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HE DOESN’T RECOGNIZE HIMSELF
David Moorehouse has spent his life hiding behind masks. Nice guy. Best friend. Reverend’s kid. After finding his father dead on the floor, he’s been stripped of his job at the family church and his identity as the quiet, nice guy. The life he knew is over, and he doesn’t know what to do next.
HE KNOWS ANGER BETTER THAN ANYONE
Ricky Slade is itching for a fight. By the time he meets David, he’s struggling to save his business, his best friend, his drug-addict brother, and his own sanity. He’s got no patience for his business partner’s judgmental sibling showing up and getting in his face.
Their furious heat turns into a fiery inferno, but Ricky’s fresh off a bad breakup, and David is getting guilt-tripped by his family and his ex. Every time they fight, they fall into bed, but will that be enough when things around them come apart?
Be advised, this book contains: two men with big egos and bigger trucks, more emotional baggage than they can carry, and a whole lot of sizzling man on man action.
There are times when you read a book from an author, and you enjoy it. There are times you read a book from the same author, and you don’t. Unfortunately, Stripped Away falls into the latter category for me.
Finding out that David Moorehouse was getting his own book had me curious. We knew
bits about Greg’s new brother after we learned about their father’s death in Stripped Clean. So this brother is also into boys… or so it would seem as the blurb says it’s about him and Ricky… Ricky? You mean Greg’s friend who is also the brother of Sam, who is… okay then?
Ricky and David don’t like each other much in the beginning. The boys did not have a traditional meet cute as they meet at the funeral for Reverend Moorehouse (David and Greg’s father), and things were a bit awkward. Not as tense as the story tells us further in, but it was an odd place to meet the dude you would soon be having sex with. David is pretty much in the closet with having his late father be a pillar of the community though his reputation is now in the toilet with secrets that got out. Ricky is the type of guy who likes to sample a bit of everything off the menu when it comes to sex, be it with men or women. The classic opposites attract trope and “you didn’t know you wanted this until you met him” happens and then I got distracted.
I hate to say it, but I did not connect with either Ricky or David as individuals nor as a couple. There was zero chemistry between them. I am a sucker for the first kiss in a romance, and this one made me feel nothing. I am not sure what it was? Maybe I had my editor hat on while reading and that is never a good thing. There was a lot of telling in this story. A lot of telling and that took me out of the world I should have been engaged in and never gave me a chance to feel what was happening and happening faster than insta love speed, between the men.
There were many instances where I would notice something that was out of place; for example – two people are speaking in the same paragraph without a separation. Normally, say if David is talking and then Olivia either answers or asks a question etc., you start a new paragraph for clarification. It could have been the copy I got off NetGalley but the format was wonky. It made it very difficult to read, and I had to go back a few times to make sure what I read was what I read so I could attempt to keep up. Again, my editor cap was firmly on while reading this and I couldn’t help it. I think a strong edit would have done wonders for the book and could have cleaned up many of the issues that pulled me out of the story.
The insta love came out of left field. I still have no real reason as to why the boys fell so hard and fast for one another and honestly never felt like there was an ounce of emotion or intimacy between them to fall in love the way we were told they did. It was so fast and intense that it wasn’t believable to me, and the distrust David kept talking about with Ricky or Rick depending on who he was at the time… there was never a reason for it.
The side story with Olivia and her ex-boyfriend and then the drama with Jeremy was over the top. By the time, we get to the Jeremy deal there was already so much going on I wanted to stop reading, but I kept going to see where it all ends up. I guess that says something? Maybe?
I will say that the first book, Stripped Clean, I enjoyed. I felt the connection between Greg and Carlos but David and Ricky fell flat for me.