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REVIEW: “Hot Mess” by Rowan McAllister



Too much partying and self-inflicted trouble have left Cameron Lacey’s life a complete mess. But he’s determined to change, and he’ll do anything to keep a roof over his head until he gets himself together. When he’s introduced to Sam Powell, he can’t believe Sam will let him stay without expecting anything in return—in Cameron’s world, nothing is free. Realizing Sam’s bleeding heart is exactly as it appears throws Cameron for a loop… and completely head over heels. Unfortunately, old habits die hard.

Cameron’s demons rear their ugly heads, leading to a series of backsliding disasters and fumbled attempts by Sam to save Cameron from bad choices. As Cameron struggles to become who he wants to be instead of who he is, he also comes to hope Sam will discover that what’s right for him might not be what he’s looking for—but who he already has.


I was lucky enough to get this one during DSP November #tweetaway … and one of my ‘tough to please’ friends said it was good. I didn’t exactly read other reviews first because lately I decided that sometimes it was nice not knowing anything about a story beforehand. That I could read the stories without the ‘influence’ of others or because of hypes and so on.

Well, people, let me say that I thought this was a very solid read: strong characterizations and storyline. It check-marked most of what I liked from my romance too.

I admit I was a bit worried with the set-up of a young man who seemed to self-inflict troubles staying in a house of a thirty year old man. This could easily be a case of instant attraction, I thought. But I must say that Rowan McAllister put ahead the slow-built of trust and friendship between Cameron and Sam before the romance and physical connection happened. That made me very, very happy.

I loved Cameron so frickin’ much!! Sure, he messed up several times in this book – mistakes which made me wanted to shout at my Kindle and said, “No, no, Cameron, don’t do that!” – but I believed that he truly wanted to change his life for the better. I chalked it up because Cameron struggled with his past, the fact that he didn’t really have good role models (his family sucks balls!), and of course because Cameron was battling his own unrequited crush over Sam. It sure could screw someone up, especially someone as young as Cameron *hugs Cameron tight*

Sam, at times, felt too good to be true. He was just too nice!! But then again, it was good to have someone with good intentions like Sam – even if he frustrated me as well because he couldn’t see that he had a chance to have something good with Cam. Real life does have noble guys, who wants to help others with no strings attached. I loved how Sam handled Cameron’s mess – even at one time, Sam reached his limit and got upset – and I loved Sam believed in Cameron despite everything. Sam gave Cameron the chance to be better. And we all know that sometimes, for people like Cam, what they need is a second chance.

If there is a flaw in Sam is probably in the friends he keeps. One name. Ryan. OMG, that man is a jackass!! I seriously hated him – I didn’t know why Sam wanted to keep him in his life *grrrr*. Maybe he had a good quality but I was so angry with him throughout the book. No matter that he also gave reasons for Cameron to push himself in attempt to make himself worthy of Sam.

I was a little bit unhappy with the ** SPOILER ALERT ** separation though … I wanted to see him working his things out without having to leave Sam’s side. But then again I could understand his reasons and it was also probably the best thing for him to do. So a bit unhappy but not exactly hating it.

All in all, this is a very satisfying read and definitely one of my favorite MM reads of the month…




hotmessTitle: Hot Mess
Author: Rowan McAllister
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages: 200
Release Date: December 4, 2013
Purchase Links: Dreamspinner Press, ARe, Amazon

About Ami

My name is Ami and I'm an Indonesian girl in my mid 30's, living in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia. I used to do a lot of journal writing in a different website but over the years, I started to lose interest. I am, instead, pretty active in reading and writing opinion in Goodreads. Then I start thinking that maybe I can have a blog in which I write mostly about books or joy of reading or anything related to reading activity, really. So this is what this blog is for ... although, I may be inspired to write off-books topic as well :)

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This entry was posted on November 21, 2014 by in Contemporary, Reviewer: Ami and tagged , , , .

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