Monday, November 28, 2016

Release Day Review ~ Checking It Twice (The Carlisles: Book Three) by Meg Harding

Release Day Review ~ Checking It Twice (The Carlisles: Book Three) by Meg Harding 

Title: Checking It Twice
Series: The Carlisles: Book Three
Author: Meg Harding
Release Date: November 28, 2016
Category: Contemporary, Erotic Romance
Pages: 200

Closeted professional hockey player Eric Belanger is falling hard for an out-and-proud male model. He’s unable to resist Dorian’s charm and pushing personal boundaries he never thought he’d cross. But Dorian is the kind of guy who deserves someone who isn’t afraid to be himself. Eric’s fears about what coming out will do to his career clash with the future he hopes to build with Dorian. He knows he’ll eventually have to make a choice.
Dorian Carlisle knows better than to date a man who wants to keep him a secret, but there’s something about Eric he can’t ignore. So he’ll take the risk, and it’ll be all right, because this isn’t a forever romance. He’s happy to live in the moment. But somehow, at some point, feelings sneak up on him and he’s not okay anymore. At a breaking point, Dorian must also make a decision. Their time together will either be the start of something wonderful or nothing more than a happy memory.

*Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by Dreamspinner Press for my reading pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement. *

Checking It Twice is Book 3 in Meg Harding’s The Carlisles series. It could probably be a standalone, but you do get glimpses of the couples from the previous stories who are Carlisle’s, so go ahead and read them first! 

The Carlisle’s are a large family of overachievers that are really close and in each other’s business. Dorian is a supermodel and a twin. He likes to date and hook-up but isn’t interested in a relationship at this time. At a photo shoot, he has to work with several hockey players and is a little overwhelmed by how hot they all are. He’s invited to come see a game by one of the players, Eric, not realizing that it’s because of Eric's interest in him. Eric is closeted and knows he should not pursue spending more time with Dorian, but he can’t help himself. We get to see Eric and Dorian develop a friendship and a really awkward beginning of a relationship.

I really enjoy the Carlisle family. They’re loud, rambunctious, nosy and supportive. I enjoy learning more about them and seeing familiar things, such as their unhealthy need for loads of candy when they’re upset. Dorian may be a supermodel but he seems to be a really great guy. He’s fun to hang out with and he seems to fit with any group of people he’s with. He’s out of the closet and though it takes a little time, he knows his worth and is not willing to compromise what he deserves from a relationship. And I feel like that isn’t something we read a lot of in any romance books.

Eric is younger than Dorian and he is very firmly in the closet. Frankly, he would be one of those guys who would be willing to remain in the closet for life and then when he’s a middle-aged husband and father, he’d suddenly find the closet is suffocating. That’s how in the closet he is. He fears his teammates, friends and family finding out that he’s gay, even though two of his teammates and friends know and they don’t care. He just can’t see beyond the fear. Honestly, I was a little annoyed by the continued angst about coming out and how he treated Dorian. And I was happy that eventually Eric realized how he treated Dorian was wrong and made up for it.

Though Book 1 continues to be my favorite, I've really enjoyed all of them and can’t wait to read Denver’s upcoming story!

Rating: 4 stars

4.5 Stars

A very good read, far less family-orientated than the Carlisles book 2, and pretty realistic.

This is a tale that's been done many times before, with one lead out, loud and proud and the other a closeted professional athlete, but this is done with surprising realism and humility and 'ordinariness'. By the latter, I mean that this is kind of a: 'I could really see that happening'/boy next door kind of tale, with leads that I could believe in, understand and 'see'.

It is connected to the Carlisles series, as Dorian, the model lead, is a younger sibling and his twin, Denver (who goes on to get his own tale, from the preview we're given at the end of this) appear. There's nothing contrived about the tale and I was rooting for both guys from the start.

My only issues with the tale are that the sex wasn't full-on, not even when the leads were together and happy, nor when they reunited, and also, because the 1st POV-in-present-tense takes some getting used to. The latter is done well, and I know from the author that this is something she likes, but it's the tiniest bit 'takes you out of the tale a bit'.

Other than that, this is a lovely read, with a couple of guys I liked, and I was glad to see them at the start of their HEA, and there was no doubt in my mind that it was a HEA, and hopefully, we'll be seeing them as side characters in future tales.

ARC courtesy of Dreamspinner Press and Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure.

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