typically find this all zany and wacky…except it…wasn’t.  It was just distracting actually. And the story moved in jerks and jags…the trajectory all over the place.  And though the relationship between Alex & Christian was sweet, there was not much original about it.  I like them enough…they just won’t make a “favorite couples” list of mine.

I didn’t hate it, I just didn’t love it.  It was ok.  But, seeing that it may be a series, and trusting SAM’s writing today, I might be tempted to read further books!

RATING: 3 STARS

BOOK INFO:

19096770Title:  Tread Marks & Trademarks (Team Maker Jock #1)
Author:  SA McAuley
Publisher:  Wilde City Press
Pages:  200 
Release Date:  December 11, 2013 (2nd edition)
Purchase Links:  Wilde City Press, Amazon, ARe

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This entry was posted on January 29, 2014 by in Contemporary, Reviewer: Susan and tagged , , , .

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